Some Music and Dancing this Month

Some Music and Dancing this Month

Ahoy! How are the people of the page? It’s been a while since my last post because of some changes that will always happen as long as we live 😛

Instead of struggling to find something worthy to feature, I found myself looking for ‘news’ bits from Google which is a great way to know what’s going on in our cultural community. This is when I discovered some action happening in Boston this month. If you are a huge fan of The Tannahill Weavers then you will love this news:

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Celtic Music, Dance Calendar for April

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The Song A Day Project is an interesting channel. This artist by the name of Zachary Scot Johnson loves uploading his tunes and also adding a brief background about them. This talented singer/ songwriter has already shared the stage with Shawn Colvin, Keb’ Mo’, Kevin Costner & Modern West, Don Williams, Jane Siberry, The Be Good Tanyas, Rita Wilson, Steve Forbert, The Verve Pipe etc. Expect variety when you tune in to his uploads.
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  …And do pick up the new album by the amazing Moya Brennan now available via Amazon and other outlets. The cover art is her own painting. According to her press release, she went back to painting only recently. This also happens to be a family album in a sense that she is joined by her children Aisling and Paul Jarvis. If you haven’t yet picked up the recording of Aisling then I can assure you that she has a strong voice with the musical intensity of Patti Smith. As for Paul, he’s getting good with his guitar and this is his first professional project playing various instruments and also adding some technological input to the record.
More Updates Plus Upcoming Album By Moya Brennan.

More Updates Plus Upcoming Album By Moya Brennan.

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Music comes from the most unexpected places! Ok, I just ripped off Jose Feliciano’s “Love Comes from The Most Unexpected Places.” I do love that song. It’s been a regular part of my childhood playlist especially when we take our afternoon siesta listening to the radio.

But I say unexpected because many artists love to experiment. I think we see the rise of cultural exploration, how it has really taken off in the past ten years. That is why you can now hear Celtic music in many parts of the globe. And yours truly is a Filipino blogger living in a quiet town in Asia. Would you believe?! I love doing this(when not working) and I think I will be doing this for the rest of my life. Nothing like the itch of writing and discovering new music!

Shamrocks.

It is past 3 in the morning while I write this entry. I am listening to this high energy band called Shamrocks. They’re from the Ukraine. According to lead man Anatoliy:” We play Celtic Punk / Stout Rock – our signature mixture of Irish, Finnish and other types of folk music with a variety of rock and metal styles.” But there’s more. They have a good degree of finesse when it comes to recording craft. They sound like they’ve rehearsed a couple of times before going to the studio. I like it. There is that raw punk energy in their songs coupled with clean delivery, so you get something that will last for many seasons.

They are releasing a new album in the middle of this month so watch out for that. More details here: https://www.facebook.com/ShamRocksBand/

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Scéal.

If you are a big fan of Irish folklore then this game will be a treat! Game Skinny already reviewed this:

Sceal, which is developed by Joint Custody and recently released on Steam, is a magnificent mini Irish folklore adventure game. Players take on the role of this young girl spirit who is trying to recover her memories before the day ends.

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Upcoming album by Moya Brennan.
Moya Brennan is releasing a new album next year. This news made buzz in the Celtic community after she posted this update on her Facebook page. She is joined by her children Aisling and Paul on music/production chores.Moya Brennan wrote:

*New Solo Studio Album – Due February 2017*

I am delighted to say that I have been working on my brand new solo album, provisionally titled “River of Songs”. I can’t believe it has been 10 years since the release of Signature, my last studio album, and I can’t wait to share this new music with you all.

To add to the excitement, it is very much a family affair here in the studio! I have been writing songs non-stop with my son, daughter and husband over the past few weeks. My daughter, Aisling Jarvis, is engineering and mixing the album, with some help from my son, Paul Jarvis. And it will be a co-production between all of us! So I am hoping that you will enjoy the old Moya sound coming together with the new modern styles of my kids, while still keeping the Celtic vibe that I know you all love so well.

With the release of the new album, I will be touring throughout Europe early next year. Tour dates are posted on my website here:
www.moyabrennan.com

I will keep you all updated with the progress of the album in the coming weeks!

You can view pictures from the recording session plus a cute shot with their dog!

 

ClanĂș Are Back With A Better And Diverse Album!

ClanĂș Are Back With A Better And Diverse Album!

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ClanĂș are back with a new album Long Way Round. This is a strong follow-up to their 2012 album Ancient Walls. The reason why I got so excited in reviewing this is because of the evolution of their sound. The tracks are more diverse and they have lots of influences in this new album, from  bluegrass, Irish folk, Irish traditional, Americana and country.

Long Way Round has twelve tracks including covers of Black is the Color and SiĂșil A RĂșn. They incorporate traditional and folk instruments. I am a big fan of  piano music and I think Diamond’s Relief is spectacular. It has that contemporary, New Agey feel reminiscent of Night Noise and Phil Coulter. High five  to them for adding this gem.

Like Clannad and The Corrs, Clanu are composed  mostly of family members: Dee McIlroy, Niall McIlroy, Damian McIlroy, Paul Conlon and Fiona McIlroy. The latter  possess and angelic voice. I would not be surprised if one day she will be embarking on a solo career as a singer/instrumentalist.

I think Dee and Fiona  did an amazing work with their vocal styles that are supple and expressive. They sing within their ranges and that’s what I want my music to be after a long day-relaxing but also diverse. The rest of the players did their part in holding the architectural soundscape of this album, not just in every track but also on how every track sticks to each other  in a cohesive way.

You Know My Love Is True has a distinct style. It calls to mind American music in the swinging era with traces of Bluegrass. I feel like I would jitterbug every time I hear this song.

Long Way Round is an album that will appeal to many listeners. ClanĂș are from Belfast but with a sound like that, it is likely they will conquer continental Europe.

Tradition at its Finest:Roots by Andrew Finn Magill

Tradition at its Finest:Roots by Andrew Finn Magill

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Irish music was already dominant in the life Andrew Finn Magill while growing up and spending every summer at the Swannanoa Gathering Folk Arts Workshops. He learned to play the fiddle with the help from some of the finest folk musicians in the world.

By age 16, he already accomplished the following:

-As a two-time finalist at the All-Ireland Championships.

-He has toured France with the popular Celtic music & dance revue, Celtic Dances( under the musical direction of Liz Knowles & Kieran O’Hare).

-Produced a Fulbright-MtvU- funded concept album, Mau a Malawi( about those affected by AIDS with Malawian Afro-vibes artist Peter Mawanga).

I am currently enjoying his first in the series of concept albums. This one is called Roots. Why the title Roots? Well, I noticed that it is perhaps the most Traditional Irish I got my hands on this year. The tracks are familiar and they are rendered in a way they are supposed to-with emphasis on the style of music itself.

