Upcoming Shows For The NYC ST. Patrick’s Day!

Upcoming Shows For The NYC ST. Patrick’s Day!

Wow the year is moving so fast. I am reminded by two movies I watched today: Passengers and The Space Between Us. Although I have something to say about both films, this isn’t the right place! And hey Asa Butterfield reminds me of my  singer-songwriter friend Layne Greene.
Saint Patrick’s Day Season is just a few days away and Anita Daly (who runs the amazing Daly Communications) is involved with these shows. So if you are around NYC, check these wonderful artists.
I am a huge fan of The Chieftains for decades and it is great to know that they are touring again. Also, Canadian couple Donnell Leahy and Natalie MacMaster will thrill their American fans with their own brand of Celtic music. I posted a review of their holiday album a few months ago and you can tell it was a great listening pleasure for me!
March 4th, the legendary Chieftains bring their 55th Anniversary Tour to Kupferberg Center at Queens College, Flushing NY @ 8:00pm 
 
“55 years, wow, where have they gone as we’re still going strong”, says Paddy Moloney, leader of the six-time Grammy Award winners, The Chieftains.  The Chieftains have been highly recognized for reinventing traditional Irish music on a contemporary and International scale.  The Chieftains were formed in Ireland in 1962 by Paddy Moloney, one of the top traditional folk musicians in Ireland and around the world. Their ability to transcend musical boundaries to blend tradition with modern music has notably hailed them as one of the most renowned and revered musical groups to this day. After more than fifty five years of making some of the most beautiful music in the world, The Chieftains’ music remains as fresh and relevant as when they first began.  Paddy Moloney says, “This tour will have all the musical force of what we’ve accumulated and achieved over the last 55 years, with a few extra gems thrown in for good measure”.
For Tickets Visit: www.ticketmaster.com  Discount Code CHIEFS
March 17Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy bring their family of fiddlers to Webster Hall, NYC for a special ST. PATRICK’S DAY performance of their ‘From Ireland to Cape Breton & Beyond’ tour @8:00pm
 
The first family of Celtic fiddlers, The husband and wife duo, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, command the stage with an explosive celebration of raw energy and passion that infuses their traditional heritage with their taste for the contemporary. With this show Natalie and Donnell will blend the legendary musical traditions of Ireland with that of their hometowns of Lakefield Ontario and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The show is a family affair including special performances with their children and highlights the unique talents, influences and stories of this amazing, growing clan through dancing, singing and, of course, world-class music making.  The couple is touring after their recent album release of ‘ONE’, possibly the best fiddle album ever recorded. 
 
For Tickets Visit: http://www.websterhall.com/
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I love instrumental music! I feel that… it just goes into your subconscious smoothly. Without the distraction of the lyrics, there is no room for intellectualized things. You just go for the cheese in the sandwich right away. Check this dude out. He’s based in Wales and he plays a hot guitar! I attached the link below where you can listen to his music. His name is Bedwyr Morgan.

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Have you heard of  McPEAKE ? www.facebook.com/mcpeakemusic and they have just released a new EP – Gypsies in the Wood. They put a fresh contemporary spin to traditional songs. For instance, Wild Mountain has that pop vibe with an almost R & B rendering. But it still manages to evoke that traditional vibe.
Their songs can be heard via their website: http://www.mcpeakemusic.com

A brief bio I got from their website:

Ask Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, or Bono about the roots of Irish Music, and they will point you to the McPeake Family!

The four generations of the McPeake Family are one of those rare Irish gems that have been whispered as ‘folk-royalty.’  Their beloved song “Wild Mountain Thyme” has been on the lips of music lovers across the globe – in Irish pubs, concert halls, and music festivals worldwide – since it was first performed in the late 1940s.  This hauntingly beautiful folk anthem has been covered by music superstars such as Glen Frey (The Eagles), Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan and Judy Collins, to name but a very few.

Francis McPeake I penned “Wild Mountain Thyme;” Francis McPeake II influenced Van Morrison, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan; Francis McPeake III taught John Lennon the Uilleann Pipes; and now Francis McPeake IV – who has worked with iconic Hollywood film companies, such as Walden Media, and Academy Award-winning actors – has formed the vibrant new band McPEAKE.

Figuring prominently in the EMMY Award-winning PBS Special “Music of Ireland,” McPEAKE is now taking the world of Celtic music by storm with its own contemporary brand of self-penned songs and compositions. Since their initial tour of USA in 2009, McPEAKE are now on the main stages of the USA festival circuit, performing regularly to audiences in excess 10,000 people. The new generation of this legendary family has developed a distinctive sound that is totally immersed in the popular culture of today, while maintaining a firm anchor in the influences of past generations.

McPEAKE’s unique blend of Indie, Country, Folk and Irish music attracts widely diverse audiences that might not otherwise commingle. Fans consistently use superlatives such as fresh, authentic, original, and dazzling to describe the experience that is – McPEAKE!

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Holiday Releases from Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy,The Gothard Sisters and SeaStar!

Holiday Releases from Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy,The Gothard Sisters and SeaStar!

Plus Kyle Carey’s Kickstarter update, The Celtic Social Club and Friday Frolics.

Well well well, lads and lassies my mailbox is buzzing! Music keeps coming in from all sides and this is the busiest holiday so far. There is just so much music to taste (with my ears of course). So first up…

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy.

