Listening diary for May 23-29, 2022

If anything here seems interesting, go to your streaming service and try it out. And if you really, really like it, go to the artist’s web site or Bandcamp or iTunes or Google Play or Amazon or wherever and buy it in your preferred format – musicians need food too 😉

The Halton Quartet: Based On True Events (2012) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

So excellent and innovative, sometimes very visual neo folk. Lots of interesting details and surprising turns; the use of the electric guitar here and there spices things up nicely. I love this to bits.

Dermot Byrne, Éamonn Coyne & John Doyle: Liag (2019) 🇮🇪

When the Irish masters of their instruments get together, the results are nothing but uplifting. This is the kind of Irish Zen that needs no further comments.

Ron Jappy: Vincular (2020) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

I had noticed a few people pouring praise on this but for some reason it took me a long while to get to listen to it. Dammit, it’s a really dazzling album of modern Celtic folk fusion; vibrant and full of variety. I love the more hi-energy tunes but the slow ones, A Day to Remember and Shalom, are just sooo beatiful and elegant *sigh*. Super playing from everyone throughout the album.

Also the album Sparks (2019), Ron’s collaboration with harpist Rachel Hair, is so very good. This guy instantly jumped to a very high place on my faves list.

Daibhidh Stiubhard: An Sionnach Dubh (2020)

The young, impressive Celtic singer’s debut and album (I think). Very nice stuff, great tunes and singing in Irish, Scottish Gaelic and English, great arrangements too. Looking forward to his next chapter.

Ciaran Ryan: Banjaxed (2019) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

This is from the banjo guy in the mighty Dallahan – check them out if you haven’t yet!
Ciaran is not just lightning fast with his strings and fingers, his tunes are excellent and often very original, even some proggish elements on some tracks – this is always a big plus with me. Check out Chicago Fire on this album for a good example. Great band playing, too.

Kevin Crawford: In Good Company (2006) 🇮🇪🇬🇧

Kevin is just a fantastic flutes and whistles master, it’s always a joy to listen to a sensei like him. This album comes with many special guests, including the legendary Tommy Peoples, and so much spirit and light, it’s practically medicinal.

Kennedy’s Kitchen: The Whiskey of Truth (2019) 🇺🇸

With a title like that, an album must be good. And it is, I really liked my first encounter with these “Midwestern Irish” guys, must check out their older albums too. Really nice playing, warm and honest vocals, and lots of different moods and styles along the way. Maybe it’s the American energy that spices things up a bit and gives it all just that hint of a different mood.

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