A very happy 2022 to anyone who happens to arrive on this page!
I last posted on this blog in late October, and my posting frequency had been lagging steadily through 2021, especially the latter part of the year. There were all kinds of reasons for this gradual fading but the three most important were work (an unusually draining and slightly strange year it was), the overall situation in the world (it was hard to get all fired up over folk music when the planet was either down with covid, on fire or under water, and a big Eastern nation began a loud rattling of some mean sabres) and, last but definitely not least, some health issues, particularly a hearing thing with my left ear that took away any desire to listen to any music for a couple of months. It was very quiet in our house for weeks.
Doctor’s can’t treat geopolitics, or politics in general, but at least a brilliant audiologist helped me to understand the nature of what’s going on with my left channel. Learning that my symptoms reflect structural anomalies and not any noise-related hearing damage was an immeasurable relief – and now I also know LOTS about what tinnitus really is, how hearing actually works in the brain and why my ears are particularly prone to experience tinnitus even when there’s no measurable damage to my hearing. Knowing how things are and that the symptoms I had will probably lessen sooner rather than laters (as they now have!) and that things will not get worse was just a lifesaver!
So, I decided that with that worry off the table, I should just hop back on the celtbritfolk saddle – after all, this music is one of the things that keeps me going in a world so badly out of whack, so why on Earth wouldn’t I focus more on that instead of constantly worrying about the idiots who the media chooses to call “world leaders”. If shit will eventually hit the fan, it will, and there’s fuck all I can do about it. And in the meantime, I may as well treat myself to great music 🙂
I have also promised myself I will catch up and stay tuned to the Irish music scene much more than I have done so far. I have leaned pretty visibly to Scottish folk music in this blog, for some purely personal reasons that have nothing to do with the music itself; it’s just been easy for me to monitor that particular scene. But in 2021, I did put more weight on the “English Channel” of folk music, and now it’s definitely time for a much better coverage of Irish releases in this blog.
This more egalitarian approach will begin immediately by going through the crushingly big pile of new and fairly new albums I have earmarked for reviewing – it seems a huge backlog suddenly appears when you don’t check out literally anything for three months in such a dynamic musical scene! Well, at least I know what to do when I have an hour to spare 😉
Cheers / Slàinte / Sláinte!