It’s been a while since I heard major releases from these two Canadian artists. I never thought it would be a holiday album with their combined musical talents. I am yet to listen to A Celtic Family Christmas so I can post a reactionary entry.

Here’s an in-depth info from their website for those who are curious. Again my big thanks to Anita Daly for always pointing me to the great artists! The album is available from

 iTunes, Amazon and the  Linus label store. The latter also sells other Canadian Celtic music artists of you are curious. Really worth checking out!

“For the album A Celtic Family Christmas, we’ve taken some classic Christmas songs and flavored them with our own brand of Celtic tradition,” says Natalie MacMaster. “We have celebrated Christmas in a big way our entire lives and finally have recorded the music. What ease and joy with which it came pouring out!”  She continues. “Many Christmas songs have gorgeous melodies that stand strong as instrumental pieces and I want it to stay with our fans throughout the holidays and beyond.”

The album creates a counterbalance between both the traditional and modern. Donnell says, “I feel there is a lot of depth behind the melodies and meanings. What I love about this record are the layers of ancient instruments, weaving through and around one another to create a Celtic Christmas tapestry.”

Please visit http://www.acelticfamilychristmas.com or for additional information on Natalie MacMaster visit www.NatalieMacMaster.com and for information on Donnell Leahy visit www.DonnellLeahy.com

Sound great right? I’ve always considered these two as the ‘stalwarts’ of Celtic music. They are the force of nature in the industry, bringing old and new fans together with every release. I am so excited to listen to the album to let you know what I think.

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New Christmas Album: Falling Snow by The Gothard Sisters

Have you seen any of their YouTube videos? If you haven’t yet, you should. They are amazing stage performers and they combine their mastery of the visual as well as musical side of their careers. They have a new album out, just perfect for the holidays.

Falling Snow will be released in the middle of December (16th to be exact) and I am sure this will enchant listeners.

“It was high time for a new Christmas album featuring the songs we’ve been playing at the Christmas shows over the last few years – there were many great songs and arrangements just begging to be recorded,” says Greta Gothard.

“The music of Christmas is so beautiful, it has been a delight to work on these arrangements of eight classics – Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Still Still Still, Winter Wonderland, Skater’s Waltz, Good King Wenceslas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, French Carol (Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant) and Joy to the World, as well as including two new tunes that the band wrote – Christmas Flower and The Happy Elf.”

The press release adds that  although the sisters are known for their Celtic music styles, their western American heritage can be heard in their music. This has always been part of their specialty as a trio and the fusion works positively. Expect magical sounds wrapped in sweet melodies floating, bright as tinsel in the cold magical air! Christmas is coming!

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SeaStar is a blend of both the old and the new, the tranquil and passionate, the dramatic and playful.-Official band website.

Here’s another American band bringing to us cool music. They are called SeaStar. I love that name! They describe themselves as an original Celtic Folk band from Seattle.Seattle is also the original home of Grange music in the 90s, if you remember. The same place in the western United States with many Loreena McKennitt devotees.

There are four members  who are also friends ” who love to play music and share stories with others.” Another interesting background is that they already toured around Ireland, Scotland and other places in Europe.They even shared the stage with notable performers  like Dougie MacLean.

The new album is called Never Go Back. The band described the music as “Dusty dreams, salty seas, and a few silver linings tangle with powerful vocals, contagious melodies, and singable choruses.” They also promised to ” bring together a unique fusion of Celtic, Americana, Folk, and Bluegrass.”

Sounds like an interesting combination! I will post my reaction after I’ve listened to the whole album so watch out for that.

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Kyle Carey has reached her Kickstarter goal with 102% this week. This is really good news because it means her fans are passionate about what she does. I am so excited that the new album will happen and we are all part of it! Congratulations Kyle!

I received this link from the Facebook Celtic Music Fan page and it is an interesting concert held in Brittany. They are called The Celtic Social Club. And judging from the Reggae infused music, they are very inclusive  and they keep the listeners groovin.’ Just look at those people! Visit their website to know more.

 

Have you also heard of the Friday Frolics? They are a Celtic/Folk band from Barcelona Spain. I remember featuring a band from Spain before called Aulaga Folk so I feel a bit nostalgic.
Their  second album is called  Factor 3,has just been released. I haven’t heard the new album yet but I will post the entry here when I am done listening. Their Facebook page is right down below. Check out the amazing video. The music will blow you away. Sooo good!

facebook.com/FridayFrolics

 

Updates from Moya Brennan, Kyle Carey, The Ballyfermot Rakes and Jennifer Licko!

Updates from Moya Brennan, Kyle Carey, The Ballyfermot Rakes and Jennifer Licko!

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Moya Brennan

Album progress 

Moya Brennan has the spirit of rock n roll. Maybe not overtly as one would expect but it is there. As a longtime fan of Clannad, and have researched  the band’s history, I’d say it is only fitting that she would shine on her own. She might not be as hyper as Icelandic singer Bjork or outspoken as Tori Amos but the need for constant challenge and restlessness is there.She is also prolific and has an amazing body of work to boast!

Innovation is always part of her evolution as an artist. You can hear it in her melodies and arrangements. She does not shy away from collaborating with other big artists. Her associations with Schiller and Chicane brought forth good results. It exposed her voice to the younger audience who were not born yet when Clannad’s first UK top 40 hit “A Theme From Harry’s Game” shot into the mainstream.

