Album Review / Joy & Andrew Dunlop: Dithis

The vastly gifted Scottish siblings have released their first album together. They have collaborated more before on Joy’s albums but this is the first full joint release. Joy naturally takes care of all vocals and Andrew, a classical pianist, brings in a few other instruments to color his beautiful piano performance. I have to admit … Continue reading Album Review / Joy & Andrew Dunlop: Dithis

Album Review / Brian Ó hEadhra & Fiona MacKenzie: Tuath – Songs of the Northlands

...and now for something completely different? The answer is a resounding ”yes” but only if you are not familiar with this innovative team’s previous album, Tìr: Highland Life & Lore, from two years ago. Both Ó hEadhra and MacKenzie are proven and established Celtic musicians who, with Tìr, broke some serious ground with a heady … Continue reading Album Review / Brian Ó hEadhra & Fiona MacKenzie: Tuath – Songs of the Northlands

Artist Intro: Anxo Lorenzo

Anxo live at Celtic Connections 2019, photo by the writer Anxo Lorenzo (SPA) is a virtuoso piper and flutist from Galicia in northwestern Spain. His music is a dazzling combination of his home region's ancient Celtic roots, the music of the northern Celtic folk music tradition and various modern and trad influences from around the … Continue reading Artist Intro: Anxo Lorenzo

Retro Review / Brian Finnegan: The Ravishing Genius of Bones (2010)

I remember the three distinct occasions that made me fall in love with Irish and Scottish music, especially the music of our time that flows from those countries. First was Solas, then my discovery of Capercaillie, and then this, flute and white player and composer Brian Finnegan's first and so far only solo album. All … Continue reading Retro Review / Brian Finnegan: The Ravishing Genius of Bones (2010)

Quick Take Retro Review / Alba’s Edge: Run To Fly (2015)

Sometimes music is just fun, and it's enough. You don't always need to have a bright new idea or a unique take on something to produce music that's just plain... good. Alba's Edge was (I presume they're not active anymore) a North American Celtic/Jazz hybrid whose sole full album, Run To Fly, is one of … Continue reading Quick Take Retro Review / Alba’s Edge: Run To Fly (2015)

Album Review / Pádraig Rynne: Conscious

The Irish concertina (the tiny but powerful Irish accordion) master Pádraig Rynne really reshuffled the pack a few years ago with Notify, an album where his traditional instrument meshed with a barrage of loops, synths and rock band instruments. It was an exhilarating outburst of energy and surpringingly bold vision, a continuous hi-energy swirl with … Continue reading Album Review / Pádraig Rynne: Conscious

A better-late-than-never review / Maeve Mackinnon: Strì (2018)

Strì is a pretty amazing album. And it's also a great introduction to what the contemporary Celtic folk scene has to offer right now. Maeve Mackinnon assembled not only a brilliant and many-sided set of songs but also a stellar band of players in this music scene. In my ears, Strì is folk music for … Continue reading A better-late-than-never review / Maeve Mackinnon: Strì (2018)

Album Review / Martin Hayes & Brooklyn Rider: The Butterfly

I like my malt whisky straight. Very rarely I go for even a drop of water and never, never ice. So, naturally, I approached the new album by Irish master fiddler Martin Hayes with some skepticism. He plays here with the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, one of the foremost in their field in the USA, … Continue reading Album Review / Martin Hayes & Brooklyn Rider: The Butterfly

Album Review / Colm Mac Con Iomaire: The River Holds Its Breath – Tost ar an Abhainn

Colm Mac Con Iomaire's new album is a natural link in the chain of his previous works: very calm and soothing music, this time with strings in the forefront. One might argue if this blog is the right place to review music whose Irish or Celtic roots are well in the background, hardly noticeable, but … Continue reading Album Review / Colm Mac Con Iomaire: The River Holds Its Breath – Tost ar an Abhainn

Artist Intro: Duncan Chisholm

I'll be honest about it: the music of Duncan Chisholm (SCO) was one of my keys to the realm of Celtic folk and trad when I first got excited about this stuff . So I'll try to avoid the trap of hero worship in these next lines 😉 Duncan's background and education in the Scottish … Continue reading Artist Intro: Duncan Chisholm