Did You Listen To “Help Ye!” By Dónal McCague This Easter?

Did You Listen To “Help Ye!” By Dónal McCague This Easter?

The new track Help Ye! By Dónal McCague is now available to listen to via SoundCloud.It was uploaded last Friday. It is a traditional fiddle track which he is known for, with his distinctive style. No further information has been added yet but this could be a demo for a new album to come.1380272_668735993160715_590857466_n

In 2011 he released his début solo CD entitled Bits’n’Pieces.The album has fifteen exquisite tracks. Oisín Mac Diarmada wrote in the sleevenotes “Dónal has developed into a fiddler of great expressivity, playing music adorned with an incredible of detail and thought”.

Bits’ n’ Pieces  CD’s available to buy direct from Claddagh Records: http://claddaghrecords.com/WWW/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=3319

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Are you ready for a giant low-low D concertina?

Are you ready for a giant low-low D concertina?

  

Musician Cormac Begley, redefines the Traditional Irish musical instrument with the giant concertina.

This has been circulating round social media that it’s hard to ignore. Concertinas are awesome and I am glad there are artists who are pushing the limits in redesigning the instrument. I think traditional Irish music needs something like this because it adds variety to the mix. Just imagine new traditinal tunes that could be written just for it! Here’s the link to the original article: http://www.thedronenews.org/#!CORMAC-BEGLEY-UNVEILS-NEW-LOWLOW-D-CONCERTINA/c1kod/551c18fc0cf215f35a319658

February 2015 Celtic music updates.

February 2015 Celtic music updates.

..And so we have amazing tunes to start the big bang of Celtic music for 2015!

Welcome to my ‘conversational post’ where I talk like a normal person especially when I am not doing album reviews or interviews. 2015 brings us fantastic tunes in the trad and fusion department. Celtic music is colorful as it embraces many. I will

The winning image from the Bodojo Header competition by Matthew Olwell.

The winning image from the Bodojo Header competition by Matthew Olwell.

bring you fresh uploads from musicians you have not or probably heard already. But guess what they have in common? Yes it’s fantastic music. These are artists who dedicated their lives in perfecting their craft. They have released albums independently and I think their persistence is admirable. Especially in a world where ‘common’ or ‘ordinary’ music is praised. But think about it. What’s so great about common right? Why not spice up your life with something you seldom read up the Billboard or Rolling Stone reviews. Why be part of the herd when you can be different. Think different. Act different and dare to be you.

This is a fresh upload from Irish musician Enda Seery(with James Hughes). I think a new album is on the way. What do you think? I love this tune.

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I will be posting an album review of this amazing artist. He is John Breen. 

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Have a taste of Buan, the new album by Danu. Yes they have a new album out if you haven’t heard yet. It’s been creating quite a stir in the trad community these days. Worth a check! Thanks to Trad Connect for this link.

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Fans of Scottish artist Julie Fowlis will be pleased. She has released a new album called  GACH SGEUL – EVERY STORY. As always, her vocals are in between the haunting realm of Celtic music and the simplicity of indie pop. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/juliefowlis

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Bodhran Drum Solo – Abe Doron

Fans of bodhran music will love this! I love the bodhran and I am trying to be an expert but I guess I need more time. If you want to check out anything related to this instrument then be part of Bodojo https://www.facebook.com/groups/bodojo/?fref=ts

Have a great weekend everyone and more to follow!

ATLAS:The Tale of Two Cillians

ATLAS:The Tale of Two Cillians

They’ve come a long way – performing with their previous and current groups- and have now unveiled an exciting Irish trad duo.

It took two years in my not so accurate memory to witness something exciting from these two stars of traditional Irish music. I am taking about the two Cillians: Cillian King and Cillian Doheny. I know of King from Ealu and Doheny from Moxie. Both have devilish fingers that can tap through hundreds of notes in a few seconds. This agility matched with their youth and photogenic appeal can be intimidating. But this is also part of their assets. They are good to hear and good to look at. Such combination works!
I’ve listened to them perform in their other projects as well as solo artists.The passion for perfection is there. Give them any musical instrument and they will record tunes that will make angels weep. But you might say ATLAS is too young to make such revelation. If you’ve seen their performance in Musicophilia(August 2014) then you’d know what I am talking about. It’s savage and elegant. Everything that we love about traditional Irish music-of the instrumental kind.
I’ve learned that the project has been conceived back in 2009 and it’s only now that this has taken a front seat. Just goes to show that these artists are very serious about crafting and also the emphasis on artistic maturity. They call their style as more ambient folk but still has heavy leanings on traditional Irish music.
What makes these two lads interesting? Just perusing through their influences made me smile: Coldplay, Jon Hopkins,Hanz Zimmer, Chris Thile, Imogen Heap etc. And yeah I listen to these artists too and I am hoping to find their styles seep into one of their recordings.
ATLAS is exciting. It is already showing volcanic promise at its early stage of unveiling. Because they have already mastered their craft before putting this project to the fore makes me really passionate.