Provisionally titled River of Songs, she picked her children to work with her in this album. I have heard a few snippets via Paul Jarvis’ Snapchat posts and I can say they are amazing! There is no shortage of experimentation there. And although 10 seconds cannot reveal everything, I sort of get the idea what it’s going to be. It is bold, big and contemporary. It will definitely appeal to the younger ears while still enchanting and captivating original Clannad fans.

Her son Paul Jarvis is doing interesting things with the guitar and some experimentation with other musical instruments(including technology). Aisling Jarvis(apart from making a name for herself as a singer-songwriter/ sound engineer) is manning the sonic landscape. She was also hired by Clannad for the same job with their recent album Nádúr.

Apart from her ability to play many musical instruments along with the harp, she is also a philanthropist and a mom. And we all know, moms are awesome!

The new Moya album will be released early next year and I am so excited!

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Kyle Carey…

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Kyle Carey combines Gaelic tunes and artfully crafted songwriting.

Have you been following the Kickstarter Project of singer-songwriter Kyle Carey? She has one week to go to fulfill her campaign in order to record a new album. Check it out The Art of Forgetting here:

I’d say she’s one of a kind. A true gift to the Celtic music community. Supporting her art means preserving the musical culture that we really love.

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From Dublin…

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The Ballyfermot Rakes

For those who love Irish folk in its true sense can now bask under the artistry of The Ballyfermot Rakes. A little bit about the guys:

The Ballyfermot Rakes are a folk duo who formed following many great sessions together in the vibrant Dublin traditional music scene.
Their intuitive ability to entertain pub crowds with folk songs and lively traditional dance music has already taken them around the country this summer, exciting audiences at festivals and venues.
They have quickly honed an exciting, dynamic set which draws influence from some of the great Irish folk groups such as Sweeney’s Men, The Dubliners and the Fureys.
As the name suggests, this duo of Darren Lynch (bouzouki, vocals) and Derek Copley (banjo) are natives of Ballyfermot in Dublin, and both take great pride and influence from the rich musical connection of the celebrated Furey and Keenan families, as well as from singers like Liam Weldon and Paddy Sweeney to name a few.Darren Lynch’s keen ear for a song, along with intricate bouzouki work, adds a rich, diverse layer to this folk outfit. The bouzouki is also the perfect compliment to the driving melodies of Derek Copley’s tenor banjo playing, which ranges from haunting airs to wild, foot-stomping jigs and reels.
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Christmas in in the air…
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The Lights of Christmas by Jennifer Licko featuring Patrick Mangan from Riverdance. 
I did a review of Sing by Jennifer Licko so I am sure you have an idea what she is capable of in musical terms. Glad she is releasing aholiday album called The Lights of Christmas. Here’s a snippet of what to expect from the new recording:

Album Information: 

Celtic Album of the Year winner (Celtic Music Radio), Jennifer Licko releases her first Christmas Album – The Lights of Christmas – via Sabas Records. The album features the Jennifer Licko band which is comprised of Riverdance Star, Patrick Mangan on fiddle and award winning Irish guitarist, Patsy O’Brien. The backbone of the band is Jennifer’s long time British producer, arranger and keyboardist; Bob Noble.  He has produced five of Jennifer’s seven albums including this release ‘The Lights of Christmas’ .  Vocal production took place at Remidi studios in Florida as well as Estudio Cajueira in Brazil with Grammy award winning sound engineer, Mauricio Cajueiro. 

“A true reminder of what the Christmas season means” says one music fan.  ’The Lights of Christmas’ is a follow up to The Jennifer Licko band’s extremely successful annual Celtic Christmas tour hailed by critics as one of the best Christmas traditions of the year. The album continues the theme with favorite Christmas carols, given the unique special celtic touch, and some traditional Irish Christmas songs that share traditions and stories of Celtic lands.

The Jennifer Licko band will be touring the Southeastern United States from Dec 8 – Dec 18th with their ‘Celtic Christmas’ concert in support of ‘The Lights of Christmas’ album. For more information and tour dates, please visit www.jenniferlicko.com 

Track List

1. Pat a Pan

2. The First Noel

3. Brightest and Best

4. Soilse na Nollag

5. The Holly and The Ivy

6. There is a Star

7. Children’s Winter

8. Silver Bells

9. Bread and Fishes

10. O Little Town Of Bethlehem/Hark The Herald Angels Sing 

11. Rebel Jesus

Awesome. Will be reviewing this as soon as I get a copy. Cheers!

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!

 

‘The Art of Forgetting’ – Kyle Carey’s New Album Kickstarter Campaign Has Launched!

‘The Art of Forgetting’ – Kyle Carey’s New Album Kickstarter Campaign Has Launched!

 

So it begins! Gaelic-Americana singer-songwriter Kyle Carey has launched her Kickstarter campaign with a lot in store for music lovers. This is going to be exciting. Given her track record, you will not be disappointed!

As you might have noticed, I mentioned this in my previous post. I am highly supportive of her music. If you have been following my posts you know that it goes back to her first album.

As evident in the video above, Carey only surrounds herself with the best in the industry. Sios Dhan An Abhainn was performed in the 2016 Celtic Connections. That video is an example of her evolution as an artist and it will be further showcased in ‘The Art of Forgetting.’

Here’s an exerpt of the project:

Now that I’ve carved out a niche for my transatlantic sound, I’m ready to add a new element, and so I’ll be heading down to Louisiana in January to record my third album The Art of Forgetting with seasoned and acclaimed producer Dirk Powell – who I’m truly honored to have the opportunity to work with.