I once had this conversation with a friend while listening to traditional tunes. I just got my hands on a bodhran courtesy of my friend in England. So I was trying to learn my ear and these are songs from Lunasa, Chieftains and other bands who are into hardcore trad music. This is also the time when exploring the technical aspect of the music can be an enjoyable experience. And this love for traditional music gave way to many blog posts in this site.

?So what’s the story behind Roots? According to his press release:

Roots is the first disc in a concept album series which charts Magill’s musical progression in Irish music, featuring the tunes and players that defined his earliest years playing the fiddle: John Doyle, Cillian Vallely (Lúnasa), Sean Earnest (The Yanks), Duncan Wickel and Vincent Fogarty (The Red Wellies). Recorded in three studios on two continents, the music is ‘pure drop’ Irish with sparse instrumentation and innovative arrangements.
From the lively set of reels that opens the album, the listener is treated to brilliant and respectful renditions of much-loved jigs, hornpipes & reels, as well as some rarely-heard gems such as a beautiful setting of the set dance, “The Blackbird” the slow air, “Roisin Dubh,” and Carolan’s “Maurice O’Connor’s Third Air.” The album ends with a rolling, powerhouse set of reels sure to get any Irish music fan’s blood pumping.
In fall 2016, Magill will release Branches, the sequel to Roots, which integrates Finn’s traditional Irish musical foundations with his many other influences in ten original compositions.

Looking forward to the release Branches and that will showcase how flexible and colorful Traditional Irish music has grown through the years.

Roots the album has ten tunes featuring  jigs, reels and hornpipes. I love his precision and perfect pitch. The album features John Doyle, Cillian Vallely & Colin Farrell of LĂșnasa, among others. There’s also Duncan Wickel whose work I am familiar with. It also features the 10-string bouzouki of Vincent Forgarty. Now DAGAD fanatics will hear the strumming of Sean Ernest.

So what track is closest to my heart? It’s got to be The Green Fields of Glentown as part of the medley in the 10th track. If you meet someone asking about Traditional tunes then let him or her listen to this CD as it will ‘teach’ everything there is to know about the music. And hopefully it will influence younger audience to learn the style for future musical generations to come.

I really enjoy Roots. I take it with me when I ride the bike. I listen to it when I am stressed and I want to keep focused. But most of all I just listen to it for its musical richness. And it should be part of your growing collection.

 

The New Stars of Irish Music: The Led Farmers!

The New Stars of Irish Music: The Led Farmers!

The Led Farmers: They have a likability that is instant. The music is full of vigour and wonderful melodies.

The Led Farmers’ website says they are touring around Europe but they will start their North American tour in the last part of August. There is no doubt they will fill venues with their energetic sound and a style that is homegrown as it is punk with its rebelliousness.

Katie is the latest album that landed on my speakers from Ireland. Caution: Their music encourages you to get up and move. . So who are they? The band is comprise of the following:Brendan ‘Dog’ Walsh: Banjos. Ross O’Farrell: Bass. Glenn Malone: Drums. Shay Long: Guitar.

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Share the Wealth is the latest single off the album. The music video shows the band playing in what appears to be a living room. There is an alternate scene(acted by the band members) of what looks like a money-lender making deals over the phone. First client comes in and signs a contract. He hands it back to the man who tears it up and laughs at his face while smoking a cigar.Then another appears, same thing happens but this time he puts an X on the paper to the dismay of the other guy. Third guy gets his paper crumpled. In the end he receives a termination letter. He packs his stuff and walks out of his office. Outside, he meets the men he conned. Their expressions say:” See what happens to greedy people?”
What I like about them as a band? The reviewers are right. They have this likeability factor. They’ve got  what you need in a superstar Irish band: Sound, looks, and stage presence. Any banjo fan will rejoice as this recording highlights the instrument very well. Guitars and bass have their moments. The drums are also mixed in a way that it doesn’t sound too aggressive especially in the faster tracks.
 Row by Row is my favorite as of the moment. It has all the elements of a timeless tune. The voices of the quartet blend well and I love the counter points in the chorus section. But this is not to say that is the only stand out track. There are many more. From Share the Wealth which introduces the mood of the album, to their beautiful remake of Star of the County Down, the funky Space to their rendition of traditional Irish music- everything you look for in an excellent Irish pop rock album is here.
Yes Katie is an album of fast tunes, but Foggy Dew and Ragland Road prove that they can be masters of  haunting ballads.
Read the press release that follows:

 Biography: 

The Led Farmers are an Indie Irish Folk Rock band from Ireland. The group boasts a two-time All Ireland Music champion and many of it’s members have studied music at University level. They have toured the U.S. and Europe and are becoming one of Ireland’s best-loved live acts. 2015 saw them play over 80 concerts and 2016 looks to be something similar. While they love to play the Irish folk classics it is their own songs and fresh new arrangements of folk music that has seen them get attention of late. Their spontaneous nature and friendliness on the stage makes them a very entertaining live band.

What the media says:

‘The Led Farmers are the kind of act that you just want to see go far, they have a likeability factor and stage presence that just completely enhances their performance and makes them so distinctive in comparison to so many trad/folk groups out there at the moment’ – Dublin Concerts reviews

‘According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, the word ‘fresh’ has the following meaning: having its original qualities unimpaired, full of or renewed in vigor and not worn or rumpled
 and here comes a band that seems to fit the bill
 they are infectious likeably and distinctive, these are lads you might indeed want to join for a pint or two’ – Irish American News

‘The Led Farmers preserve the tradition of their own native songs while adding a decidedly unique perspective to it. I can see that if The Led Farmers can persist like the Clancy Brothers did. Maybe in 20 or 30 years it may be said that they helped set the new standard for traditional Irish Music’ – Paddy Rock

‘I like the vibe of The Led Farmers. They have an acoustic sound that reminds me of Dexys Midnight Runners. These lads have an energy and style that takes up where the Pogues left off’ – Christy McNamara

 

Listen To If Wishes Were Horses by Kris Drever

Listen To If Wishes Were Horses by Kris Drever

If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride, sings Kris Drever in the title track of his new album If Wishes Were Horses. Part personal memoir and part disquisition into Philosophical matters and the human condition, this album sounds whimsical as it is serious.

The eleven songs combine elements of pop, British folk and soft rock. His musical style is 10900044_991812364203990_2050555669683239488_oreminiscent of Donovan and John Martyn. Vocal layers embellish some songs with complex treatment. The production highlights the sound of the acoustic guitar, making the instrument brighter and warmer above the soft swirls of  vocals and percussion. The bass sets the balance between the light percussion and the whispy strums.

