Tag Archives: Celtic music

Siobhan Miller’s Strata

I first encountered Siobhan Miller at Cropredy ten years ago. She was in a duo with Jeana Leslie and together they had won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award that year, and that also gave them a spot at … Continue reading

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Various Artists’ The Ultimate Guide to Welsh Folk

When talking Celtic music we often think Irish or Scottish, or maybe music from Britanny. But remember Wales also claims Celtic roots, though their language is not from the same branch of Celtic languages as the Gaelic of Scotland and … Continue reading

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Battlefield Band’s The Producer’s Choice

In the autumn of 2016 Battlefiend Band were inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in recognition of their services to Scottish music. The only question is why it took so long. Battlefield were formed in 1969 in … Continue reading

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Transatlantic Sessions to perform at 2017 MerleFest

The Transatlantic Sessions tour will be part of the 30th anniversary MerleFest in April. The Transatlantic Sessions is a series of musical productions that brings together innovative and iconic U.K. artists with the best American roots artists, under the musical … Continue reading

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Blazin’ Fiddles’ Blazin’ Fiddles Live

When our Editor and Publisher (also known as “the Chief”) first broached the idea of my reviewing a Blazin’ Fiddles release, I was hesitant. “A whole orchestra?” said I. “Of fiddles?” (Well, that’s what he said it was.) Somehow I … Continue reading

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Dàimh’s Moidart to Mabou

Pat Simmonds penned this review I first heard about this band through a bit of buzz that was coming out of Cape Breton a few years ago. I suppose that it was only a matter of time before the concept of … Continue reading

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Loreena McKennitt’s A Midwinter Night’s Dream

Patrick O’Donnell penned this review. If you looked up the word ‘ethereal’ in the oversized leather-bound dictionary in the Green Man library, you’d probably find the following definitions: 1. light, airy, or tenuous: an ethereal world created through the poetic … Continue reading

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Laura Risk and Jacqueline Schwab’s Celtic Dialogue 

Dynamic nuances, crisp, clear tone and appropriately stylistic bowing characterize Laura Risk’s fiddle lines on her newest recording, Celtic Dialogue. Risk’s pure and gentle touch on the fiddle makes it sound like she is caressing the music from her instrument rather … Continue reading

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Maighread Ni Dhomhnaill, Triona Ni Dhomhnaill and Donal Lunny’s Idir an Da Sholas (Between the Two Lights)

Brendan Foreman penned this review. One half of this duo of sisters is actually quite prominent in the world of Irish traditional music. Triona Dhomhnaill was a founding member of three of the most important modern-day Celtic musical groups: the Bothy … Continue reading

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A Nightnoise Retrospective

Nightnoise were a musical quartet whose career spanned the better part of two decades. Although three quarters of the band came from Ireland, the group was based in Portland, Oregon. Despite backgrounds in traditional Irish music, classical, and jazz, the … Continue reading

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Nightnoise’s The White Horse Sessions 

I spent years looking for this album after Reynard, a bandmate of mine in Mouse in the Cupboard, said it was an album that I should hear. (He heard it on some late-night Celtic radio programme, but couldn’t find a … Continue reading

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Tannahill Weavers’ Epona 

Chuck Lipsig penned this review. That’s really all anyone needs to know. But it doesn’t make a good review, does it? How about this then? In the Tannahills’ quarter-century history, this is the 14th album released by the band. According to … Continue reading

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 Tannahill Weavers’ Alchemy

Chuck Lipsig penned this review. Twenty-seven years, thirteen original albums, and two compilations: That’s the running total for The Tannahill Weavers with their new CD, Alchemy. With the present line-up of Roy Gullane (Vocals, guitar), John Martin (Vocals, fiddle), Duncan Nicholson … Continue reading

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Tannahill Weavers’ Live & in Session 

Paul Brandon penned this review. It’s Midwinter here in Brisbane, which means in reality, it’s still generally a good deal warmer than in Britain. I’m sitting here, my Winnie the Pooh cup full to spilling with steaming coffee (Mandehling single origin … Continue reading

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Katie McNally Trio’s The Boston States

For decades, expatriate Cape Breton Islanders lived and worked in Boston because there were few jobs on the Nova Scotia island they called home. Many of them, in addition to working factory jobs of one kind and another, were excellent … Continue reading

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 Paul Cranford and Friends’ The Lighthouse

Naomi de Bruyn Paul Cranford is a lighthouse keeper, and that is where the title for this disc came from. It is filled with enchanting Cape Breton Fiddle Music. There are a total of 57 tunes on this disc, and … Continue reading

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The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc’s Deliverance

Deliverance, the second release by The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, brims with life, energy, a lot of joy and a little bit of sorrow, all poured out in the delightful strains of fiddle music from three different but related traditions. The … Continue reading

