Album Review / David Foley & Jack Smedley: Time To Fly

It does not take much but it takes everything. It takes a fiddle and a flute and some other instruments and a few good people with good hands and a lot of soul. RURA's David Foley and Jack Smedley have released their first non-RURA outing, Time To Fly, an album of such natural flow, natural … Continue reading Album Review / David Foley & Jack Smedley: Time To Fly

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

Album Review / Project Smok: Bayview

Even out here in Finland, I noticed the first single and EP releases from the mysteriously titled band a couple of years ago. The playing was sharp and impressive and the material was very much ok so I earmarked them for further monitoring. And now things seem to be really moving in Smokland. Me and … Continue reading Album Review / Project Smok: Bayview

Notes from Celtic Connections 2020, part 5

Fri 31 The final Friday of CC2020 was also the Brexit day for UK - and Scotland but no sign of anything out of the ordinary was to be seen as we trod across the Glasgow city centre to St Luke’s for another Finnish-Scottish night. An oh lordy what a show our countrywomen and men … Continue reading Notes from Celtic Connections 2020, part 5

Notes from Celtic Connections 2020, part 4

Tue 28 Our only concert of the day was the 35th anniversary celebration of Cherish The Ladies. The for all purposes sold out Royal Concert Hall was eager to welcome the core ensemble and their numerous guests. And the people certainly got their money's worth as the event stretched to over three hours, including a … Continue reading Notes from Celtic Connections 2020, part 4

Notes from Celtic Connections 2020, part 3

Sat 25 An evening at City Halls, and a very busy one - musically speaking. Both artists on stage displayed a staggering level of virtuosity - the notes per second index was at times through the roof - but never at the expense of the tune. Always about music, never only about showing off. New … Continue reading Notes from Celtic Connections 2020, part 3

Artist Intro: Fiddlers’ Bid

Fiddlers' Bid are a multiple award-winning fiddle band from Shetland. Formed in 1991, their launch preceded the other successful "fiddle attack" groups like Blazin' Fiddles and Finland's Frigg by almost a decade. The fiddles in the band are supported and the sound enriched not only by the customary guitar and piano but also by harp … Continue reading Artist Intro: Fiddlers’ Bid

Notes from Celtic Connections 2020, part 2

Tue 21 The Big Fling aka Scottish Dance Band Extravaganza: hugely entertaining evening, expertly hosted by Gary Innes himself. At some points felt like in a time machine with the music evoking mental images of dance halls and cèilidhs long gone. Tom Orr's Mega Cèilidh Dance Band, put together for this event and with a … Continue reading Notes from Celtic Connections 2020, part 2

Artist Intro: Fara

Fara are an Orkney quartet of three fiddles and a piano. Originally an all female lineup changed in 2019 when pianist Jennifer Austin left and was replaced by Rory Matheson. Fara's music includes both trad and original pieces, instrumentals and songs, and ranges from uptempo dance tunes to very delicate mood pieces, always brilliantly played. … Continue reading Artist Intro: Fara

Xmas Album(s) Review / Còig: Carols & Carols Too

Carols Too by Canada’s fabulous Celtic folkers Còig is a sequel to their 2015 Carols - at least the title of the album lets us use that word. Since this blog didn’t exist in 2015, a few words on their previous Xmas album. Carols quickly found its way to my ”best Xmas albums” list and … Continue reading Xmas Album(s) Review / Còig: Carols & Carols Too