Further exploration into his website sheds light to the album:

If Wishes Were Horses is a collection of semi-biographical songs covering the universal, and not so universal, themes of education, politics, sex, love, ennui, self-employment, social migration and Shetland. Drever’s recent outpouring of songs stems from a move back to the Northern Isles, Shetland this time rather than his native Orkney and the discovery of new lyrical voices to describe his life, times and wild new surroundings.

I haven’t heard of his work with Lau. But I will definitely go look because his style and craftsmanship are captivating. The 2016 Celtic Connections performance made an impression, further cementing his status as a singer-songwriter of heartfelt songs.

If Wishes Were Horses is an album with mid-tempo songs. With the exception of the last track Going to the North with its fast percussion rendering but even then, the relaxed  mood remains. The same tempo is found in the fourth track Shipwrecked with its hypnotic vocals and dreamy arrangement. There are many beautiful songs in this album and I think it really deserves to have a part in your ‘top artists’ collection.

I can listen to If Wishes were Horses again and again and be wrapped in that blanket of wonder, amusement and longing -hese emotions that get regal treatment in the artistry of Kris Drever.

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Robert Doyle Has  A Follow Up To A Life In Shadows:Lig Amach

Robert Doyle Has A Follow Up To A Life In Shadows:Lig Amach

Robert Doyle album cover

When: Friday 22nd April

Where:The Cobblestone Backroom, 77 King Street North, Dublin 7 Free admission 8.30pm

As a long time admirer of his music, I am happy to announce that Mr Doyle has finished a follow-up to his compelling album A Life in Shadows. It was well received among Celtic and Irish Music sites. If you love laid back songs written and performed around the voice and acoustic guitar then you better hear Lig Amach. I will be posting my own thoughts about the album soon!

Read more about the album through the press release:

ROBERT DOYLE ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM LIG AMACH

Featuring Sliabh Russell/Out on the Ocean https://youtu.be/WzcSe9TzkC4

Private Album stream (do not share) https://soundcloud.com/robertdoyle/sets/robert-doyle-lig-amach/s-XZsH4

ALBUM LAUNCH: Thursday April 28th The Cobblestone Backroom, 77 King Street North, Dublin 7 Free admission 8.30pm

“Fingerstyle guitar expert…. with a unique vocal edge” Irish Music Magazine    “… a new acoustic guitar maestro” R2 Magazine

Dublin fingerstyle guitarist and singer ROBERT DOYLE releases his second album Lig Amach on April 22nd followed by an album launch concert on April 28th in Dublin’s Cobblestone.  Admission to the concert will be free – as Robert explains as “a special thank you to my fans and supporters for their enthusiasm and support along the way”.

LIG AMACH (Let Out) is the follow up to his well received 2011 debut album Life in Shadows.  Mostly recorded in Dublin over the last year the album showcases his distinctive approach to writing & arranging for the guitar.  A collection of instrumentals, interpretations and self penned originals, Lig Amach vividly displays Robert’s dynamic playing & singing  – stretching from the roots of American folk singing and blues, Irish traditional through to classical & flamenco guitar techniques.  Watch the video for SLIABH RUSSELL/OUT ON THE OCEAN https://youtu.be/WzcSe9TzkC4

While the album features a number of thrilling collaborations, Robert sets down a challenge for himself when he performs live as he will perform entirely solo at the album launch on April 28th in Dublin’s Cobblestone “It really tests your abilities and you learn a great deal about the music when performing in front of an audience.  I choose to play solo so that there’s nowhere to hide on stage.  You learn a lot about yourself as a musician when it’s just you in the spotlight”.

Creativity runs in the Doyle family – the album cover photo was taken by Robert’s brother Eamonn Doyle who is an internationally recognised photographer.  Previously the brothers worked together – Robert as a studio engineer – on Irish label D1 Recordings run by Eamonn, who also founded the DEAF electronic festival.

Robert began playing guitar aged 8 and is a past student of renowned French-Algerian master musician Pierre Bensusan – “Pierre is one of the top fingerstyle guitarists in the world but more so he’s also a fantastic musician.  By studying with him, I wanted to gain an insight into how he was able to master the instrument and develop his own individual style. After studying with Pierre, my focus changed from being a guitar player to becoming a better musician and to continue developing my own style”.   In previous years Robert has performed at Celtic Connections and the Moniaive Folk Festival.

Recording the album was a longer process than initially planned as Robert explains “I recorded the guitar and vocals in my home studio with additional instruments recorded in Dublin, London and Italy. Originally I had planned to record this album, like the first, in a studio with an engineer but I later made the decision to record it myself to have more flexibility. The first sessions for the album took place 3 years ago and didn’t go well so I had to go back to the drawing board.  I was only working on the album at weekends so the process was quite drawn out.  The guitar parts are all live recordings, something I’ve always tried to do.”

Like the last album 8 of the 10 tracks were mixed by Marc Carolan who works with Muse. Ross Dowling, who produced the last James Vincent McMorrow album also did a mix as well as Graham Watson from Floodplain Studios in Dublin.

Lig Amach is a departure for Robert in many ways from the first album with a keen focus this time on writing and performing in English.  “The songs on the previous EP and album were based around songs sung in Irish but for this release I wanted to explore singing in English more.”  ACROSS THE LINE was written in 2014 at the time Islamic State attacked and laid siege to Kobani in northern Syria, causing a massive number of people to flee across the border into Turkey.  FLAGS OF BELFAST, which has a traditional air, was written around the time of the Belfast City Hall flag protests while ROUND TWO is a song about a woman who won’t wait too long for a man to make up his mind!

Robert interprets and reimagines a number of covers on Lig Amach including the opening track AN SEANDUINE, a song he learnt from singing in Comhaltas CeoltĂłirí  Éireann with this version taking inspiration from recordings by Seamus Begley and DanĂș.  COUNTRY BLUES is a song Robert learnt from Dock Boggs, an old-time banjo player from Virginia, first recorded in 1929.

Another progression on Lig Amach is Robert’s collaboration with a wide number of renowned musicians “After recording the demos I wanted to add some other instrumentation to the songs. The first collaboration was with Chris Haigh, a fiddle player I first heard on an Oumou Sangaré album.”  Francessco Ganassin (saxophone) and Magnus Mehta (percussion) also feature along with Aoife Dermody & uilleann piper Eoin Dillon on a collaboration, Flags of Belfast, which came out of a recording session in Floodplain Studios.

Lig Amach will be available from all digital outlets from April 22nd, from Claddagh Records and robertdoyle.net

facebook.com/robert.doyle

robertdoyle.net

For more information, images & interviews please contact:

ANN MARIE WALSH NOVATONE MUSIC MEDIA

Tel: 01 2018946 / 087 2460957 musicireland@hotmail.com @novatonemm

Na Fianna: Leaving your comfort zone makes you better.

