Moving Up with Latitude-Rant Maggie Rant.

Moving Up with Latitude-Rant Maggie Rant.


Lindsay Schindler (fiddle, vocals)

Glen Dias (lead vocals, recorder and incidental percussion)

Barry James Payne (acoustic guitar, bouzouki, harmonica, vocals)

Rob Larose (drums & percussion)

Steve Clarke (electric and upright bass)

Daev Clysdale (Irish Flute, whistles, accordion).

Additional musicians have also included Alberto Suarez (drums & percussion), Graham Hargrove (drums & percussion), Jay Rheil (drums & percussion), Loretto Reid (Irish Flute, whistles, concertina & button accordion), Dave Nuttall (Irish whistles and wind instruments) and Pat O’Gorman (pipes, Irish flute and whistles).

So happy to finally get my hands on the newest CD of Rant Maggie Rant called Latitude. They made a good buzz prior to the album’s release. Such things are always helpful. The packaging is amazing. The liner notes and artwork give the album a premium feel. You can really tell a lot of thinking went into the conception of Latitude.

I am a big fan of the recorder. In fact the first wind instrument that I picked up was a soprano recorder. The tenor recorder on the other hand has a mellow and mellifluous sound. In the hands of an expert like Glen Diaz, the instrument becomes a powerful tool of universal expression. The best moments are when it goes into duet with Lindsay Schindler’s fiddle. Perhaps other bands have already tried this combination but this is the first time for me. And if you think their recorded music is amazing, you should also see their live shows. They are highly entertaining.

Huge appreciation goes Barry James Payne for providing the golden sound of the acoustic guitar and other instruments. Rob Larose kept everything lively and bombastic. And drums need the groovy bass of Steve Clark-and together they are incredible. Daev Clysdale on the other hand keeps that distinctive Irish feel. Check out the liner notes for details on additional musicians who appeared in this recording.

Their musical efforts did not go unnoticed. As a band, they already picked up the Australian Celtic Award  for International Artist of the Year in 2015. They also got the Jack Richardson Music Award for Traditional Folk/Roots and got nominated 9 times for Traditional Folk/Roots, World Music and Celtic Awards. Their eclectic music is the result of their individual artistic influences. Their website notes that their  sound is a fusion of Latin and Mediterranean rhythms, African hand drumming and percussion, blues/rock guitar backdrops, revved up tempos, unexpected time changes, and a unique rhythmic attack take their listeners on a journey to several cultural musical landmarks. 

The twelve tracks will satisfy your eclectic spirit. It’s like my experience drinking tea infused with different flavors. It always leaves you smiling. Latitude also arrived just  when I am rediscovering my love for World Music. Which reminds me that fans of Jazz and Latin music should get this album!

Interview with Luke Fraser of The Bombadils

Interview with Luke Fraser of The Bombadils

I wrote a post about The Bombadils working on a new album. What I haven’t told you os that I made an audio interview with Luke Fraser and it is finally here. This is the first audio interview with him and you can tell that we made a good team.

Luke is one of the four members that comprise The Bombadils. He plays the guitar, mandolin and other stringed instruments. He also played for Raftmen.

Original song written by the Bombadils. Copyright 2012. Filmed and recorded by Denis Martin at Stewart Hall – Point Claire, Montreal, Canada.

Order their CD online:

The Bombadils are:
Sarah Frank – fiddle, vocals
Luke Fraser – guitar, mandolin, vocals
Anh Phung – flute, Irish whistles, vocals
Evan Stewart – bass

Visit their website:

Become a fan on Facebook:

Book them at:


Here’s an old video of Luke Fraser and Kit Soden made four years ago, shot in Sutton farm in rural Quebec…



Two Available tracks from Wish by Poitin, via Soundcloud.

Two Available tracks from Wish by Poitin, via Soundcloud.


Yes you heard it right. The new album Wish by Poitin is finished. The main reason to rejoice.

Just when the thought the seas have calmed, Poitin brings out a new album called Wish. I am not sure about the details of the album yet, but I know the band have worked in recording tracks around Autumn last year. They uploaded two track via soundcloud: The Broomfield Wager and Toffee Jigs. The former is a vocal track showcasing the versatility of Jeremy King’s voice. It is also an acoustic and bodhran driven song. The latter is an instrumental collection of traditional tunes.