Dirk and I have already discussed the ways in which we can present ‘Gaelic Americana’ with a slight Acadian twist, which includes conscripting the aid of veteran guitarist Sam Broussard of ‘Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys’ – an expert Cajun and alternate-tuning guitarist.

We’ll be laying the basic tracks in Dirk’s beautiful home-studio known as the ‘Cypress House’ and then through the winter – adding accompaniment from the finest Celtic and American musicians from both sides of the Atlantic.

With a wonderful graphic designer (Heidi Pitre!), exemplary backing musicians, mastering services already secured and a team of talented promoters to spread the word – I’m confident that this album will be some of my finest work, and make an even bigger splashthan its predecessors.

You can read more about the campaign by clicking the link below.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kylecarey/the-art-of-forgetting-kyle-careys-new-album

http://kck.st/2evLZcc

I am posting the pictures which are all approved by the artist.

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Pre-Halloween Music News

As the world turns, the music spins. We have music news as well as up and coming. Thank goodness it’s a weekend. The week went by in a blur. What have you been doing folks? If you ask me, been busy with domestic stuff as well as renewing old ties with friends. And nothing beats the moment of having the soundtrack of your life help you recall those moments in time when everything was perfect and you thought that moment was not going to end….

First up is the upcoming concert of fiddle maestro Maurice Lennon: The time: 31 October · 21:00 – 23:30. The venue: Traditional Harcourt Sessions, Harcourt Hotel, Harcourt St Dublin 2. Here’s the specific invite for those who are interested, additional info here:

Bank Holiday Monday Special Concert !

Tickets in Advance €10 cc Bookings to 01 4783677 No Fees charge Generous Student/Sen Citz Concessions with ID on night

Adm on door on night €12 . Visit the following website for more info:

http://www.mauricelennon.com/

http://taramusic.com/

I think this is an event not to be missed. I love his style and I am sure you want to bring your friends along for some craic after great music.

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Dornoch Castle hotel will be shaking with musical vibration and good vibes. This is going to be a fund raising headed by Scottish painter Paul Taggart.

Date:

04 November at 19:00 – Sunday, 04 March 2012 at 23:30

Venue:

Dornoch Castle Hotel

Castle Street

Dornoch, United Kingdom

Find more info in these links:

FB LINKS

RNLI – https://www.facebook.com/rnli

ESRA Dornoch Lifeboat – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dornoch-Firth-Lifeboat/118113264958560?ref=ts&sk=wall

Dornoch Castle Hotel – https://www.facebook.com/DornochCastle?sk=info

Whisky Collectors – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whisky-collector/327387785355?sk=wall

Corralach – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Corralach/278643255496013

‘Awash with the RNLI’ Paul Taggart fund-raising project – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Artist-Author-Paul-Taggart-Awash-with-the-RNLI-fund-raisers/150537801669098

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TRADITIONAL AND FOLK CONCERT for The RISE FOUNDATION

Yeah folks. Here’s another musical treat you shouldn’t miss. Lots of musicians coming over and playing for your listening pleasure.

Time:

07 November at 20:30 – 08 November at 00:30

Venue: Harcourt Hotel, 60 Harcourt St, Dublin 2 @ 8.30 pm

Check this info out:

RISE – (Recovery in a Safe Environment)

The RISE FOUNDATION is a registered charity founded by

Singer Frances Black in 2008 focused on the family of those

in addiction (alcohol, drugs,gambling, food etc…)

For further information and new Projects underway i.e Rathlin Island Project Email http://www.risefoundation.ie

SPECIAL GUESTS and all those listed are giving their services free

and ALL proceeds to The RISE FOUNDATION.

LIMITED NO OF TICKETS AT HOTEL €12 purchased in advance

from Hotel . Tickets are already selling prior to announcement of

Concert and its advised that you collect or book yours now.

cc Bookings to 01 4783677 office hours

ADM on NIGHT €15

All proceeds to The RISE FOUNDATION.

VERY SPECIAL GUESTS TO BE ANNOUNCED in coming days will join the following

Cathy Jordan DERVISH

Seamus Begley and friends,

Niamh Ni Charra,

Triona Marshall and Alyth Mc Cormack

Martin Tourish

Brenda Castles

Roisin O’Reil,

Aoife Scott Band

CIORRAS

Aimee Farrell Courtney and many many more to be added.

Some Traditional and Sean Nos Dancers will grace the floor during the Concert !

SPECIAL GUESTS to be announced during the week

Further info from harcourtsessions@gmail.com

Hmmm… some great names in music there. I am sure this will be a night to remember.

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Check out Tim Edey and Brendan Power with Ross Couper and Tom Oakes. Amazing musicians getting together to bring you excellent music.

Time:04 November at 20:00 – 05 November at 00:00

Venue:

The Cumberland Arms

James Place Street

Newcastle, United Kingdom

More info: Duo Tim Edey and Brendan Power with Scottish/Irish fiddle and guitar duo Ross Couper and Tom Oakes

Doors at 8pm

Gig to begin at 8.30pm

Tickets are £10 in advance

£12/£10 on the door

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Now check this nice tune from the group Scottish  Manran. Can’t get enough of the music. Vocally, instrumentally and concept wise…love them!!!!