Na Fianna: Leaving your comfort zone makes you better.

Na Fianna: Celtic Rock, powerful  and contemporary take on songs old and new!

It is great to have an insider’s view of this interesting band that everyone is talking about. The band is Na Fianna from Ireland-which is also my spiritual home. They have several songs out via YouTube, various sites and social media. Better check them out because you don’t know what you are missing. And yes, they have great advice for their fellow musicians as on how to be in top shape, musically!Xd6cd1Ay.jpg

1. Congratulations for releasing the new exciting album called Unearthed. What’s the story behind the album’s title?

Thanks very much, it was hard work but thoroughly enjoyable to record. The title “Unearthed’ was chosen because it was perfect for where we were and what we were doing at the time. We were hidden away with all these musical ideas for a long time and it was time to unearth them to the world.

2. There are four of you : Ciaran, Hugh, James and Peter. Did you invite other artists to the recording sessions?

We had invited a drummer, ‘Binzer’, to collaborate with Peter in the percussion department to elaborate our ideas more in the songs. There also was our producer and musician Bill Shanley who we worked with to bring this sound out even more. He played some bass and guitar in the backline to collaborate with CiarĂĄn in the strings department.

3. This album has a strong impact to many listeners. I noticed you have passionate and supportive fans especially in the social media! Do you have plans of putting up an ‘acoustic’ session and invite fans over, and have it filmed and released in video format?

That’s a good idea, we would love to do that. You know, we already have done an impromptu gig with such a setting in Boston and it was received very well. Nothing is impossible in the future. It reminds me of when Incubus did the Morning View Sessions. A great recording. We’re up for it.

4. The current single off the album is Toora Loora Lay . I noticed the strong rhythm right away, on top of the strong melody. Can you tell us a it about the recording of this song?

We wrote it in Pink Floyd’s Britannia Row Studios in London with friend and super talented songwriter Don Mescall. We sat down with ideas and put our heads together and wrote Toora Loora Lay. So we had a demo done from there, then we brought it to Bill Shanley’s Cauldron Studios. The song flowed so nicely it was quite fun to record but it was also intense as we knew the song had a shot at becoming iconic in the folk world.

5. Any plans to tour? Where’s your first stop?

We’ve had many mini tours and once off gigs in Europe and America so far. We have a great desire to tour a lot, but we want to record a little more material and spread our name throughout the world through social media etc. then we can tour in peace of mind that people will come see us. Saying that, we like to work fast and anything can happen so quickly. This year however, first stop is The Dubliner in Oslo, Norway. Follow our events on for more gigs and tours.

6. Bill Shanley produced this album. Can you tell us how it’s like working with him and his amazing talent?

Bill Shanley is an outrageous talent. We heard he is the best at guitar accompanying….and producing, we can swear wholeheartedly he is up there with the best in the world. Working with him in the studio at close quarters is an amazing experience. He’s always very calm and he has the best ideas to promote our own for the good of the song. His musical ear is phenomenal. If you’re out of tune by a minuscule, he will hear it. The whole process of working with such experience will stand to us forever more. We can’t wait to record with him again this year in Cauldron Studios.

7. Drunken Sailor is my personal favourite. It’s really fast. How do you guys manage to keep in top shape musically?

We keep in top shape musically because we are always playing music. We play small gigs in duets and solos every night and day in Dublin on top of Na Fianna rehearsals. Also we like to challenge ourselves as much as possible in each song. Leaving your comfort zone makes you better.

8. Your message to fans?

Our fans are the greatest in the world, no joke. We have loads more songs to give them this year and many years to come. We love this journey we’re on and they are with us every step of the way. Thank you kindly.

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The marriage between trad and electro:Jiggy the Band

Jiggy is the name of the group!

I got a surprise via Soundcloud. I heard this cool group from out of the misty universe which is the internet.They call themselves Jiggy. It seems that they are the answer to my longing for the fusion of electronic beats and traditional music. Perhaps there are very very few bands doing that these days, a kind of style started by The AfroCelts in the 90s.

So who are the artists behind this fascinating group? According to their website:

“New Irish band Jiggy put some serious pep in the step of traditional Irish Music.”      Irish Central

 

Jiggy is a very groovy collective!4f3805_e87d8b99cc764d7fa0fbe281a6b65af5

 

Featuring the talents of traditional musicians; 

Daire Bracken (fiddle), Aoife Kelly (fiddle), Éamonn Galldubh (uilleann pipes), Éamonn De Barra (flute & whistle), Robbie Harris (percussion), Niwel Tsumbu (guitar & Vocals) and Yoshi Izumi (bass) who have teamed up with DJ Jack on the decks. 

 

Jiggy has developed a sound unlike anything else, fusing vocal lilting & beatboxing, Irish traditional music, hip hop dance grooves, world music rhythms and harmonies. Expect a thrilling live set of original music and traditional dance tunes. 

 

Jiggy also features special guest beatboxer MIC Bandit.

 

Jiggy have collabrated with producers Steve Lynch (Stellarsound), Mark Murphy (Sound Butlers) and Sam Jackson. Mastering is done by Fergal Davis.

Oh so that’s it! Sounds like they have many exciting things coming this year. Is there a studio album that we can buy? Here’s another info from their website:

Jiggy are in the studio recording and mixing the new album!

 

Jiggy have just released ‘Laethanta Saoire’

Laethanta Saoire is composed by guitar ledgend Steve Cooney and out now on iTunes, Amazon and eMusic. 

Produced by Sam Jackson

Mastered by Fergal Davis.

 

Buy now on  iTunes 

Ok I gotta go back to my dancing. I can’t stop!

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Na Fianna -Making Modern Irish Music That’s Very Catchy

Na Fianna -Making Modern Irish Music That’s Very Catchy

If traditional-based Irish music needs a wake up alarm then leave it to the members of Na Fianna. Their energy is punk-like but they owe most of their aesthetics Irish music like the ballads of Christy Moore and the melodic wonder of The Clancy Bothers and Dropkick Murphys. They play lively tunes that are so catchy Thin Lizzy will be proud of them. 11223581_10155793250160504_1664260918107804656_n

I became familiar with the band’s name after browsing Reddit and see them trending under ‘Celtic’ category. But even though the musical identity of Na Fianna is distinct, their sentiments are inclusive and that makes their music universal.