Like I said, I have not listened to the whole album yet, but I can tell this is something new. The poitin flavor is still there. But there is that slick and superb texture that I noticed in these two tracks. It is easy to judge that the album will sound this way. And this is an exciting release!

The album will be available everywhere and I will tell you more about it in my future post about the guys of Poitin.

Repost your Soundcloud!

Repost your Soundcloud!


A blog featuring John Breen, Fraser Fifield and TradConnect

It is great to realize that soundcloud has grown into a site where musicians and listeners can interact and repost music. Have you been reposting the music you heard too? I have been doing this today. I have not uploaded my podcast in soundcloud as I use mixcloud for that. But soundcloud is still the biggest site where you can reach many people.
From a mere(passive)listener of tracks you can actually make a difference by reposting. So you don’t have to be a blogger to influence people if you have a soundcloud account. Just share what you are listening to and the Internet will take care of the rest.

When bloggers like us experience a downtime in traffic and comments, we launch into conclusion that perhaps we have done something wrong to put our readers off. Maybe we are not doing good enough and that is why readers are going somewhere. Well, the truth is, you are wrong. For niche bloggers like me, it is expected that I will get specialized subscribers who are really passionate about Celtic music. I don’t expect pop listeners to check out what I post. This goes with other niche blogs out there.

Too many choices.

As new bloggers crop up everywhere, competition becomes deadly. The market is no longer dominated by those who are ‘stalwarts’ in this industry. Prepare for that. When you are doing video blogs or simply writing blogs, don’t be discouraged when you have lost view counts. This is normal. It happens to everyone. It’s even happening to Tech vlogger Chris Pirillo.

Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Are you afraid that if you do something different you will turn certain subscribers off? Don’t be. In fact it might be a good thing. Blogging is like marriage. There are times when a relationship hits plateau and you need to do something different to spice the relationship up.

Going back to soundcloud, I have discovered new posts today and I am sharing them with you. Yes this post is after all about soundclous. But if you get something helpful from by detour then good!


John Breen’s Compilation



I enjoyed many songs from John Breen. There is this simplicity in his way of delivering songs. Expect a range of songs going from simple to grand treatments. This time he compiled his own soundcloud playlist of what he thinks are his top artists.


Fraser Fifield Playlist

Here’s the Scottish master of eclecticism. This is a good introduction to what his music is all about. There are other amazing talents that share the spotlight with him, in these recordings.


TradConnect playlist:

If you are looking for something purely trad then this is the best site for that.



Brishen and Podcast #24

Brishen and Podcast #24

Photo by Ryan MacDonald

Quinn Bachand, lead guitar

Richard Moody, violin

Reuben Wier, rythm guitar & vocal

Joey Smith, upright bass.

It has long been regarded that Canada is a melting pot of the best traditional music in Europe. What I admire about the Victoria, BC quartet Brishen is how they combine Jazz with world and folk elements. When you are looking for a fusion between sumptuous Acadian folk, jazz and Celtic then you have to listen to them. I think of dancing Gypsies when I listen to any of their tracks. I am sure that to watch them live would be quite an experience. Take for instance the seventeen-year-old Quinn Bachand bringing his own fresh influences with the stalwarts of music like Richard Moody (violin)  Reuben Wier( rythm guitar & vocal)  and Joey Smith( upright bass). That’s really got to be something. I love the vocals of Ruben Weir. I think he will give Michael Buble a run for his money.

They identify with their influences Django Reindhard and Stephane Grappelli which I am yet to hear but I am sure some of you out there already know their music. I don’t know if it’s the hot chocolate in my system or something else but Coquette left me feeling high and jolly. There is something about early jazz music that touches the heart. To combine that with other musical styles prove to be a powerful mix. Quite addicting. Brishen is indeed the storm bringer of fantastic music.

Photo by Ryan MacDonald

Photo by Ryan MacDonald


The Baxteria Podcast #24

If you missed the tunes I played this Saturday, the tunes are up that link! Enjoy!