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For those who don’t have a copy of Feels Like Home by The Celtic Tenors, I encourage you to get one. You will really, really enjoy the music. If you love traditional Irish music, Celtic Thunder, The High Kings, Anuna, and Gregorian, then you will love the combination in The Celtic Tenors.

The guys are:

MATTHEW GILSENAN 

Matthew Gilsenan was born into a hard-working farming family in North Meath. Steeped in the local musical traditions and raised by parents who shared a great love for music, from the great composers to obscure Irish folk, Matthew (along with all his siblings) was born to sing.

His classical training started in the Sisters of Mercy convent in Kells, Co.Meath, aged 10, and progressed to some of the great Irish and Scottish teachers. Although he ventured into opera and classical singing, Matthew never lost his love for the music of his youth, in particular the vibrant contemporary Irish music which is his great source of inspiration.

Matthew’s busy singing life ran in parallel with his engineering career, but his desire to sing was too strong, and ten years ago he turned to singing professionally.

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JAMES NELSON 

James Nelson, from Sligo, is a BA.,B.Mus (Hons) graduate from UCD, and a student of David Harper (UK), Britta Sundberg(SWE) & Edith Forrest (IRL).

Highlights from an oratorio rep of 60 works include Golgotha (Martin) in Bern&Zurich, and L’Enfance du Christ (Berlioz) alongside Katia Ricciarelli in Rome. More than 50 roles in opera include Pinkerton (Butterfly) in Kent, Lensky (Onegin), Alfredo (Traviata), Tichon (Katya) in Portugal, Basilio (Figaro) with Raymond Leppard for Scottish Opera, and roles for Opera Ireland, Opera Theatre Co, Singapore Lyric, New Israeli, and Wexford & Buxton Festivals.

James writes a column for the “Sligo Weekender”, and is part of an ongoing building project in Nairobi (Kenya) helping give AIDS orphans a second chance at life, as well as teaching them music&performing in concerts with the kids. A debut CD is available – “Cheryl’s Children – On Top of the World”.

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DARYL SIMPSON 

Daryl Simpson, from Omagh in Northern Ireland, studied singing with tenors Peter Alexander Wilson and Nicolai Gedda, and completed his Opera Masters Degree at the Alexander Gibson Opera School in Glasgow.

Daryl joined Opera Theatre Company’s “Young Associate Artist Scheme”, performing in many recitals and broadcasts, and in Monteverdi’s Coronation of Poppea. Daryl furthered his studies at Zurich’s “Internationales Opern Studio”, where he sang Tamino (Die Zauberflute), and roles in Les Mamelles de Tirusias (Poulenc) for Oper Zurich.

As well as performing worldwide on the concert platform, Daryl is also the Musical Director of the Omagh Community Youth Choir, which was set up in the wake of the Omagh atrocity to promote peace and reconciliation through music.

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COLM ROGAN – MUSICAL DIRECTOR. 

Colm Rogan was born in County Louth into a very musical family. He began piano lessons aged 8 and succeeded quickly, earning a distinction in his final grade by age 15. From there, Colm developed a love of all kinds of music including Pop, Blues and Rock, and dedicated time to becoming proficient in other instruments including guitar, bass and drums.

Colm went on to graduate from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth with a B.Mus (Hons) degree, specialising in composition. During his time at Maynooth, Colm was active in meeting Ireland’s foremost composers and his compositions have been performed by members of the RTE Symphony Orchestra.

After completing his studies at Maynooth, Colm spent time working as a live and recording artist before taking up the position of Musical Director of the Celtic Tenors.

Colm is thrilled about his future with the Celtic Tenors and is delighted to be touring as a vital part of the team.

From November to December, they will be in the US for concerts:

USA 2011
Date Venue time
25 Nov 11 Katherine Hepburn Theater, Old Saybrook, CT. 8pm
26 Nov 11 Mayo Center for PA, Morristown, NJ. 8pm
27 Nov 11 Strand Theatre, Zelienople, PA. 7.30pm
29 Nov 11 Hiwassee College, Madisonville,TN. 7.30pm
02 Dec 11 The Clarion,Brazosport College, Lake Jackson, Texas. 7.30pm
03 Dec 11 Piney Woods Arts Center, Crockett, TX.
07 Dec 11 McCain Auditorium, Manhattan, Kansas.
08 Dec 11 Lied Center, Lincoln, Nebraska. 7.30pm
09 Dec 11 Stiefel Center, Salina, Kansas. 8pm
10 Dec 11 Lied Center, Lawrence, Kansas. 7.30pm
11 Dec 11 Budweiser Events Center, Loveland, Colorado.
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Source of info:  http://www.celtic-tenors.com/

Fiona J Mackenzie’s US Tour, The Celtic Tenors and Story Girl!

It is lovely to hear news from Fiona J Mackenzie every now and then.  I still enjoy her last release “A Good Suit of Clothes”  and I think it is a must for those who love the beauty of Scottish Gaelic singing.  She will be in the US soon! Catch her live as she conducts Gaelic workshops and concerts next month-  concert in Atlanta, Tues 8 Nov- Java Monkey @8pm. Then in Albuquerque as follows- workshop, Sat 12 Apple Mountain Music @2pm. Concerts- Mon 14th – Main library and Cherry Hills Library- see http://www.ampconcerts.org/index.php for more updates. For those who are interested to get a copy of her albums, check this link: http://www.fionamackenzie.org/Recordings.html

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I received the Feels Like Home  CD  by The Celtic Tenors in the mail yesterday. Special thanks to my friend Anita Daly of Daly Communications for making Celtic music accessible to everybody. From the first track “Going Home , written by Mary Fahl up to the last track  “Westering Home”, The Celtic Tenors know how to captivate listeners with their amazing individual styles and vocal harmonies. Superb arrangements and awesome packaging. Love it to bits! I will make a comprehensive review soon and a possible interview with them.