Still not convinced? Go ahead and listen to their new single via YouTube and you will know what I mean:

 

There are four people in the band comprising of:

Hugh Finn: Banjo & Vocals

Ciaran Finn: Guitar & Vocals

Peter McMahon: Percussion & Vocals

James O’Connor: Accordian & Vocals

Unearth is the new album and it has twelve songs. There are traditional songs that are familiar like Step it Out Mary, Star Of County Down, The Lakes Of Pontchartrain and more. Fans of Christy Moore and Luka Bloom will love both this album and these four lads. Check out the EPK below:

How about an afternoon of Buille by Buille Beo?

How about an afternoon of Buille by Buille Beo?

Niall Vallely – concertina

Caoimhin Vallely -piano

Ed Boyd – guitar

Brian Morrissey – bodhrĂĄn/percussion

Kenneth Edge – soprano saxophone

Recorded live at Ionad CultĂșrtha an DochtĂșir Ó Loingsigh, Baile MhĂșirne,

Co. ChorcaĂ­ – EanĂĄir 2015

Engineered by Dan Fitzgerald

Assisted by Chris Moore

Mixed and Mastered by Dan Fitzgerald @ SoundSound Studios, Cork

Design by Brian Hanlon @ Og Media Group

Photography by Eddie Hennessy

Buille:A beautiful musical treat for a lazy afternoon by robust Irish musical group.

Live recordings are challenging. Unlike studio sessions where you can just edit things you want to change, playing like is one directional. The ambience also adds to the ‘flavour’ of the sound as you hear clapping from the audience, perhaps the sound of birds, the breeze and the little noise that make the recording ‘human.’

Buille Beo presents a robust body of different sounds recorded live-which I learned- in the beautiful surroundings of the Ionad CultĂșrtha in Baile BhĂșirne, West Cork. There are twelve beautiful tracks. I love classical and jazz music and Buille Beo covers those territories, though it is primarily a traditional album.

It’s a lazy afternoon today so I explored their latest release which is already reviewed by TradConnect. So how does a casual listener respond to their music if I cite myself as an example? It is an album for those who like chilled but mainly acoustic music. I found myself staring at the ceiling and savouring the piano melodies that fall like gentle rain. I feel this in Belharbour. It is true that if you love classical music, jazz and blues then you will easily appreciate traditional Irish music.

I also love In A Silent Way because of its intimate nature. It is a slow tune that is good for meditation and staring out the window-especially if the scenery is the magnificent West Cork! Whatso grabs me because of the chords and the feeling of suspense associated with jazz music. It starts slow then builds up into a frenzy release of sounds  like fireworks.albumcover

Buille Beo is a beautiful and strangely delicate album that has a universal appeal. Its beauty lies in the arrangements and the technique of these wonderful musicians. As you listen repeatedly, the album creates that mesmerizing hypnotic feeling. It transports you into an urban countryside as the album evokes the feeling of both places.

Purchase the album via iTunes and visit their official website: www.buille.com

Interview with Irish Tenor David O’Leary : On emulating John McCormack, golf and touring

Interview with Irish Tenor David O’Leary : On emulating John McCormack, golf and touring

Highlights of some of Irish tenor David O’Leary’s major performances.

For more information, visit http://www.davidolearytenor.com.

I wrote my impressions on Going Home by David O’ Leary a few days ago. I am so glad he’s available for an interview! Without hesitation, I grabbed my Mac and typed the questions away. He’ll go places because of his fantastic singing and it is an honor to have him in this music blog.

David O’Leary during the 63rd Annual Artists vs Writers Charity. Picture courtesy of http://www.panachemag.com

1. You did your voice training in New York. I am curious as how this came to be?

I’m a huge golf fan and after finishing a year of teaching kindergarten in Quebec I came to NYC and worked at the US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club. I got a job there as a caddie for the summer and came back for the next few summers while in law school. The golf helped pay for school and for singing lessons with some great coaches here in the city.
2. How was Going Home conceived?

I’ve always wanted to do an album and try to reach as many people as I can so the album was an obvious thing for me to do. The song selection was tough as I tried to get something that would appeal to as broad an audience as possible. I think it’s very much an easy listening experience and I hope people agree.

3. Who are your vocal influences and how did they shape your style?

I’m a huge fan of music and grew up listening to lots of it thanks to my parents. For me, vocalists in particular are tremendously inspiring. Great voices come in many shapes and sizes and I’m a huge fan of the great singers like John McCormack, Placido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli. In terms of style influence, I’ve wanted to emulate John McCormack in particular so I tend to sing a lot of the pieces he made famous.

4. What are the things that you avoid when are on tour to maintain your voice?

Talking! The day of a performance I speak very little and try to spend as much time as possible in my hotel room. I also try to get plenty of sleep the night before and generally just take it easy. About four hours before a gig I’ll go to the gym or go for a run and that usually relaxes me.

5. You have a diverse musical repertoire. What will we expect on your next album?

I’m going to do a Christmas album so for Christmas 2016 I’ll have a new release of holiday favorites. I’m very excited about it actually.

6. Can you tell us more about the recording of Going Home and the memorable time you had with the contributing artists?

Going Home was recorded here in New York with some friends and it was a scary, exhausting and exhilarating process. It was my first album so I didn’t really know what to expect but I’m had some great people working on it and feel very lucky to have had that guidance. I can’t wait to do it again.

7. Your message to the readers?
I’m looking forward to getting out there and touring with the album and hopefully meeting a lot of people in 2016. We’re finalizing dates at the moment so keep an eye out!

My huge thanks to Daly Communications for the opportunity to meet this wonderful artist!

“Newfoundland Vinyl 3  by Allison Crowe brings the beautiful winter breeze early

“Newfoundland Vinyl 3 by Allison Crowe brings the beautiful winter breeze early

Newfoundland Vinyl 3 is a Holiday treat that should not be missed by beautiful music lovers! 

Now that we can move on to Yule, you might want to shop around for a good holiday album. No need to look further. Newfoundland Vinyl 3 by Canadian singer/songwriter Allison Crowe offers a perfect soundtrack for your winter needs. Her singing is strong and with the times. There is an interesting history how this album was conceived(please check the additional info at end of this post).

There are thirteen songs (my lucky number) in the album and they offer unique listening experience as I don’t think I have met a kind of style or recording like her’s.  The styles vary from traditional to modern. The perky Up She Goes is already a favorite. Fiddlers Green, The Irish Rover will appeal to lovers of Irish music. While the rest are infused in folk, pop and blues style. She brings the spirit

Allison Crowe’s arrangements are simple and they exude an intimate air which is rare these days, in a world where music is overblown or over produced. You get the sense of organic simplicity in each track. it’s the feeling of coming home after a long hard day from work.

This recommended especially if you are looking for something that is not too classical, too folky or ethereal. The earthly arrangements and warm performance are gifts from this wonderful album that should last through all seasons.

