Celtic Connections 2023: Carty & McGoldrick, Ryan Young, Sarah Markey

Tuesday night, Jan 31, saw a feast of fully acoustic Celtic music at the RCH Strathclyde Suite. The excellent flute player Sarah Markey opened the evening with a solid set of Irish and Scottish tunes - very nice! The headliners, John Carty and Mike McGoldrick, were as good as you’d expect; it’s always a pleasure … Continue reading Celtic Connections 2023: Carty & McGoldrick, Ryan Young, Sarah Markey

Celtic Connections 2023: Malin Lewis

Sunday 29th of Celtic Connections saw something extraordinary happen. The piper-composer-innovator Malin Lewis (see also Malin Makes Music on the internet and social media) was included in this year’s New Voices series and it’s no overstatement to say that they blew the roof off the Strathclyde Suite. Malin’s work for this event was a dizzying … Continue reading Celtic Connections 2023: Malin Lewis

Listening Diary for June 6-12, 2022: Natalie MacMaster, Mishra, James Harper, the olllam, Eabhal

Master fiddlers are one of my favorite things in this world and Natalie MacMaster 🇨🇦 is one of the greatest. I love the energy in her playing; so much light and joy there. Her 2019 album Sketches was just the right soundtrack for a leisurly walk in the sunny and warm Finnish Saturday. I've never … Continue reading Listening Diary for June 6-12, 2022: Natalie MacMaster, Mishra, James Harper, the olllam, Eabhal

Album Review / Mànran: Ùrar

In the course of any band's evolution, there can sometimes appear a point that separates a previous version of the band from the one that's taken its place, even when the name and the overall style remain. As in Genesis after Peter Gabriel, or Deep Purple with Steve Morse instead of Richie Blackmore on the … Continue reading Album Review / Mànran: Ùrar

Album Review / Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh: Neadú (Nesting)

Ah, Muireann… One of the most beautiful voices and presences in the Celtic scene has returned with this five-track EP. At 21 minutes, it’s just long enough to immerse yourself in her aural atmosphere. She openly states this is a lockdown creation and the album title reflects that as well. It’s a very intimate affair, … Continue reading Album Review / Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh: Neadú (Nesting)

Album Review / McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle: The Reed That Bends In The Storm

Motörhead. I am sorry if that confuses you - as it indeed may - but it just came to me as I was listening to the last tunes on this album. So please let me explain. The trio is the primal incarnation of a band. Two is a duo, three is a band. Anything more … Continue reading Album Review / McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle: The Reed That Bends In The Storm

Album Review / Mec Lir: Livewire

...and BANG!!! ...I mean, holy crap - how supercharged can Celtic music be? Jesus Christ... Livewire was probably the first Celtic album I put on after New Year, and it was some launch for 2021, believe me! So okay, you can expect good things from a band consisting of super players (drummer Greg Barry, also … Continue reading Album Review / Mec Lir: Livewire

Quick Take Album Review / Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh: Thar Toinn (Seaborne)

I think at 28 minutes, Thar Toinn is actually an extended EP rather than an album, but that’s just semantics. Although the unusual playing time does in my mind correlate with the somewhat laid back feeling of the music. I have very much enjoyed her outings from recent years, An Uair Bhig An Lae (2012) … Continue reading Quick Take Album Review / Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh: Thar Toinn (Seaborne)

Album Review / Mhairi Hall: Airs

Way, way back in 1984 I was a Finnish high school exchange student in Michigan. My love of progressive rock was expanding my musical curiosity and one day I bought the Pat Metheny Group double live album, Travels. It's a fantastic album and features one of the most beautiful tracks I have ever heard: Farmer's … Continue reading Album Review / Mhairi Hall: Airs