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)

Q & A with Brian Ó hEadhra and Fiona Mackenzie

I have been most impressed by the stunningly innovative albums Tìr and Tuath by the duo of Brian Ó hEadhra and Fiona Mackenzie. As I listened to Tuath on powerplay over a few days, several questions began to arise: it's an intriguing and challenging album in many ways and I decided to ask Brian and … Continue reading Q & A with Brian Ó hEadhra and Fiona Mackenzie

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 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

Quick Take Album Review / Crawford, Farrell, Doocey: Music And Mischief

Just a quick a very and non-analytical note on an album. Music & Mischief by the excellent Irish musicians Kevin Crawford, Colin Farrell and Patrick Doocey is brim full of the most delightful and spirited trad I have heard in a while! There’s no attempt to upgrade or modernize the material in any notable way … Continue reading Quick Take Album Review / Crawford, Farrell, Doocey: Music And Mischief

Quick Take album reviews: An Irish double take

Quick takes on two very, very nice Irish albums, one quite recent and the other from 2018. Kyle Macaulay and Nicole Ní Dhubhshláine’s Barra Taoide is brim full of Irish trad and, I believe, some original stuff as well. His string instruments and her whistles and flutes are complemented by a very good band, with … Continue reading Quick Take album reviews: An Irish double take

A better-late-than-never review / Lúnasa: CAS

Somehow I let this slip by last year... I started this blog early this year and, admitted, was not systematically and obsessively checking out new releases before that. So it seems in those days even a release from a very major band like Lúnasa could sneak behind me without li’l ol’ me noticing anything - … Continue reading A better-late-than-never review / Lúnasa: CAS

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)

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

Quick Take Album Reviews: “Allt”, Fàrsan, Còig, Mary Ann Kennedy

This is a quick look at some albums I've listened to lately and wish to note for their quality even if I have nothing too insightful or clever to say about them 🙂 - The stellar Fowlis-Conway-Dooley-McIntyre ensemble released Allt almost a year ago already but only now it's really been on power play here. … Continue reading Quick Take Album Reviews: “Allt”, Fàrsan, Còig, Mary Ann Kennedy