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More about Newfoundland Vinyl 3:

“Newfoundland Vinyl” is a perennial favourite attraction of the cultural treasure that is the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

Conceived by Jeff Pitcher, Artistic Director of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, (TNL – the Atlantic Canadian professional theatre company founded in 1979), the hit stage show’s under the Musical Direction of Allison Crowe who’s been with the production from its launch in 2012.

Each Summer Allison Crowe delights in residing in the beauty of Gros Morne National Park – an UNESCO world heritage site located on the west coast of Newfoundland. In working with her wonderfully-talented cast and crew, Allison records a selection of songs to be included in the show repertoire. Once the play’s run its season, she selects some of her favourite tunes to share from this collection.

TNL describes the latest edition: “Hits of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s by Newfoundland’s biggest recording stars come to life! For your toe-tapping, tear-jerking enjoyment the music and songs of Ryan’s Fancy, Harry Hibbs, Gary O’Driscoll, Dick Nolan, Joan Morrissey, Bob Porter and more
”

“I have had such a wonderful time learning this year’s crop of songs for Newfoundland Vinyl – from waltzes and parlour songs, to torch songs, to songs with the same spirit as 1960s protest anthems and beyond – simply great music from throughout the decades,” notes Allison. “The silly, the sentimental, the sad, and serene all converge in this GMTF show
 So, please, enjoy and do sing along!”

credits

released October 20, 2015

Music arranged, performed and recorded by Allison Crowe – Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada.

See individual track listings for songwriting credits.

Album cover photos by Allison Crowe

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LorcĂĄn Mac MathĂșna / The Arrows that Murder Sleep

Musicians :

LorcĂĄn Mac Mathuna

Eoghan Neff

Seån MacErlaine

Daire Bracken

Recorded mixed and mastered by Liam Grant.

Recorded in Griffith College, Dublin.

Images by RĂłnĂĄn O Reilly

Texts and Graphic design by LorcĂĄn Mac MathĂșna

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A Beautiful Album, The Arrows that Murder Sleep: Just in time for Samhain!

Nothing is better than waking up at three in the morning (after sleeping more than 8 hours) to the music of this fantastic Sean-NĂłs singer. His name is LorcĂĄn Mac MathĂșna and he is from Dublin. His newest album is The Arrows That Murder Sleep.The music glides in and out reflecting the ancient Irish atmosphere. It is an album for those who appreciate Irish music in its purest sense. This is the style/type that has drawn me to the genre. The vocal music. His voice represents the ancient and the modern Ireland. Backed by notable names in the industry, The Arrows that Murder Sleep is highly recommended for those who are passionate about the works of Iarla Ó LionĂĄird, Niamh Parsons, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Aoife NĂ­ Fhearraigh and many more.

The album has twelve songs and features contributions from Eoghan Neff, SeĂĄn MacErlaine, Daire Bracken and the compositional beauty of Martin Tourish. This album also represents the best of Mac Mathuna’s compositions over a six-year period.

So what is the idea behind this album? I got this from the TradConnect Review:

The Arrows that Murder Sleep is a collection of sensual moments of ancient Irish literature, brought fully to life by a group of virtuoso musicians with powerful melodies and dynamic, cinematic, arrangements. It features songs taken from three major commissioned cycles (including the millennial celebration of the Battle of Clontarf, and the Life of Colmcille commissioned by the 2013 All-Ireland Fleadh cheoil, Derry). It includes two songs in English and nine in Irish. And it includes one solo Sean-Nós song (Contae Mhuigheo) and an instrumental response to that; (Paddy Lynch’s ship).

I love all of the songs in the album but River Roe is perhaps my personal favorite. I have to remind you that though this album might not appeal to all types of music listeners, this will definitely appeal to SERIOUS lovers of Irish music.

From the first track to the last, The Arrows That Murder Sleep unfolds like a beautiful but not hurried movie. Everything almost feels abstract as melodies and vocals flow in and out seamlessly. The talents and love that the musicians put in this project are commendable and I hope to see more releases like this in the future; and yes more albums from LorcĂĄn Mac MathĂșna. A big thank you to TradConnect for the sounds!

Here’s the wonderful text from the artist:

BuĂ­ochas

Putting these songs together wouldn’t be possible without the support and generosity of many people. From the people who contributed their skills and talents in making this album to the closer family relations who have given support and time to make it possible. Thanks to my musical companions: Martin, Eoghan, Seán, an Daire for starters. And Liam for taking on the task of capturing the music. Special thanks to friends and family. Especially to my constant companions ar an domhain mór seo: Emma, Aoibha, Meadbh “Tiny the Bearie,” and Fiach MacHugh.

Thanks also to those who commissioned works from me and the musicians on this album over the years. To Martin Harte in the Temple Bar Company; to Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh of Culturlann Uí Channáin and the Derry all Ireland Fleadh; to Armagh Pipers Club’s Brian Vallely; and Liam Carson of Imram. To an Comhairle Ealaíonn, CC Átha Cliath, and the NI Arts Council.

Thanks also to Brian Fay and the DIT fine arts students; To Rónán whose beautiful paintings adorn this digibook;  Úna for the technical know how ; Manus Ó Dhomhnaill and Mícheáil Ó Bhruadair for putting it on record at Port na dTrí Namhaid and death row respectively; to Dad and Mam for the love and perseverance and for getting the kids to love sean-nós. An tOll. Damian Mac Manus ó TCD agus Ann Marie Dowling as ucht cabhair len Seana-Ghaeilge. And to an tArd Rígh, Cormac Mac Cearbhaill, for his far seeing Copyright precedent in C.558 AD. We artists really needed that.

This album was produced with the support of An Comhairle EalaĂ­onn.

Buy the album here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lorcanmacmathuna1

Visit his official website: http://www.lorcanmacmathuna.com

Mountain Rose by The Gothard Sisters: Girl Power in Celtic Music!

Mountain Rose by The Gothard Sisters: Girl Power in Celtic Music!

Just say you are a casual listener and you happen you see one of the performances of The Gothard Sisters. I am pretty sure you would be amazed how these three sisters carry themselves. They are musically and visually captivating. You don’t even have to be a fan of Celtic music to really take note of their musical skills. This is girl power to the max. I mean, they have always carried their musical careers independently since the release of their debut album in 2006. And they stayed true to their style no matter how fickle-minded the music industry is.61eNCSEy9CL._SS280

I love the cover artwork of Mountain Rose. It really says a lot about their playfulness. And the materials are sonically delicious. I am talking about the cover of Andy M Stewart’s “Queen of Argyll.” Mr Stewart introduced me to traditional Irish music during the explosion of Green Linnet records in the 90s. The sisters gave this tune an interesting twist. The trio wrote some songs too. And whole album is like a good book you need to read up to the end. I say that because I am more of an album guy. I’d rather buy full-length albums as opposed to compilations or ‘best of.’ I am sure some of you can relate to this as every song tells a story. And every story is a branch that makes up the bigger tree which is the album. Greta, Willow and Solana are really good in making this album consistent while making each track unique to each other.

