Need music for a Celtic & Folk Xmas? Here’s my recommendations

The snow fell even here in the south of Finland over a week ago and, contrary to forecasts then, it has stayed, with more falling almost daily. It’s looking downright Christmasy out there and checking the calendar proved it - it’s time to take out Ye Olde (well not that old, really) Xmas music! I … Continue reading Need music for a Celtic & Folk Xmas? Here’s my recommendations

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

A Somewhat Belated Album Review / Gráinne Brady: Newcomer

(Since I’m not a music professional, I sometimes - quite often, really - miss a noteworthy release and wake up to it much later. This is one of those cases. The text below is written almost six months after the album’s release) Glasgow-based Irish composer-fiddler Gráinne Brady’s exceptional debut album The Road Across The Hills … Continue reading A Somewhat Belated Album Review / Gráinne Brady: Newcomer

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

Notes from Celtic Connections 2020, part 1

Jan 18-19 Our second CC adventure began on Sat 18th, two days after the launch of this year's festival. Having left Finland on a morning flight on Fri 17, we arrived in Glasgow on Friday afternoon but had no gigs to go to that day, as we had realized too late Duncan Chisholm was giving … Continue reading Notes from Celtic Connections 2020, part 1

My interview with Dowally

One day in the springtime of the current year I was on my evening walk with Dowally's 2nd album, Somewhere, in my headphones. I had liked it and its predecessor even before, but now it sounded particularly nice in the beautiful light of May in the Nordic region. So I thought what the heck, this … Continue reading My interview with Dowally