Tag Archives: Irish music

Skara Brae‘s Skara Brae

Skara Brae was the first group that put harmonies to Gaelic songs. That alone makes them an important part of Irish trad music. Also not-so-trad music as Triona Ni Dhomnaill went on to be a member of the Bothy Band, … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Skara Brae‘s Skara Brae

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

Posted in Commentary, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Transatlantic Sessions to perform at 2017 MerleFest

Lunasa’s Redwood 

Let’s wander down to the Green Man mailroom. Spike’s feeling a little queasy. As you might be aware, Spike’s helping me clean up the Green Man music library on this very, very rainy afternoon as it’s rather quiet this afternoon in the Pub. And … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Lunasa’s Redwood 

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

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Nightnoise’s The White Horse Sessions 

Eileen Ivers’ Fresh Takes and Eileen Ivers — Traditional Irish Music

Chuck Lipsig penned this review. Sometimes, genius is made more apparent when paired with excellence. Eileen Ivers is one of the finest Celtic fiddlers out there. But it’s one thing to sound good as a soloist; it’s another to be paired … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Eileen Ivers’ Fresh Takes and Eileen Ivers — Traditional Irish Music

Dervish’s at the end of the day 

Brendan Foreman penn this review. By the time they recorded end of the day, Dervish had honed its sound to a rather fine edge. It is clear that years of playing have paid off, resulting in nuanced, even stately ensemble-playing. Their … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Dervish’s at the end of the day 

Liam Clancy’s The Mountain of the Women: Memoirs of an Irish Troubadour

This is the autobiography of Liam Clancy, the youngest member of the Irish folk music group, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.  Liam and The Clancy Brothers were responsible for making Irish Folk Music and Aran sweaters a fad in … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Music | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Liam Clancy’s The Mountain of the Women: Memoirs of an Irish Troubadour

Lúnasa’s The Kinnitty Sessions 

Australian author and Celtic musician Paul Brandon, who wrote of one of the finest fantasy novels of recent years, Swim the Moon, has a new novel, The Wild Reel, coming out this summer. He’s also a great fan of Lúnasa, who are … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Lúnasa’s The Kinnitty Sessions 

Lúnasa’s Sé

  Paul Brandon penned this review. It’s been nearly 10 years since I first saw Lúnasa. I had to pause after I wrote that, because, as the cliché says, I still remember it like it was yesterday. The gig, at a now-extinct … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Lúnasa’s Sé

Lunasa’s Lunasa, Otherworld and The Merry Sisters of Fate

Stephen Hunt penned this review. Sitting here in my house in Cornwall, on a balmy spring evening in 2003, the 1990’s feel like a long time ago. Back then I was living near Slough, one of those modern, overcrowded railway towns … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Lunasa’s Lunasa, Otherworld and The Merry Sisters of Fate

Bevel Jenny’s Above the Clouds…  and Still Searching (CD Single) 

Mike Stiles penned this review. There’s grand news from Saint Stiles‚ Voyages among the Mystic Isles of Celtic Rock. Down near the southern fastness where the scintillating waterfalls cascade from the islands of rock into the skies of jazz is to … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged | Comments Off on Bevel Jenny’s Above the Clouds…  and Still Searching (CD Single) 

Sandy” Ives’ Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs From Prince Edward Island and John Lilly’s Mountains of Music: West Virginia Traditional Music from Goldenseal

I used to have this dream. I was, like John or Alan Lomax, driving in my big old car with a clunky reel-to-reel tape recorder in the back seat. I would cruise up and down the country roads searching for … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Sandy” Ives’ Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs From Prince Edward Island and John Lilly’s Mountains of Music: West Virginia Traditional Music from Goldenseal

Diana Boullier’s Exploring Irish Music and Dance

At some point for children seeking to master traditional music, the learning must come through the power of relationship — through parents, friends, neighbors, or teachers. But not every child has access to that world, and many a child may … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Diana Boullier’s Exploring Irish Music and Dance