I love the clarity of The Bandit. They combine the elegance of their classical training to folk tracks. I Courted a Sailor sounds fitting in these times of gender equality. But while making interesting materials worth the discussion over coffee, they also make sure that the craft doesn’t suffer. Cat In A Bush is another playful track to listen to if you are a fan of traditional instrumental music. The Boatman’s Call reminds me a bit of Connie Dover in terms of the clear and magical vocals, while St. Annie’s Reel is a force of nature. As a fan of Grace O’Malley’s story, I am so glad the sisters have this track about her. Yes another tribute to a strong woman in history.

There are plenty of tracks you should not miss in this album. It is really a satisfying experience and I hope you get Mountain Rose and that this album will introduce you to the rest of their discography. Out of five starts I give this a five!

This week’s beautiful songs

This week’s beautiful songs

  
Music is better than coffee. It is timeless and created with the finest musicians and state of the  art studio equiptments. I am always excited with each preview or new releases. Soundcloud is a favorite app I like to explore after work, as it gives me the convenience of listening to different artists while on the go. So check out the latest releases from these fantastic artists!

https://soundcloud.com/evewilliams/vale-of-angels

From Northern Ireland, Eve Williams jumps categories. Her music is eclectic. This is a new song from her. Watch out for upcoming releases from this artist with an angelic voice.

https://soundcloud.com/www-tradconnect-com/john-mckenna-colonel-frazer

It is always a magical experience uncovering recordings from almost a hundred years ago. Just goes to show that Traditional Irish tunes are timeless and “modern” as they are ancient. This is a fantastic piece  from John McKenna courtesy of TradConnect.

https://soundcloud.com/saharaoz/sahara-we-all-believe-d-t-longsahara-music

For those who love the festive and jazzy side of Celtic Music, then Sahara have albums you would love to have. We All Believe is as authentic as the story behind the song. Listen to more tunes from this Irish musical couple now based in Australia.

https://soundcloud.com/the-neer-duwels/neer-duwels-meet-me-back-in

Comprising of big names in the Traditional scene, Ne’er Duwels promise to enchant and electrify. Again from TradConnect.

https://soundcloud.com/www-tradconnect-com/tr-ona-marshall-street-reels

Wow Triona Marshall reminds me why harp is an amazing instrument!

I hope you enjoyed the tunes. More to come! 

Soulsha, soul shock!

Soulsha, soul shock!

Let me introduce you to this energetic group from Boston. They combine different genres with Celtic music as the central focus , creating a new style that groovy, pop and fresh. It only takes a minute through A’Ghrian, one of their tunes and be hooked. Yes I have kept them in my radar for weeks and now I am raving about them in this blog. I wish to see more news from Soulsha because I think they can open doors to intelligent music as we are really in need of that these days.
As a fusion project, they combine Scottish and West African traditional music. Think of Afro Celt Sound System as their cousin, with a little bit of funk and urban. Expect the cool singing of Elias Alexander(who also plays the border pipes), The awesome keys and mandolin of Neil Pearlman, the groovy bass of Aaron Bellamy, the wall shaking drums of Joe Galeota, the exciting fiddling of Galen Fraser, the afro beats of Dough Berman and the soulful sax of Dylan Sherry.
Their influences are wide and far – reaching as they include Kila, Michael McGodrick, Tower of Power, Lunasa etc. I am sure you get the picture. I don’t know about you but I can’t stop dancing. The music is really infectious and full of good vibes. No depressing moment. Just lovely grooves and awesome melodies. I encourage you to try listening to Soulsha!
https://m.soundcloud.com/soulsha-afro-celtic-funk

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A fantastic essay from Fraser Fifield and more updates.

A fantastic essay from Fraser Fifield and more updates.

Here is an interesting update that musician Fraser Fifield posted on his Facebook page. I thought that it would be great to share this post for everyone (with his permission of course) to read. And yes he gave his approval:


“A jig with no melody per se, perhaps.a wee pre referendum musing, feeling pensive at the time I think, but optimistic, stupidly. audio a bit a low side, but you can just turn it up, a fair bit. hope you like. it’s optimistic with a hint of certainty of getting done in and overtones of despair. ”

http:www.fraserfifield.com for more

My newsletter, to show unsubscribers just what they’re missing out on…

Welcome. Enough has happened in the life of this freelance musician, I feel, to warrant sharing an update for any vaguely interested, muse upon an existence which is pretty varied if not opulent, recount some highs and lows of the past year and so draw a line in the sand.

Then step over it and into the future. 2015 looks interesting, but first a non-chronological look at some of what was has been so far, 2014.

(Why? Because I like my work to remain current and vaguely in people’s consciousness at times, it’s healthy given my job, plus there’s good music involved which I’m genuinely happy to advertise).10387424_790070994388029_5241127912082493114_n

I’m happy to have contributed to a variety of nice recordings. Still unreleased, but soon to be, are 2 lovely records by Inge Thomson ‘Da Fishing Hands’ and Sophie Ramsay’s 2nd solo album, respectively. Already filtering through to discerning ears are records by Patsy Reid ‘The Brightest Path’ and Jim Sutherland aka Struileag aka Children of Smoke and one by me and Graeme Stephen lest I forget – Esotero, released this time last year, and still flying off the shelves. And there’s an unmixed record by David Milligan, Graeme Stephen and I, resting on a hard disk for some months now, quite happy, look forward to share that in due course.

A pleasure to play alongside and learn from (and travel, rehearse, eat, drink etc) Angus Lyon/Duncan Lyall Band, Gavin Marwick’s Band, Corrina Hewat’s Band, Graeme Stephen, Dave Milligan, Mr McFalls Chamber, Red Note Ensemble, Allan MacDonald’s ‘Bruce 700′, Big Big Sing, Jerry Donahue and crew, and all others..Thank you all, very much.

And the Eurovision song, for Montenegro, glorious, I didn’t see that one coming. Thanks Slobodan. A lovely song too… No, no I didn’t appear in the final, just the singer and a rollerskater did. I didn’t even leave my own flat…been doing a few bits of remote recording this year – just last week on a cover of You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC for a musician in USA. And also last week, in another studio right enough, a kind of sultry Marilyn Monroe version of the Proclaimers’ 500 Miles kind of gobsmacked me momentarily, but I regained composure and pitched in with everything I could blow or squeeze no problemo. They won’t mind me mentioning, it’s not meant for folks like you.