Celtic Tenors Official Site: http://www.celtic-tenors.com/

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I received an early copy of Story Girl, the new album by The Gothard Sisters. The trio have what ti takes to really grow and conquer more ears in the industry because of their overwhelming talent. Thy can play, compose and dance. They are also photogenic. Story Girl is a perfect album for the season because it rings of winter. Their classical discipline also helps in making the album having that crossover appeal . Together with the CD is  this amazing note from Willow:

Hi Jose!

I hope you enjoy

our new music!

Here’s an early

copy of

“Story Girl”

for you

❤ Willow

Well, what can I say Willow? I love the album. It’s like chocolate  for a lonely day. It’s bright, cheerful and has that crystal sparkle. looking forward to get a story out of you and the rest 🙂

http://www.gothardsisters.weebly.com

Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Session A9, Kevin Henderson and Liam O’ Maonlai News

The post I was writing was wiped out after the 5th paragraph. Tsk tsk tsk!

It’s like the Woodstock of Celtic music. The only time of the year where musicians and audience from all over the world gather and celebrate a legacy that spans thousands of years.

Those who are curious about the upcoming Festival Interceltique de Lorient can go ahead and check out the myspace page. It will tell you who will be performing and also the venues which you might  want to check.

www.myspace.com/festivalinterceltique

….You can’t claim as a lover of Scottish music without knowing Session A9. This band has been around for quite sometime and has made beautiful music. Fiddler Charlie McKerron is also with Capercaillie

……Kevin Henderson filled the seat of Aly Bain in Boys of the Lough. He is also with Fiddler’s Bid. Watch out for this guy because he’s really awesome.

……Fans of Liam O’Maonlai and Hothouse Flowers will be delighted to catch them  at St. Johns Theatre, Listowel, Co. Kerry. The date : 20 August · 20:00 – 22:00. Get tickets  by calling +353 (0)68 22566.

……..Guitar & Instrumental Week is attended by students and visiting musicians. That’s between July 25th – July 30th, 2010….

……Got my first email from Weekly Inspiration based in Edinburgh. To subscribe, visit www.weeklyinspiration.co.uk

check this artwork:

This article is different from the one I am working on 15 minutes ago. Sigh.

…..

June 13:Music Pubs,Tours and Releases.

If you are on our way to Cork and wants to know which music bar to go to next, don’t forget to visit de Barras. Situated in Clonkilty the West of Cork,  it boasts a one of a kind venue that already housed artists like Christy Moore, John Spillane and new up and rising acts. Feel its ne of a kind intimate ambience and diverse acts that make de Barras stand out as one of the best pubs in Ireland. Quotes ” Mark Mc Devitt, (Irish Examiner 2000) It is the presence of an unlikely musical venue that makes Clonakilty truly special however, to cross the well worn threshold of the shy and rather retiring de Barras Folk Club, is to enter into a world full of possibilities. The possibility that anyone, literally anyone, might ramble in of the street and do a few tunes.” Contact: DeBarras, 55 Pearse St.,Clonakilty, West Cork, Ireland Phone : +353 (0)23 8833381 Booking Enquiries: +353 (0)23 8836549 TUES  email: eolas@debarra.ieCheck out  www.myspace.com/debarras and www.debarra.ie for this month’s gig guide……………………….There is one site directory that will tell you the best bars in town. www.irishpubs.com has not only the lists of categories, it also has a user friendly interface that will guide you while you click for the pubs near you. It says Your Guide to the best pubs in Ireland and Irish pubs around the world. It includes categories like Entertainment, live Music, Trad Music, Disco Bars. Sport, Food. Smoking facility, Accommodation,  Parking. Job opportunities etc.(Job opportunities? Hmmm…) You can even add your pub to the list or sell it!

And now for some music news……….

Clockwise from top: Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Alan Stivell, Pierrick Lemou and band, Lily Neill, Eddi Reader with band and Julie Fowlis (Pictures courtesy of their respective websites).


The 15th Hebridean Celtic Festival has a line up of interesting artists. From 14th to 17th of July, expect to be enchanted, possessed and stirred up by some of the most beautiful music in the world. Here are the artists to play in the event:

Runrig (Mainstage Saturday) Breabach Mainstage Saturday) Treacherous Orchestra (Mainstage Friday) Imelda May (Mainstage Friday) Julie  Fowlis (Mainstage Friday) Afro Celt Sound System (Mainstage Thursday) Blazin’ Fiddles (Mainstage Thursday) Adrian Edmondson & The Bad Shepherds (Mainstage Thursday) Iain Morrison’s Ceòl Mor / Little Music (An Lanntair Saturday) The Poozies (An Lanntair Friday) The Fox Hunt (Breasclete Wednesday / An Lanntair Thursday) Anniversary Concert (An Lanntair Wednesday 7.30pm) Oidhche Chiadain (An Lanntair Wednesday 3pm) Alasdair White & Jane Hepburn (An Lanntair Thursday 3pm) Mhairi Hall Trio (Harris, Thursday 8pm / An Lanntair, Friday 3pm) Mànran (Clan MacQuarrie, Friday 8pm) Ceilidh Bands Norrie acIver’s Dance Band (An Lanntair, Wednesday) Anna Fraser Dance Band (Breasclete, Wednesday)
Deoch an Dorus (Stornoway & Borve, Friday)

