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

 

Here She Comes A Running by Dave Gunning

My friend Jimmy, introduced me to the music of Dave Gunning through this video I posted today. Here She Comes A Running is a wonderful song.  Since then I have checked out sources of information about him. I have a friend who lives in Pictou Nova Scotia.  I sent him a message just now to see if I can track this guy down. I already posted this video on Irish Country Music Radio forum on facebook. So far there have been positive responses.  I like the fact that he likes to tell stories of musicians he met along the way. Holding the attention of the audience between songs is an added talent!

http://www.davegunning.com/

http://www.myspace.com/davegunning

Update!!!

I was able to chat with Layne. He is working on a summer job, so late nights are the best time to catch him.  Here’s the part of the conversation. I didn’t want to make too much  editing because this is how we talk:

Hi Layne are you familiar with Dave Gunning? It says he is from Pictou Nova Scotia. So you might have heard of him. I am posting a lil something about him.

Yes! I know Dave! I recorded some demos in his studio before. He’s probably the nicest guy on the planet.

OMG that is awesome! I posted a little tribute about his music. How was it like meeting the guy?

It was really cool, he’s really laid back, and he’s an awesome producer. Really knows his stuff. I run into him from time to time, and he always remembers who I am, and he always asks about how gigs are going and things.

You are both from the same place right? Do you think the place itself brings out the best in people?

This community has some of the best music teachers I’ve ever met. I think that it’s largely the support and the help that so many people have with making music. It’s awesome.

Hmm…any idea what else do we need to add?

Not any I can think of. :S He did win some awards recently, a producer award I think. 

Layne is currently putting ideas for his new EP.

http://www.myspace.com/laynegreene

Recent update from Dave:

Hello everyone,
There’s lots of stuff happening right now. Just finishing up my new recording called “No More Pennies” as well as a children’s book based on the song “These Hands”.

The Kerrville Folk Festival was amazing again this year and I found it hard to leave there. Tim Mason, who helped put together the history booth at Kerrville, played me some incredible sound bites of folks recounting their final night spent with Stan Rogers at the festival. It was very powerful.

This Stanfest is going to be an extra special one for me because we’re shooting a video at the festival for “These Hands”. The video is being professional shot and produced but we’re also going to have some fun with it by to asking folks in the crowd to record videos using their Smart Phones. We’ll provide a link where folks can upload their videos and we’ll use them in the final edit of the video that we’re creating. We’re hoping to end up with some really cool things like shots of the crowd singing along, kids playing, people huggin’ and dancin’ and whatever neat things get captured during the concert and the festival in general.
See you all soon.
xo
Dave

Fiach Moriarty In The Studio Making A New Album

New album is coming along nicely. Off to studio today to record-Fiach

This video you see is just the beginning of what’s to come. This song is from his debut album “So I”. Fiach Moriarty is busy with the new studio album-no title available yet but I will keep you updated.

A one take/no edit video.
Just to explain this video a bit; myself and Bob Kelly came up with this concept about a year ago in Hourican’s bar on Leeson St after a conversation about Samuel Beckett. We wanted to do something a bit different and challenging that would not be easily done. So we hatched a plan to learn a song backwards and from there it grew and developed. We then decided to make it a walking video and mapped out a route. The route involved getting lucky with traffic lights, cars and indeed human traffic and all in one take as well. It also involved me walking backwards throughout. So what you see is the reverse of me walking and singing backwards, which makes me look (slightly) normal and everybody else in backwards mode? Lost? Thought so, watch the video and it will become clearer.

We enlisted the help of Aoife Scott, Philip Graham, Trish Fitzpatrick, Marcus Lamb, Déaglán Mac Samhráin, Rebecca Flynn and Enda Reilly to help us achieve what you see here.
So here ya go folks, ‘Lullabye’
Cast in order of appearance:-
Fiach Moriarty – Himself
Busker – Enda Reilly
Photographing fan – Trish Fitzpatrick
Ferryman – Deaglán Mac Samhráin
Dancer – Rebecca Flynn
Businessman – Marcus Lamb

Crew:-
Steadycam Operator – Philip Graham
Best Boy Grip – Aoife Scott
Producer/Director – Bob Kelly

Song appears on debut album ‘So i’ recorded and produced by Keith Lawless in Studio 2 Kinsealy.

Vocals, Guitar & Piano: Fiach Moriarty
Keys: Keith Lawless
Upright Bass: Steve Mogerley

Alex Ubago and Sharon Corr – Amarrado A Ti

The Corrs brought Irish folk/pop with Celtic styling to the masses all over the world. The formula works that top 40 radio stations easily warmed up to it. There was a point that the band was totally heard everywhere, in jeepneys, buses, cars and malls. When I tuned in to MTV I caught Andrea Corr’s seductive singing style and smile. Even people with little musical taste know who The Corrs are.

I read about the band in Time magazine in an article about Celtic music around the mid-late nineties. Of all the siblings, Sharon Corr was the one who caught my attention. Why? Because she’s  got the violin.  And here she is in her solo career, a duet with Spanish-Basque musician  Alex Ubago.

http://www.sharoncorr.com/