Ann Scanlon’s The Pogues: The Lost Decade 

It’s of a gentleman soldier as a sentry he did stand He saluted a fair maiden by a waving of his hand And then he boldly kissed her and he passed it off as a joke He drilled her up … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Tagged , | Comments Off on Ann Scanlon’s The Pogues: The Lost Decade 

Christy Moore’s Smoke And Strong Whiskey

Everyone knows Christy Moore, a central figure in the Irish folk revival of the 1960s and indirectly a significant contributor to the English folk revival that paralleled it. We know of his work with Moving Hearts and we are familiar … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Christy Moore’s Smoke And Strong Whiskey

Christy Moore’s Live in Dublin 

What is there to be said about a CD by Christy Moore? It’s not new music — it’s a reissue of a 1978 recording from Dublin — but here it is! Christy Moore is so highly regarded by his countrymen … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Christy Moore’s Live in Dublin 

Ronan O Snodaigh’s Tip Toe

Jennifer Byrne penned this lovely review. Ronan O Snodaigh is probably best known as the front man with Irish band Kila. A poet, songwriter, percussionist, vocalist, and landscape gardener, it seems the ridiculous O Snodaigh talent knows no bounds. He has … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Ronan O Snodaigh’s Tip Toe

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

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Kila’s Tóg É Go Bog É

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

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Danú’s Think Before You Think 

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

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Interview with Danú at the Winnipeg Folk Festival

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

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Solas at Rosebud

Childsplay at the State Street Church

Imagine anywhere from 21 to 28 fiddler/violin players on one stage with a rhythm section, throw in a random banjo or wooden flute … sound like a party? Well, that’s how Childsplay got its start: in Bob Childs’ house at … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Childsplay at the State Street Church

Van Morrison and the Chieftains’ Irish Heartbeat 

Irish Heartbeat is an album I have lived with for almost 20 years. I first purchased it on vinyl in ’88 and wore the grooves down playing it over and over again. Then in 2003 on vacation in Ireland, my wife … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Van Morrison and the Chieftains’ Irish Heartbeat 

Danú at The Playhouse

Faith penned this review. It was snowing. Danu had driven in from Charlottetown, a four-hour drive at the best of times, including a daunting bridge over the Northumberland Strait and long stretches of woods, much longer with the road slushy and the wind … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Danú at The Playhouse

Dervish at Henry Crown Auditorium

No’am penned this review. Torrential rain didn’t deter most of the audience from attending the third and final concert of Dervish’s short Israeli concert tour on Saturday night at the Henry Crown auditorium in Jerusalem. A brief show of hands towards … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Dervish at Henry Crown Auditorium

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

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Pipeline at the First Unitarian Universalist Church

 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

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on  Lunasa at the Majestic Theater

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

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Susan McKeown and The Chanting House with Kíla at the Towne Crier Cafe

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

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Danú at Hugh’s Room, Toronto

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

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Clannad’s Clannad 

Brendan Begley’s It Could Be a Good Night Yet (Oíche go Maidean)

Pat Simmonds penned this review. Breandán Ó Beaglaoich is truly a man for all seasons. Teacher, broadcaster, television presenter, singer, musician and traveler, he traverses all these forums with ease, staying true to his Kerry Gaeltacht roots. During the nineties, while … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged | Comments Off on Brendan Begley’s It Could Be a Good Night Yet (Oíche go Maidean)

Horslips’ Roll Back

John O’Regan penned this review. Growing up in Ireland at the tail end of the 1960s and beginning of the 1970s, one witnessed a cultural revolution at first hand. Irish folk music came out of mothballs and closets to become … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Horslips’ Roll Back

Hawp’s Storm + Calm

Described on their website as ‘a swirling reverie of Scots and Irish song; flute; whistles; fiddles; guitar; bouzouki; bodhran; and Irish dance, HAWP is a Celtic ensemble that combines ancient traditions with modern musical approaches to create a sound truly … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Hawp’s Storm + Calm