According to the site news: Thousands Expected as Festival Sales Reach Milestone

 

People from countries as far away as the USA, Canada and Australia are expected to visit Stornoway this summer as the Hebridean Celtic Festival announced it has already sold more tickets this year than it did for the entire event last year

Add HebCelt Fest in facebook follow the feeds and also in twitter and myspace

Julie Fowlis , our Scottish lass is in the midst of a  tour to promote her new album Uam. According to Folk Radio Uk, Uam is an extraordinary moving album. Her best and most beautiful work to date. Julie has also been made ambassador for Hebridean Celtic Festival according to her myspace blog:

The fabulous folks at the reknowned Hebridean Celtic Festival have been kind enough to make me an ambassador for the festival and one of the first three inductees to their newly formed Hall of Fame.

I am most chuffed and honoured.  See the official info below!  (then go and buy tickets – it’s a fab festival!!)  love Julie x

Sounds like she is not only winning our hearts, she is winning the whole of UK and the world. Bless you Julie! Check her blog and music at  www.myspace.com/juliefowlis and www.juliefowlis.com her tour schedules:

Cuirmean-ciùil

Tour Dates

12th Jun

St Albans
St Albans Arena Civic Centre St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3LD

13th Jun

Southwell
Southwell Folk Festival Nottinghamshire

15th Jun

Cardiff
St Davids Hall, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AH

17th Jun

London
Union Chapel, Compton Avenue, Canonbury, London N1 2XD

20th Jun

Salisbury
Salisbury City Hall Malthouse Lane Salisbury Wiltshire SP2 7TU

26th Jun

Sedburgh
Near Sedburgh, Cumbria
View further details

Add Julie on facebook, twitter and bebo.

Breton band TornaoD is in the middle of an exciting tour this month. This band from Kaligan France have been leaving audiences breathless with their astounding, dynamic energy such that, initially bemused, then won over, people are never indifferent. Their site describes the music: In an authentic meeting of tradition and modernity, TornaoD draw inspiration from a mixture of sources, from Alan Stivell to Metallica, Led Zeppelin to Denez Prigent, 70s rock side by side with 80s metal, New Age, the East, and more…From June to August, you can watch them live in the following venues:

http://events.myspace.com/Event/4844372/Festival-Celtic

If you don’t have an idea who Pierrick Lemou is, then you’ve missed out on life’s great musical pleasures. His fiddle plying is like no other because after all, he walks in two cultures: Breton style meets Irish influences. There is a softer and sweeter style in his playing. His arrangement is also eclectic in a sense that he derives from all sources, including the great jazz bassist Jaco Pastorious. I am personally getting a hang of him and he bleeds magi in every song. Check him out at   www.myspace.com/pierricklemou and  http://www.pierricklemou.com/Following the release of the much-awaited album Emerald, Alan Stivell is fully booked for the month of July and August. He also conducted an online chat with his fans (in Breton I guess) and
yes he will be on one of the biggest Celtic Festival this year ,

FESTIVAL INTERCELTIQUE LORIENT-ANORIANT, Breizh

Upcomming shows: http://events.myspace.com/Event/2301147/Alan-STIVELL

The amazing voice behind Danu Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh continues to soar the heights of musical success as her band promotes their new album “Seanchas” was released in April 2010. Listening to her full voice, it would be hard not to be loved. She has the mastery in the sean nos style of singing as well as great talents on the flute and tin-whistle. She is good friends with Scot Julie Fowlis  who collaborated with her on collaborated on the album “Dual”http://muireann.ie/biog.html . Expect to hear more from  Muireann .Please read   www.myspace.com/muireannmusic and muireann.ie . Beautiful photos courtesy of Bríd Ní Luasaigh

Follow her on facebook, and watch her on  youtube.

There is an amazing Celtic harpist in our midst that mixes music of all genres making the sound totally her own. Lily Neill has created such a stir in the music scene after the release of her debut album “Without Words “ in 2004. “Lily Neill speaks to us without words in this gentle and gracious recording. Once again the magic of the plucked string surrounds us and brings us to a place of special resonance and peace. There is something universal in this sound: no less than three of the tracks, for example, bring the Japanese Koto and Irish Harp together as if they were long lost cousins. A shared universal sonic gene comes through her fingers as if the music inside her is truly ancestral”.  Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, November 2006. www.myspace.com/lilyneill and www.LilyNeill.com

If you haven’t got the copy of John Spillane’s latest album (The Best of John Spillane, So Far, So Good, Like), then don’t miss out on this musical gem of an album.

John is a native of Cork, the county he lovingly describes as ‘the centre of the universe’, and it has been a huge influence on this singer/songwriter. Vocally, Spillane is quite unique with an almost sean nos like element and has been described as having a voice ‘full of honesty, commitment and sensitivity’.

…some of the most skillfully crafted, vividly realized songs anyone has written in Ireland over the past dozen years.’ Earle Hitchner, premier writer/reviewer for Irish Echo and The Wall Street Journal. www.johnspillane.com and   www.myspace.com/johnspillane .

