Listening Diary for May 30 – June 5, 2022

Not too many albums this time, been busy doing other things, but at least this much… The late master piper Liam O’Flynn’s 🇮🇪 two albums, The Green Note (1995) and The Piper’s Call (1998) were a great pleasure. Wonderful playing, excellent tunes, and the way he integrated electric instruments into the fabric reminds me of … Continue reading Listening Diary for May 30 – June 5, 2022

Hannah Rarity: To Have You Near

Oh wow… With her previous outings, Scotland’s Hannah Rarity proved herself an excellent singer and her 2018 album ’Neath a Gloamin’ Star was thoroughly enjoyable. But now, four years later, on this album we encounter an artist that has found a deeper voice, a more varied selection of songs (mostly her own with some truly … Continue reading Hannah Rarity: To Have You Near

Listening diary for May 23-29, 2022

If anything here seems interesting, go to your streaming service and try it out. And if you really, really like it, go to the artist’s web site or Bandcamp or iTunes or Google Play or Amazon or wherever and buy it in your preferred format - musicians need food too 😉 The Halton Quartet: Based … Continue reading Listening diary for May 23-29, 2022

Album Review / Brian Ó hEadhra and Fionnag NicChoinnich: Càirdeas

The fabulous Brian Ó hEadhra and Fiona Mackenzie last appeared on my radar with the stunning TUATH: Songs of the Northlands, the follow-up to TÌR: Highland Life & Lore. Both albums were were bold and powerful, laced with imaginative use of electronica and the digital world in general, energizing the old traditions mightily. Brian and … Continue reading Album Review / Brian Ó hEadhra and Fionnag NicChoinnich: Càirdeas

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 / Napier, Frame & Vass: The Ledger

"Every week in the late ’50s and early ’60s The Scotsman published a traditional Scottish folk song with lyrics and melody alongside an explanatory article by folklorist Norman Buchan. My Grandfather, Findlay Cumming, cut them out of the newspaper and pasted them into a ledger..." Those are Findlay Napier's words on Bandcamp, telling how he, … Continue reading Album Review / Napier, Frame & Vass: The Ledger

Album Review / Sam Sweeney: Unearth Repeat

Wood. Living, rough, hewn, shaped into houses, burned for warmth we need. People and their stories; villages and towns and other places they live in. People whose language I don’t always speak but we understand each other anyway. Those are the feelings and mental images I get from British fiddler Sam Sweeney’s new album Unearth … Continue reading Album Review / Sam Sweeney: Unearth Repeat

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 / James Elkington: Ever-Roving Eye

Let’s take care of one thing first. So okay, Mr. Elkington has lived in the US for over 20 years but he is from England and his music has a definite connection to British folk roots, so this album is just fine to be reviewed here. Right, then. I also wanted to review it because … Continue reading Album Review / James Elkington: Ever-Roving Eye