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill’s The Lonesome Touch 

Feeling depressed, downhearted, lonely? Want someone to speak gently to our fears and despair, to sympathize? If so, the people to turn to are fiddler Martin Hayes and guitarist Dennis Cahill.This collection of slow jigs and reels is refreshingly different … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged | Comments Off on Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill’s The Lonesome Touch 

Frankie Gavin’s Fierce Traditional

Jennifer Byrne penned this review. Stand aside all you pretenders to the throne. Frankie is back and the gloves are off. Fierce Traditional is the long anticipated new solo album from Frankie Gavin, and it sees him paring the sound right down, … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged | Comments Off on Frankie Gavin’s Fierce Traditional

Flogging Molly’s Float

I’m going to admit right up front that I am a newcomer to the music of Flogging Molly. I mean, a very recent newcomer, as in, I just became aware of the band this past St. Patrick’s Day. A bit of … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged | Comments Off on Flogging Molly’s Float

 Chulrua’s Barefoot on the Altar 

Naomi de Bruyn penned this review. Chulrua (pronounced cool-ROO-ah) is not only the name of this amazing trio of celebrated musicians but the name of the favourite wolfhound of the ancient Irish hero Fionn MacCumhaill. It translates to English as … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on  Chulrua’s Barefoot on the Altar 

Liz Carroll and various artists’ Ireland, Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840, The Music

On St. Patrick’s Day 2015, an exhibit called “IRELAND: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690–1840” opened at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was accompanied by music, the music on this CD, developed by one of Chicago’s most beloved Irish … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Liz Carroll and various artists’ Ireland, Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840, The Music

Allison Thompson’s The Blind Harper Dances: Modern English Country Dances set to airs by Turlough O’Carolan

John O’Regan penned this review. This book is at once fascinating and difficult to review. The fascination lies in the idea of combining the music of Turlough O’Carolan with modern English country dances. The difficulty lies in my own lack … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Allison Thompson’s The Blind Harper Dances: Modern English Country Dances set to airs by Turlough O’Carolan

Lúnasa: The Story So Far

Strange as it may seem from someone who’s been writing about music – at GMR of all places – for several years now, one area in which I am less cognizant than I should be is traditional Celtic music. I … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Lúnasa: The Story So Far

Clannad’s Landmarks

I always think of Clannad as an Irish traditional group, which they aren’t — at least, not any more. Traditionally grounded, yes, as one can see from their early recordings, but what has become their signature style incorporates bits of … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Clannad’s Landmarks

Colleen Raney’s Here This Is Home

The Irish song tradition is really many traditions, the main lines either the more loud and boisterous sound of groups like The Dubliners, or the more gentle approach of ensembles like Planxty and Patrick Street. I find it hard to … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Colleen Raney’s Here This Is Home

Niamh Boadle’s Maid on the Shore

Britain is full of young talented folk singers and players. Niamh Boadle is one of them. She first came onto my radar some years ago when I shared a spot at Warwick Folk Music Festival with her band Tri. Since … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Niamh Boadle’s Maid on the Shore

Liz Carroll’s On the Off Beat

I’m certain that if you’re reading this review you don’t need to be told all about Liz Carroll, but she’s so amazing I aim to tell you, anyway. She has been receiving awards and honors for her Irish-style fiddling since … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged | Comments Off on Liz Carroll’s On the Off Beat

Paul McKenna Band’s Stem the Tide

Paul McKenna sings like a cross between Seth Lakeman and Dick Gaughan. I wonder if he has taken some influence here. The band plays for all the world like The Boys of the Lough. Absolutely brilliant musicians I am sure. … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chieftains at the Scene Pavilion

Wendy Donahue wrote this lovely review. Ah, summer…that wonderful time of year during which music enthusiasts rejoice at the proliferation of outdoor concerts, multiplying the options for taking in a good show many times over. I was fortunate enough to … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Various artists’ Traditional Irish Music in America anthology

In the 1970s, something new yet very old was happening in America. Traditional Irish music was being played and recorded. Just when it looked as though Irish music would fade out and disappear in the modern, mechanized world of the … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , | Comments Off on Various artists’ Traditional Irish Music in America anthology