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Review of North Star a new album by Kyle Carey

Review of North Star a new album by Kyle Carey

Why a casual Celtic music fan would love North Star by singer/songwriter Kyle Carey-It has a universal appeal. 

Every album is a musical journey. The experience is always complete when one listens to all the tracks in the album (in the order they were recorded) instead shuffling.I think Kyle Carey has worked hard in recording every track in North Star. This is a follow -up to her highly acclaimed Monongah. Every nuance is given emphasis.

North star is a journey across continents. It has taken her to Scotland, in order to record the twelve tracks, each with its own story to tell. In the title track (Northern Star), she sings of how each point of light draws a constellation. Like the album itself, it is about seeing the bigger picture from the complexity of notes and melodies. We are part of each other. We are connected by this endless chain of histories. The album is a testament to the modern and ancient Celts. North Star Cover

Apart from the melodic merits, North Star has superb packaging and meticulous recording process.The music doesn’t intrude. Yes it draws you in because of the beautiful songs (this includes the instruments, the chords and yes the amazing voice of Kyle Carey). This is highly recommended for lovers of chill out pop and indie folk. Her sound has evolved. She blends Gaelic and English songs in this album seamlessly. Everything feels supple, organic and also healing.

The word north conjures many thoughts. One of them is the cold and quiet that an artist needs in the gestation period of his or her creativity. North Star is Polaris which has been embodied in a lot of myths. The fact that this album is produced by Seamus Egan proves that she is backed by stalwart talents.

North Star is one of the great releases of this decade. Everything works. Her vocals are more stretched and exploited as there are tracks where she lets those pipes loose. I love Sios Dhan An Abhainn. I got goose bumps listening to that song. It is my personal favorite. Across the Great Divide is also poignant and memorable.

And lastly…I love the album artwork. I think the images and overall design give justice to the feel of the album. Her persistence and professionalism has paid off. This started off as a crowdfunding project. This album proves that those who are passionate about this kind of music are out there! Now looking forward to the next album.

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I among those fascinated by the music of Breton singer/songwriter Cecile Corbel. It has something more to do with the melodies in her songs than her vocals or arrangements. Although it is worth noting that her arrangements are superb as well! She’s one of those artists celebrating the beauty of Breton music(the other one is Nolwenn Leroy). I think these two artists are the best  in terms of putting out Celtic music with pop appeal. She continues to dazzle our imagination with her Arthurian concept.

This is a captivating song called Entendez-vous from  La Fiancée. Would you agree it’s beautiful in all aspects?

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Celtic Colours Int’l Cape Breton, Canada

Celtic Colours continues to be an influential festival in North America. Great shows, fantastic artists and a wide array of genres (or colours). Here’s a Soundcloud sampler of music you get to hear when you attend the festival.

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I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Next, I will be writing about American group Soulsha: Afro-Celtic Funk, so watch out for this one.

Irish Trad:Bellow Bridge from Portland OR

Irish Trad:Bellow Bridge from Portland OR

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I suspect these musicians have been playing for years but only now that they formalized their line up. Bellow Bridge are based in Portland OR and they play traditional tunes. I discovered the band through piper Philip Dale whom I follow through soundcloud. It is great to hear traditional Irish music through this quartet. They are: Philip Dale, Sarah Emett,  Philip Hitt and Jason Hohl. Most of their soundcloud tunes are taken from live sessions.

Here’s what they say to the question: So why Bellow Bridge?

In the hunt for a name that every new band goes through, we tried on many for size, but nothing quite fit.  Eventually we found inspiration from the instruments we play.  The bellows of the Accordion and Uilleann Pipes, and the bridge of the Fiddle and Bouzouki. The four instruments that make up the core sound of the group.  Its a fitting name we think, as our intention from the start was to let the instruments be the stars.

My personal favorite is  Marie’s Wedding – Killarney Boys Of Pleasure -Live. Put them on your radar and hopefully we can hear an album from them soon.

Crapshooters are Making Good Music in Germany

This video reminds me of old photographs. These guys take their late 19th century fashion seriously!

Despite the title, the Crapshooters play a good blend of Traditional Irish, American Bluegrass and German folk. The introduction of bodhran, tin whistle, concertina, banjo, acoustic guitar, bass and various percussion will make you realize that they are very serious with their musical direction. There are slow airs that will move you. The harmony vocals are good. After four songs you will be convinced that these guys are actually shooting great music! Eire is one tune that I consider captivating.

http://www.myspace.com/thecrapshooters

You can fine them in facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crapshooters/233770759981989