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Elias Alexander & Bywater Band’s Bywater

Elias Alexander hails from Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. But this piper, singer and songwriter has lived in a lot of places including Scotland, where he apparently worked as a tree planter, and New Orleans, and Vermont where … Continue reading

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Martin Stokes and Phillip V. Bohlman’s Celtic Modern: Music at the Global Fringe 

Celtic Modern, subtitled Music at the Global Fringe, examines the phenomenon that is Celtic music in its many varied strands. While on the surface this volume looks at Celtic music from a number of different standpoints, the content is academically inclined, … Continue reading

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MacKeel’s Plaid 

Nova Scotia’s MacKeel have figured out a way to be heard over the din of the Maritimes’ many Celtic bands: Turn it up. On Plaid, the Celt-rock newcomers’ debut album, fiddles and bagpipes intertwine with distorted electric guitars and punchy drums.It’s … Continue reading

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Ashley MacIsaac’s  hi, how are you today?

Duke Egbert wrote this review. Occasionally you can tell almost everything you need to know about a CD from its cover art — or, in the case of Ashley MacIsaac’sAmerican debut CD, the artist’s photo. In full colour glory on … Continue reading

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McKrells’ Merry Christmas

Chuck Lipsig penned this review, Based in Saratoga Springs, NY, the McKrells are a bluegrass group comprised (in this recording) of Kevin McKrell (lead vocals, readings), Chris “Bullets” Leske (banjo, mandolin, and guitar), Craig “Laz” Vance (Flatpick guitar), Brian Melick (percussion), … Continue reading

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Various Artists’ A Thistle and Shamrock Christmas Ceilidh

Chuck Lipsig penned this review. Despite its title, I hesitate to call A Thistle & Shamrock Christmas Ceilidh a Christmas album. The liner notes describe a Christmas eve shindig, ending with the announcement that the local radio station would be playing a program … Continue reading

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Victor Prieto’s The Three Voices

Victor Prieto was born in the town of Ourense in Galicia, an ancient Celtic homeland in Spain. But he grew up partially in Venezuela and has lived in New York for the past 20 years. His mother insisted that he … Continue reading

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Boiled in Lead’s 17 March 2001

Boiled in Lead are, without any doubt, one of the best live Celtic/punk/balkan fusion bands on the planet bar none. Confused yet? Well, let’s have Chuck Lipsig in his essential Boiled In Lead omnibus give a go at explaining them: ‘The problem … Continue reading

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Boiled in Lead’s Silver 

Before commenting on Boiled in Lead’s Silver, CD, let me stress one point: “punk” is a general descriptive term denoting, most often, a subgenre. Thus we have celtopunk, Christian punk, glam punk, and any number of other punks in music. In … Continue reading

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Boiled in Lead’s Alloy 

Gut reaction: keeper. Alloy is the “Greatest Hits” collection of Boiled in Lead,a collection of tracks mostly culled from previous albums leavenedwith a few previously unreleased tunes and new versions. This isquite a ride, since Boiled in Lead has evolved through … Continue reading

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Boiled in Lead’s The First Decade of Recordings

Chuck Lipsig penned this review. The problem when writing about Boiled in Lead is how to describe them. Rock and Roll? Punk? Blues? Jazz? Traditional? Which tradition? They’ve done everything from Irish to Albanian to Vietnamese to American Traditional. Indeed, there … Continue reading

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Ten Strings and a Goat Skin’s Auprès du Poêle

The second album by this über-talented trio from Canada’s Prince Edward Island province builds on their debut Corbeau which ranked high on the international traditional music charts. Auprès du Poêle (“around the woodstove”) starts off with a run of pretty … Continue reading

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 Whirligig’s Spin

Ed Dale penned this review. It is really a delight to listen to the first 10 seconds of a new CD and know that it’s a keeper. Whirligig’s second CD, hopefully to be followed by many more, is a 50-minute gas; … Continue reading

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Kila’s Tóg É Go Bog É

I’ve had this particular album sitting on my shelf and in my CD player for several months now. This is a lot longer than I usually let things sit, but it couldn’t be helped. You see, I couldn’t write any … Continue reading

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Danú’s Think Before You Think 

It’s a great pleasure to begin the a new year with an album of Irish music that is filled with stellar arrangements, tunes and songs that don’t pop up on every second disc, fine musicianship and a one of those … Continue reading

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Interview with Danú at the Winnipeg Folk Festival

I spoke with Ciarán Ó Gealbháin (vocalist) and Donnchadh Gough (bodhrán and uilleann pipes) about the influences on Danú’s music, and the blending of new sounds with the old traditions. Their main stage set on Friday evening was one of the high … Continue reading