CLEGHORN-9 Minutes of Woo – House of Blues
Riverdance-Opening Scene
Dave Sheridan, Michael McCague & Donal McCague-The Independence Hornpipe
Enda Seery-Tatter Jack Walsh
Loreena MCKennitt-Ancient pines
Brian Kennedy-Carrickfergus
Capercaillie-The Tree
J.P. Kallio-River Takes You Over
The Alex MacNeil Quartet-Lullaby for Alice
Don BeeKeeper-Saviour
Alex Pardini-Sad Little King
Love Spirals Downwards-City Moon

The Passing of Pete Seeger and Podcast #22

The Passing of Pete Seeger and Podcast #22

My late mom used to sing me a song called Where Have All the Flowers Gone. It’s such a sweet poignant song that reminds me of dusk and summer, of petals getting blown to nowhere. It was not decades later when I learned it’s written by the late Pete Seeger who passed away today. I heard a lot of his songs (without knowing him) because I was raised by people who grew up after the Second World War. So my upbringing was a combination of the old ways and the love for exploring new things. Judy Collins was also a popular artist in my childhood. So I get to hear Turn Turn Turn a many times in the house. My cousins were huge fans of folk music.

I started venturing into Celtic music in my late teens. He was associated with banjo and 12-string guitar. He has a continuing powerful influence   to other singer/songwriters with  names like Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Donovan, , Nanci Griffith, Indigo Girls, Tom Paxton, Bonnie Raitt, Martin Simpson, and Bruce Springsteen are associated with him.

I think his impact to me is more as a songwriter than a performer. His songs get better with time. The distinctive folk elements in his songs tell you: this is how to write a song. Pete Seeger will be sorely missed. It’s characteristic of people who carve their names in everyone’s heart. Life is a collage of all things that you’ve heard, seen and felt. His songs were the songs of the best years of my life. How could I let those go?

When I feel this heaviness in my heart I go into this little corner and listen to the songs of my childhood. And like magic the pain disappears. Where Have All the Flowers Gone indeed? Life is a mystery that is temporary. But memories are forever.




The Baxteria Podcast #22

Podcast 22 comes with a live concert featuring The Gloaming.
Track listing:
The Gloaming-Set at the National Concert Hall of Ireland(Live concert)
Robbie MacInnis-Massacre of Glencoe (ft. Robbie MacInnis)
Eivør-Hounds Of Love
BrowneProject-Silver Sun
J.P. Kallio-Time
Once A Tree-Light Me Up
Paula-I Could Be
Dadawa-Sister Drum

The Log Drivers: Folk and Modern Beauty

The Log Drivers: Folk and Modern Beauty

The Log Drivers

The Log Drivers deliver another fresh sound from Canada. They combine that love for traditional style and modern sensibility to create a kind of sound that teeters between the ancient and the urban. Even fiddler and singer Julie Fitzgerald maintains that jazzy vibe with an understated vocal delivery that comes out elegant and timeless. I already know Spencer Murray ( Flute, Pipes) through his other projects. Nate Douglas (Guitar) maintains that wispy and vigorous playing which he does with his other band The High Drive.

The debut self-titled album combines influences from folk, jazz, world and even pop. It sounds rich as they add the other instrument to the mix including bagpipes, drums and various strings. It has to be noted that Canada is blooming with great talents in all genres. The Log Drivers are riding the waves of beautiful independent music that will appeal to all types of listeners.  Their music is energetic without being intrusive. Their talents are sublime. You will love Blue Reel, A Miner’s Life and more. So better get their debut album quick! You can sample their sound here:


A Taste of Cornish Music and Language:She’s to Blame “Dhe Vlamya Yw Hi” by Phil Knight  

Softly caressing her hair,
As the sun was rising, before my love had awakened,
Did I see on looking closely
That she was silently weeping, hiding her misery?
Tear turned to frown,
And when I spoke… in one leap,

Gone was my love, my sweetheart,
No doubt you would recognise her well.
No wonder, although my heart’s completely broken,

She has left me;
I long for her.
She has left me;
She wants to forget.
She has left me
And it seems I don’t matter
But she is to blame.

