Celtic Connections 2023: Duncan Chisholm, with Kim Carnie

The evening of Thursday, Feb 2, saw a magnificent concert in the Royal Concert Hall. I usually find big scale concerts predictable and a bit distant, even as they may be most enjoyable otherwise. This was not the case last night when the performers and their music filled the hall and reached out to everyone … Continue reading Celtic Connections 2023: Duncan Chisholm, with Kim Carnie

“Namer of Clouds”: a belated discovery

Somerset folk singer-songwriter Kitty Macfarlane’s debut album came out in 2018 and I saw her brilliant solo gig supporting RURA in Celtic Connections 2020 but only now did I listen to the album, Namer of Clouds. And hear me: it’s a stunning achievement, especially as it was her first solo outing. Great tunes, wonderful lyrics … Continue reading “Namer of Clouds”: a belated discovery

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 … Continue reading Listening diary for May 23-29, 2022

Album Review / Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan: Still As Your Sleeping

It's always a special moment when a new album by one of your big favorites comes out. When I was a teenager, it was the new Rush or Peter Gabriel or Iron Maiden for me; that was a long, so long ago (I do still love Rush and Gabriel, though) and these days, it's a … Continue reading Album Review / Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan: Still As Your Sleeping

Album Review / Karen Matheson: Still Time

Two years ago was the first time we finally got to be a part of Celtic Connections - only in the audience, of course, but still. It was a stupefying 10 days and one of the big moments came right after Blazin’ Fiddles had ended their blast of a gig. As we were leaving King’s … Continue reading Album Review / Karen Matheson: Still Time

Xmas Album Review / Kate Rusby: Holly Head

Kate Rusby must be THE Christmas fan in the entire British-Scottish-Irish folk scene. This is her third seasonal album, and she’s been busy with them, too: The Frost Is All Over came in 2015, Angels And Men in 2017 and now this. Looking forward to 2021 already 😉 Or perhaps she’s been doing a Christmas … Continue reading Xmas Album Review / Kate Rusby: Holly Head

Quick Take Album Review / Crawford, Farrell, Doocey: Music And Mischief

Just a quick a very and non-analytical note on an album. Music & Mischief by the excellent Irish musicians Kevin Crawford, Colin Farrell and Patrick Doocey is brim full of the most delightful and spirited trad I have heard in a while! There’s no attempt to upgrade or modernize the material in any notable way … Continue reading Quick Take Album Review / Crawford, Farrell, Doocey: Music And Mischief

Quick Take album reviews: An Irish double take

Quick takes on two very, very nice Irish albums, one quite recent and the other from 2018. Kyle Macaulay and Nicole Ní Dhubhshláine’s Barra Taoide is brim full of Irish trad and, I believe, some original stuff as well. His string instruments and her whistles and flutes are complemented by a very good band, with … Continue reading Quick Take album reviews: An Irish double take

Album Review / Karine Polwart x 2: “Laws” + “Songbook”

As Karine Polwart's Scottish Songbook was released a while back, I realized I had let her previous album, Laws of Motion, mysteriously slip by in late 2018. So, I thought, here's a chance to write about them both – what could be better than a Polwart double feature! Laws of Motion was preceded by A … Continue reading Album Review / Karine Polwart x 2: “Laws” + “Songbook”

A better-late-than-never Album Review / Kinnaris Quintet: Free One

Kinnaris Quintet and their debut album Free One have been around for a while already but for some reason I got to listening to it only recently. Which makes this another of my better-late-than-never reviews. I’ll start with an embarrassing confession: the mere word ’quintet’ in the ensemble’s name led me to believe I was … Continue reading A better-late-than-never Album Review / Kinnaris Quintet: Free One