With the release of the new record Love is the Way, we are greeted by a new Eddi Reader. This one is more breezy, country sounding and free spirited which is a departure from years of seeing her in those glasses and wild hair. I first became familiar with Eddi upon watching the Jools Holland show. Her voice is simply awesome and her personality is vibrant. As she says about the album: I have a passionate love of instinctive, beautiful songs. Also a slightly insane attachment to romantic chord structures. Words that speak of some universal humanist truth. That can be ‘thrown away’ with no regrets. This can be summed up in most of the songs on this record. Tour dates for this month and July:

Beverley Folk Festival
Flemingate, beverley
Friday 18th June 2010
West End Festival
Glasgow, Scotland
Tuesday 22nd June 2010
West End Festival
Glasgow, Scotland
Wednesday 23rd June 2010
Home Festival
Dartington, Devon
Saturday 26th June 2010
Draiocht Arts Centre
Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, Ireland
Saturday 10th July 2010
Glens Centre
County Leitrim, Ireland
Sunday 11th July 2010
Dunlewey Lakeside Centre
County Donegal, Ireland
Monday 12th July 2010
Bronte Music Club
Rathfriland, Ireland
Wednesday 14th July 2010
Celtic Fusion Festival
Castlewellan, County Down
Thursday 15th July 2010
An Droichead Centre
Belfast
Friday 16th July 2010

More on http://www.eddireader.co.uk/ and

www.myspace.com/eddireader

Clockwise from top: Lily Neill’s debut Without Words CD, The Best of John Spillane, Eddi Reader(Myspace) and Pierrick Lemou in motion.

Leo’s Tavern, Lilith Fair and More….

Leo’s Tavern. A concert (Save Our Scenery) that’s supposed to happen featuring Brian Kennedy, the Celtic Tenors and Frances Black  has been canceled. According to its facebook account: Due to a family bereavement the SOS concert on 3 June with Brian Kennedy, the Celtic Tenors and Frances Black has been canceled. Apologies for any inconvenience and tickets will be refunded, details of which will follow shortly. This is really a sad news . My prayers go to the Brennan family.

http://www.facebook.com/leostavern

***

Here is your guide to the Lilith Fair Tour of Sarah McLachlan

Displaying all 34 2010 Lilith Fair events

Sunday

Jun

27

1:00PM

McMahon Stadium
Calgary, AB
Thursday

Jul

01

3:00PM

Pitt Meadows Airport
Pitt Meadows, BC
Friday

Jul

02

3:00PM

The Amphitheater at Clark County
Ridgefield, W
Saturday

Jul

03

3:00PM

Gorge Amphitheatre
Quincy, WA
Monday

Jul

05

1:00PM

Shoreline Amphitheatre
Mountain View, CA
Wednesday

Jul

07

3:00PM

Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
Chula Vista, CA
Thursday

Jul

08

1:00PM

Cricket Wireless Pavilion
Phoenix, AZ
Friday

Jul

09

1:00PM

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino – Events Center
Las Vegas, NV
Friday

Jul

09

5:00PM

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino – Events Center
Las Vegas, NV
Saturday

Jul

10

3:00PM

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – Irvine Meadows
Irvine, CA
Monday

Jul

12

3:00PM

USANA Amphitheater
West Valley City, UT
Tuesday

Jul

13

2:30PM

Comfort Dental Amphitheater
Englewood, CO
Thursday

Jul

15

3:00PM

Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone
Bonner Springs, KS
Friday

Jul

16

3:00PM

Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St Louis
Maryland Heights, MO
Sunday

Jul

18

2:00PM

Canterbury Park
Shakopee, MN
Tuesday

Jul

20

3:00PM

Verizon Wireless Music Center IN
Noblesville, IN
Wednesday

Jul

21

1:00PM

DTE Energy Music Center
Clarkston, MI
Friday

Jul

23

12:00PM

Parc Jean-Drapeau
Montreal, QC
Friday

Jul

23

3:00PM

Bell Centre
Montreal, QC
Saturday

Jul

24

3:00PM

Molson Amphitheatre
Toronto, ON
Tuesday

Jul

27

3:00PM

Blossom Music Center
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Wednesday

Jul

28

3:00PM

Susquehanna Bank Center
Camden, NJ
Friday

Jul

30

3:00PM

Comcast Center
Mansfield, MA
Saturday

Jul

31

3:00PM

PNC Bank Arts Center
Holmdel, NJ
Sunday

Aug

01

3:00PM

Comcast Theatre
Hartford, CT
Wednesday

Aug

04

3:00PM

Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek
Raleigh, NC
Friday

Aug

06

3:00PM

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre NC
Charlotte, NC
Sunday

Aug

08

3:00PM

Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
Atlanta, GA
Tuesday

Aug

10

3:00PM

Cruzan Amphitheatre
West Palm Beach, FL
Wednesday

Aug

11

12:00PM

Ford Amphitheatre
Tampa Bay, FL
Thursday

Aug

12

3:00PM

Verizon Wireless Music Center AL
Pelham, AL
Sunday

Aug

15

3:00PM

Woodlands Pavilion-Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Spring, TX
Monday

Aug

16

3:00PM

Superpages.com Center
Dallas, TX

***

For those who haven’t seen the videos of Ashley MacIsaac, you can now check out the

video section here http://www.ashleymacisaac.com/videos It shows the old and new especially that controversial kilt flashing incident at the Conan O’Brien show.