When I looked up she had gone,
No longer could I see her, only her track in the yellow corn.
The dawn sky was red,
The sun sparkling through leaves and a cow was lowing.
Though she had disappeared from sight,
Her anger and cruel words were still with me.

Gone was my love, my sweetheart.
No doubt you would recognise her well.
No wonder, although my heart’s completely broken,

She has left me;
I long for her.
She has left me;
She wants to forget.
She has left me
And it seems I don’t matter
But she is to blame.
But she is to blame.
But she is to blame.
But she is to blame.

Lyrics printed with permission


Check this out: Top 10 Irish Traditional Album Covers of 2013


Here’s the link to the full article:


Traditional Music: The Music of the People

Traditional Music: The Music of the People

A set of reels recorded for the fleadh program in Cavan 2012. Thanks to Brian Cunningham for sharing this video.

We can’t deny that traditional music is the music of communion. Be it Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Breton or any music of the seven Celtic nations, there is always that sense of community whenever one goes to these sessions. Unlike the ‘star versus the spectator’ culture of pop music, Celtic music encourages the audience to participate-be it dancing or playing. It is after all the music of the people.

As someone who is trying to learn how to play traditional Irish music instruments, I feel that sense of connection to the culture through these instruments. As if the music is telling me that it doesn’t matter if I am no expert but to play is to be part of something timeless.

My bodhran and tin whistle.

My bodhran and tin whistle.

I think there are more and more music schools being built and organized because the demand to learn traditional music is increasing. People can just buy a bodhran, Celtic harp, tin whistle or fiddle from ebay.  Everything you need is there. You just have to know where to look. Even youtube offers free lessons. You just have to be enthusiastic enough to learn how to play.

Jeremy King of Poitin mentioned that his son is learning the accordion at such an early age. I mentioned in my previous post that there seems to be a resurgence of interest in the accordion. Scottish singer/harpist Anna McLuckie has wowed the mainstream audience with her unique performance of a mainstream tune. People now know that her musical upbringing is rooted in traditional music.

As I have mentioned above, traditional music is the music of the people. Wherever you are in the world, when it touches you, then you belong.

Is it True?Accordions Are Making A Comeback in the Mainstream?

Is it True?Accordions Are Making A Comeback in the Mainstream?

I woke up experiencing the coldest morning in a tropical country ever. Philippines might not be experiencing polar vortex like the other countries but this is the coldest brrrr! An interesting headline in the Atlantic caught my attention. I still care about mainstream music. And when an instrument that isn’t really mainstream gains popularity among those who don’t normally listen to true/beautiful/complex/traditional music then it’s exciting.

Waste Ventura of Will Tun and The Wasters photo by Pietro Di Nardo

Waste Ventura of Will Tun and The Wasters photo by Pietro Di Nardo

Have you seen the video of Full Set? How about Jamie Smith, Martin Tourish and Micheal Curran?Traditional bands are really great in representing themselves to the world. I would not be surprise if a couple of years from now, being in a traditional Irish/Scottish/Welsh/Cornish/Breton etc band would be considered fashionable. But I think that’s how it is in the music world. When there is an overload of the same style, people will always want something different. Kids grow up and they discover new music. I have observed this through the years. Artists who maintain longevity aren’t those who started their careers as teeny boppers.

I guess the popularity of traditional instruments are partly due to online music courses. For example you can learn any instrument when you go to  at €19.95 for full membership access. There are more and more traditional music sites offering  ways to learn any traditional instrument of your choice. Celtic music is a community affair. We learn to play the instruments so we can take part in sessions.

So when is the bodhran going to be a ‘hot’ instrument again?

Young Trad, Sweet Trad.

Young Trad, Sweet Trad.

Featuring: Moxie with the music video What Lies Behind the Wall, JP Trio and Last Track from Lyon France.



Perhaps the title of this post might come as a surprise but I took this line from an old mushy song from the 60s simply because youth is indeed a sweet time to experiment and to be insanely in love not just with people but with music. Yes this is not a post about love or love songs but about the love for traditional Irish music or any forms of music in the same musical culture.

