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

Album Review / Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas: Syzygy

I had the great pleasure of experiencing Alasdair and Natalie live a few years ago when they played a couple of gigs in Finland. It was a charming event, with Alasdair’s stories, their musical chemistry and, of course, amazing playing. That set leaned pretty much toward trad and Celtic but that has never been the … Continue reading Album Review / Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas: Syzygy

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 / 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

Album Review / Rowan Leslie: Escaping the Dawn

One thing that keeps astonishing me about the Celtic music scene is the way it produces brilliant young musicians who refresh and vitalize the culture. Some do it by expanding and experimenting and stretching the limits of the music, while others own the old traditions and recharge them as if they invented them. Young Irish … Continue reading Album Review / Rowan Leslie: Escaping the Dawn

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 / Rachel Newton: To The Awe

If Adenine aka Ailie Robertson's new trance-like solo harp + electronics album reflects the surreal mood of Anno Covid 2020, then so, in a very different way, does Rachel Newton's new outing. With vocals recorded in Rachel's bedroom wardrobe (she mentions this very fact on the album's Bandcamp page) and the musicians playing their parts … Continue reading Album Review / Rachel Newton: To The Awe

Album Review / Ross Ainslie: Vana

My wife loves Ross Ainslie to death. Big time. Really, really big time. If Vana was any weaker an album, I’d be in trouble because I can’t pretend when I write about music. So I’m totally grateful to Mr. Ainslie for giving the world an hour of music one cannot but love. Relief 😀 In … Continue reading Album Review / Ross Ainslie: Vana

A ”better late than never” review / Hamish Napier: The Woods

I hate the word organic when it’s applied to the marketing of food. It can mean a variety of things and most of them would be misleading to the customer who tries to make a responsible choice. So I use organic here after careful consideration, and I use it with the word lush. This for … Continue reading A ”better late than never” review / Hamish Napier: The Woods

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