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Solas at Rosebud

Patrick O’Donnell penned this review. I went to bed with their music in my head, and when I woke up the next morning, it was still there. That’s just how good Solas’ March 21 show at Rosebud in Pittsburgh was. Strains of … Continue reading

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Phil Cunningham, Kevin Burke, Susan McKeown, Aidan Brennan, Seamus Egan, and Solas’ Memorial Concert for Johnny Cunningham

Phil Cunningham sat alone on the large stage, eyes closed, as he wrung a slow, sad air from his custom Borsini accordion in memory of his brother Johnny. The Faerieworlds Festival crowd of several hundred, which moments before had been … Continue reading

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Shooglenifty’s Arms Dealer’s Daughter

As far as I can tell, every little hamlet harbours some rad trad types with lots of electronic equipment in their garages. Hell, some of them have even invented instruments, as did Garry Finlayson of Shooglenifty with his souped up … Continue reading

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Changeling’s The Hidden World

Patrick O’Donnell penned this review. In the days when magic reigned and the fairy folk made themselves known to human folk, a “changeling” was a fairy baby switched with a human baby. Sometimes the parents took no notice until the child … Continue reading

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Capercaillie’s Roses and Tears

My first acquaintance with Capercaillie was an album that turned out to be a “crossover” — Celtic trad group goes pop. At least some of that pop influence seems to have made a home in the group’s style — I … Continue reading

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Capercaillie’s At the Heart of It All

I’m still working my way through Capercaillie, which, out of a host of interesting musicians from many traditions, remains one of the most engaging groups I’ve run across. At the Heart of It All seems to pull together a lot … Continue reading

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Capercaillie’s To the Moon

To the Moon was my first exposure to Capercaillie, so of course, it was what’s generally considered their “crossover” album. This is by no means a negative, or even something that’s very obvious: it’s more apparent in the rhythm patterns, … Continue reading

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Pipeline at the First Unitarian Universalist Church

If you enjoy bagpipe music as well as Celtic music in general, then you’re likely to enjoy Pipeline. If, on the other hand, you think you dislike bagpipe music, you should definitely give this group a try anyway. Pipeline, the duo of … Continue reading

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 Lunasa at the Majestic Theater

Lunasa was introduced to the 230 fans at the Majestic Theater as “one of the hottest Celtic bands” performing in the world today. But on this unseasonably cool spring evening, frontman and flautist Kevin Crawford said “we’re the coldest band … Continue reading

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Susan McKeown and The Chanting House with Kíla at the Towne Crier Cafe

Meredith Tarr penned this review. The Towne Crier Cafe is a surprising venue: nestled off route 22 in rural Pawling, New York (about a mile past the point where you think you’ve gone too far), on the outside it looks like … Continue reading

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Chulra at The Golden Ace Inn, Indianapolis

Tim Hoke penned this review. There couldn’t have been much more than thirty people in the audience when I saw Chulrua, but then the room couldn’t have held many more. Though crowded, the small venue had its positive features. The view … Continue reading

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Danú at Hugh’s Room, Toronto

Danú are clearly one of the bright lights amongst the new generation of Irish traditional musicians, boasting some incredible individual and collective talent. I had last seen Danú at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and was really looking forward to this gig. I … Continue reading

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Clannad’s A Magical Gathering: The Clannad Anthology

 Seán Laffey penned this review. For those unfamiliar with the full panorama of the Clannad sound archive, these two discs might come as a surprise, as they contrast the band’s acoustic roots with more recent, perhaps familiar work, which is all … Continue reading

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Clannad’s The Best of Clannad: In a Lifetime

John Benninghouse penned this review. For some, Clannad is best known as the band in which Enya cut her teeth. Formed in the early 1970s in Ireland, Clannad was a combination of siblings Moya, Ciaran, and Pol Brennan along with their … Continue reading

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Clannad’s An Diolaim

Jayme Lynn Blaschke penned this review. Clannad is quickly becoming one of the most compiled bands in Celtic music. Already boasting two “best of” collections and a soundtrack collection, Clannad now adds An Diolaim to the list. Fortunately, An Diolaim isn’t … Continue reading

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Clannad’s Rogha: The Best of Clannad

Jayme Lynn Blaschke penned this review. Long one of the most popular of the Celtic-inspired Irish groups, Rogha: The Best of Clannad is actually the band’s third retrospective album, with all three–the first two being Past to Present and Themes–coming within the last ten years. Where Themes concerned … Continue reading

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Clannad’s Clannad 

Jayme Lynn Blaschke penned this review. This CD reissue of Clannad’s first album is sure to be both a treat and quite a surprise for current fans of the popular Celtic-fusion group. Out of print for years, Clannad’s debut 1972 effort … Continue reading

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