January is not over yet but we have a huge batch of artists whose flowering talents are just waiting to be plucked and savoured to your satisfaction.  We start this off with the world debut of What Lies Behind the Wall by Irish trad band Moxie. Just go to the search bar on the upper right of this side beside the header and type Moxie or Cillian Doheny and I am sure you will have links to interesting articles I wrote about this band.

What Lies Behind the Wall by Moxie.

Cillian Doheny Tenor Banjo / Nylon & Steel String Guitar / Mandola
Jos Kelly Button Accordian / Keyboard
Darren Roche Button Accordian / Nylon String Guitar
Ted Kelly Tenor Banjo / Tenor Guitar / Mandolin
Paddy Hazelton Percussion

Shot by Peter Clyne;

Energy, style and craft: These are things that make any song captivating. Moxie made an electrifying debut with the music video to their track What Lies Behind the Wall. The track is already stunning on its own. Add a stylish black and white video and what you get is a great package of visual and aural treat. This is what a good trad video should be. Straight to the point, elegant and the focus is the music. Peter Clyne’s artistic vision captures the band at their most stunning: playing live music. I like that part in 0:50 when percussionist Paddy Hazelton starts tapping. It is like a build up of suspense only to be consummated when the band  dips into heavier playing at 2:20. The whole ‘rain of notes’ element is brought about by Ted Kelly’s Tenor Banjo. Jos Kelly, Darren Roche all deliver exceptional playing along with their telegenic talents. And Cillian Doheny is rocking!  I will quote from my previous review I wrote about this track:

What Lies Behind the Wall has notes tapping with suspense at the beginning of the track. It is like watching a flower bloom in hyper speed. Like all remarkable Irish bands playing traditional music, Moxie offers fresh approach to a tradition that has been around and is determined to stay.

Their sound is vibrant and the arrangements are intricate. This is traditional music with a cool twist. Sophisticated style blends with rustic simplicity making them one of a kind Irish band.

Band Bio:

Formed in late 2011 as part of the annual folk festival, Sligo Live, Moxie are a Sligo and Limerick based band that formed through years of musical friendships from playing together at certain festivals around Ireland. The band incorporates Irish music with other genres such as folk, rock and new age bluegrass. A vibrant new band playing an exciting mix of traditional based compositions with richly developed layers of fantastic harmony. The band includes JPTrio members, Ted Kelly (banjo, tenor guitar, vocals), Jos Kelly (button accordion, keyboard, vocals), Paddy Hazleton (percussion, vocals) and Limerick based musicians, accordion and melodeon powerhouse Darren Roche and virtuoso banjo & guitar player Cillian Doheny.



Introducing: JP Trio


Fresh, hypnotic and amazing. The JP Trio is definitely you need to listen to. They describe their sound as Celtic roots funk. According to Cillian Doheny who recommended this trio: “They are so talented. Some of the members are in Moxie but its a totally different type of music. ” So let is get to know them better. JPTrio is composed of  brothers Ted ( on banjo, tenor guitar and vocals) and Jos (button accordion, keyboards and vocals) Kelly, Paddy Hazleton (percussion and vocals), joined by Niamh Farrell for the lead vocals. JPTrio amazing fresh trad sounds incorporating their personal influences. According to their bio, all three musicians are founding members of Spraoi. They claim to be  influenced by jazz along with traditional music. These influences result to a fusion  which is described by critics as  unique and exciting. Trivia: They recently won a Danny Kyle award at Celtic Connections.



Last Track from Lyon France

Last Track: Jean Damei and Jean-Christophe Morel

Last Track: Jean Damei and Jean-Christophe Morel

From Ireland, we move to Lyon which is the place of good Irish music in France. Lyon is also the hometown of the band Shelta. More and more French Celtic musicians are making this huge impact in the trad scene for both old and young. Last Track is one of them. The duo are comprise of Jean Damei and Jean-Christophe Morel. Their meeting created a very strong bond of friendship and musical partnership. They are influenced by different styles including jazz and funk. Looking and listening to their live performances will tell you that they are musically matured and sophisticated.  You can listen to their tracks and watch videos via their official website :

The Celtic Music Fan would like to thank Cillian Doheny for this post. He’s the one who recommended these bands and for that A big thank you to him!