My week in Gavoi, Sardinia, in June, courtesy of the British Council, collaborating and making friends with fellow European musicians, was a small sunny highlight and felt perhaps like something of a holiday whilst being allowed to pursue an interest in making experimental music, without guilt. I’m not an experienced holiday-maker, some would argue a professional one, but they don’t know.

Sad news came regarding the untimely passing of Georgi Petrov this year. He’s missed. A virtuoso player of the Gadulka, he kindly played along with Nedyalko on my 2008 record Traces of Thrace. His warmth of character, stories, good company and the music which resulted was loved by all who knew him.

The musical year started with a chance to play on a couple of songs with Capercaillie on their 30th anniversary gig in the Glasgow Concert Hall. Having gone through teenage years listening to them a part of me felt a tiny bit fraudulent being on stage.. For the 15 mins on the night and only a day or two of anticipation beforehand in typical, loveable, Shaw style, this was really exciting. Later in the year if I hadn’t missed his call I could have got to play my whistle with Kylie Minogue.

The musical year actually started bang on the 1st with Graeme and I playing our part in Lau-Land Edinburgh, which was perfect, my guitarist colleague almost managed to sleep in, but didn’t.

What else…became increasingly politically charged re the Scottish referendum for a while, insulted quite a few people with contrasting views probably, got crushed, returned to normal.

The Martyn Bennett Prize for composition happened for the 2nd year in Edinburgh. This time I had the job of trying to play the finalist’s pieces along with 4 other musicians – fun and challenging. The standard was great but I would urge more composers to have a go – it’s restricted to Scottish based composers (I think) but that’s pretty much the only restriction. It’s got a 1st and 2nd prize of 2 and 1k respectively. It’s a kind of high-brow X factor, not to be taken overly seriously as competitions shouldn’t, but an event that can help motivate new ways to integrate elements of our traditional music in composed music. Fingers crossed it’ll run next year.

Now, looking over that line and beyond the approaching festival of consumerism, is Celtic Connections Festival 2015 and my pal Greg Lawson’s work to arrange Martyn Bennett’s great last album, Grit, for a large bespoke acoustic ensemble. As you do. To be performed in the festival’s opening concert, January 15th. All being well it will (must surely) be quite epic I imagine.

Inge Thomson’s Da Fishing Hands – Celtic Connections 23rd January, Glasgow. Inge and I are also beginning to play as a duo which I’m chuffed about. More info about this soon. But the Celtic Connections gig is a 5 piece and will surely be lovely. The 1st gig of this collection of music/song, on the tiny island of Fair Isle, May 2014, was one of my favourites. Inge and I also play Dec 12th in Kilbarchan, nr Glasgow.

A great opportunity has come along for me to join the tabla maestro Zakir Hussein’s ‘Pulses of the World’ project which will tour in Dubai and India at the beginning of February and in the USA in March. With Rakesh Chaurasia and Jean-Michel Viellon on flutes… shelves of my CD collection just came to life. Not that often I can reel off a tour list like this, so I’ll take this opportunity to:

13th March – Pabst Theater, Milwaulkee
14th March – Purdue University, Fort Wayne IN
15th March – Cullen Theater, Houston TX
17th March – Lisner Auditorium, Washington DC
20th March – Moore Theatre, Seattle
21st March – Chan Centre, Vancouver BC
22nd March – Boulder Centre, Boulder CO
27th March – Painted Bride Arts Centre, Philadelphia
28th March – Carnegie Hall, New York
29th March – Somerville Theater, Boston MA
31st March – Rio Theater, Santa Cruz CA
2nd April – Jazz Centre, San Francisco, CA
3rd April – Jazz Centre, San Francisco, CA

Audiences in the Scottish Highlands (mostly) will get a chance to hear my collaboration with Red Note Ensemble and Kuljit Bhamra (tabla) at the beginning of March. It was nice to meet and try some material out at the recent Sound Festival in Aberdeenshire. The Highland dates will be posted in due course.

I’ll leave it there, just before I begin to tell of a big bit of news, good news, which I had to read a few times when it arrived the other day. But that perhaps would turn this simple newsletter into something else, a short story at the least so, back soon on that.

Nice to write to you. Nothing to sell you directly but perhaps some CDs for Christmas presents, always an option, always a tenner.

Any correspondence always welcome.

All the best,

Fraser

 

www.fraserfifield.com

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ATHY “The Electric Harper”

Athy from Latin America.He’s got style, he’s got the funk. He plays the harp like no other. Mix the Spanish soul with Irish tradition and you get Athy Electric harper. He is passionate in propagating the harp as popular instrument and not confined inside the doors of classical standards. I made an interview with him before and he is down to earth and filled with a great sense of humour. It is good to see how his fans are multiplying year after year. He has toured around the world ad have performed with the greats in the world of traditional and contemporary music.He is embraced by fans of Jazz, World, Classical and Folk. Irish musicians hold him in high regard and well, hearing his recordings myself made me a fan!

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Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra – Sailing

For those who missed this track the day it came out, here it is. So lovely! Enjoy your weeks ahead friends.

 

Sahara:Soulful and Uplifting Sound from Australia.

One of the great success stories of the Australian music scene.

When you are needing something to spice up you morning cappuccino, or a companion to your Earl Grey tea at night Sahara is the perfect music for your best moments. With musicianship that has been distilled by time and space, you are an audience to the best duo  in this music category. Dave Long has one of the rare gorgeous male vocals in the tradition of Sting and Steve Winwood. I swear I could go on for hours and hours being hypnotized by tracks like  No Man’s Land, Higher Than High, and Make My Day.  I’m sure no one would question Trish long’s expertise with the sax and other instruments apart from the fact that she has a voice that could rival Celine Dion’s yet has the Irish gorgeousness.

According to their bio:

Sahara is the award winning singer/songwriter team Trish and Dave Long who met in their hometown Dublin in the eighties before migrating to Australia where they have toured extensively performing to sell out audiences. Before leaving Ireland they had performed in many of Dublin’s music venues eg. The Baggot Inn, The Meeting Place, Slattery’s, Dame Tavern and Trinity College, and alongside some of the Irish household names such as Brendan Grace, Red Hurley, Linda Martin, Errol Walsh, Freddie White, Declan Sinnott and Kieran Halpin.


I hear traces of  Van Morrison, Bruce Hornsby and Traffic. If you love something that teeters between classic folk/rock, Celtic and jazz then Sahara is a perfect soundtrack.
Trish Long: Sax, Vocals, Flute, Flageolet ,Recorder & Sequencing.
Dave Long: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards & Sequencing.