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

Celtic Connections 2023: Rachel Walker & Aaron Jones, with Gillebrìde MacMillan

The Mackintosh church is probably the most beautiful of all Celtic Connections venues. The late 1800’s designs by the famed architect Rennie James Mackintosh are like music themselves - what better place for a Celtic music gig? As the evening’s first act, Gaelic singer Gillebrìde MacMillan performed songs from his new album, “Sèimh: A State … Continue reading Celtic Connections 2023: Rachel Walker & Aaron Jones, with Gillebrìde MacMillan

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: Phil Cunningham, Session A9

What can you say? It was simply a most enjoyable night at the RCH’s main hall. Session A9 were as entertaining as ever, with brilliant fiddling from the four-man string force, and Brian McAlpine leading the proceedings from behind his piano and with his seemingly endless cheerfulness and energy - I seriously wondered how he … Continue reading Celtic Connections 2023: Phil Cunningham, Session A9

Celtic Connections 2023: Ross & Ali Trio, with Startijenn and Beinn Lee

The evening of Sunday 29th at St Luke’s was a nicely balanced three-layer cake of music. We caught most of the Hebrides band Beinn Lee’s set and were duly delighted and entertained by the solid performance. Their trad stylings lean occasionally towards pop and, for me, it sometimes works for them and sometimes not so … Continue reading Celtic Connections 2023: Ross & Ali Trio, with Startijenn and Beinn Lee

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

Celtic Connections 2023: Cara Dillon with Vrï

We had checked out Vrï’s latest album before the festival and had been quite impressed with the three Welsh guys singing in Welsh. They sounded vibrant and self-assured on the album and likewise so on stage as the opening act for Cara Dillon on Sat. 28th. As far as I have understood, they play traditional … Continue reading Celtic Connections 2023: Cara Dillon with Vrï

Celtic Connections 2023: Ímar with FullSet and ‘Ndiaz

It was a full house in the Old Fruitmarket on Fri 27th as the music crowd gathered to witness three quite different acts. Ireland’s FullSet have been around for quite a few years now but I only discovered them in 2021. I loved their show, a pretty damn excellent serving of contemporary Irish trad. Fine … Continue reading Celtic Connections 2023: Ímar with FullSet and ‘Ndiaz

Celtic Connections 2023: Jenna Reid with Harris Playfair

Shetland fiddler Jenna Reid has for a long time been one of the most visible and impressive of Scottish fiddlers. As a member of Blazin’ Fiddles and with already a few solo albums in her catalogue, she is a household name among the Celtic music community. In 2022, Jenna recorded, with pianist Harris Playfair, an … Continue reading Celtic Connections 2023: Jenna Reid with Harris Playfair

Celtic Connections 2023: Guitar Night

“Is there anyone here who doesn’t like guitars?” Anna Massie asked and one guy in the audience waved enthusiastically. I hope he survived the two hours of masterful fretwork that followed Anna’s question. I won’t go into any analysis here. I will just note that it was great fun seeing and hearing Anna, Tim Edey, … Continue reading Celtic Connections 2023: Guitar Night