Artist Intro: The Gloaming There are some recognizable points where Celtic trad, neofolk and contemporary classical music meet. In Scotland, artists like RANT and Aidan O'Rourke occupy this zone occasionally or often but, in Ireland, The Gloaming have planted their flag decisively in this ground. Formed in 2011 by a group of established and acknowledged Irish and American … Continue reading Artist Intro: The Gloaming

Album Review / Trail West: Countless Isles and Endless Miles

As I’m writing this, it’s 90 minutes to the opening of Celtic Connections 2021. The festival is 100 % online only and I’m in our living room in southern Finland instead of Glasgow. 2020 really fucked up and changed so many things without warning. One of the bands affected by the dramatic turn of events … Continue reading Album Review / Trail West: Countless Isles and Endless Miles

Album Review / Tanya Brittain: Hireth

Here we are, in 2021, and the world seems stuck in the same chaos it was last year. But at least Celtic music holds the fort and flies the flag of better things! The Changing Room is a Cornish folk act I’ve enjoyed a lot. Tanya Brittain is 50 % of that brill duo and … Continue reading Album Review / Tanya Brittain: Hireth

Artist Intro: Flook

Photo by Naoki Fujioka, from the Flook web site Since you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly already more or less familiar with Flook, so I feel kind of foolish writing this. But in the unlikely but theoretically possible event you’ve never heard of them... Flook are an Irish-British contemporary folk band founded in 1995. The … Continue reading Artist Intro: Flook

Artist Intro: Fiona J. Mackenzie

Fiona J. Mackenzie photo at wikipedia Fiona J. Mackenzie is a Gaelic singer who has advanced not only Gaelic music but Gaelic culture and art in general. Her recorded output features a fine serving of Gaelic songs and singing, updated but not too modernized for our time. I have not been able to find her … Continue reading Artist Intro: Fiona J. Mackenzie

Artist Intro: Fiddlers’ Bid

Fiddlers' Bid are a multiple award-winning fiddle band from Shetland. Formed in 1991, their launch preceded the other successful "fiddle attack" groups like Blazin' Fiddles and Finland's Frigg by almost a decade. The fiddles in the band are supported and the sound enriched not only by the customary guitar and piano but also by harp … Continue reading Artist Intro: Fiddlers’ Bid

Artist Intro: Fara

Fara are an Orkney quartet of three fiddles and a piano. Originally an all female lineup changed in 2019 when pianist Jennifer Austin left and was replaced by Rory Matheson. Fara's music includes both trad and original pieces, instrumentals and songs, and ranges from uptempo dance tunes to very delicate mood pieces, always brilliantly played. … Continue reading Artist Intro: Fara

Xmas Album Review / The Outside Track: The Christmas Star

Confession: I have nothing against Christmas music - when the music is not godawful, that is. I’m actually quite a Xmas-friendly guy, so any seasonal album that carries the honest spirit and is musically decent is ok with me. And then there are the *really* good modern Xmas albums, most of them by women: Aimee … Continue reading Xmas Album Review / The Outside Track: The Christmas Star

Artist Intro: Face The West

Photo from Face The West (SCO) are a band from Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. They re-created Celtic folk rock in the 2000's and early 2010's and made, after a several years' pause, a joyful comeback to performing in the summer of 2019. Their musical style combines traditional Scottish folk, a strong rock pulse combining … Continue reading Artist Intro: Face The West

Artist Intro: Emily Portman

Emily Portman (ENG) is, with the likes of Kate Rusby, Ange Hardy and Jackie Oates, in the top tier of contemporary British female folk singers/musicians who each stamp their own unique mark on the music. Her so far three solo albums document the art of a singular talent who marks her own boundaries in this … Continue reading Artist Intro: Emily Portman