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: 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

“Namer of Clouds”: a belated discovery

Somerset folk singer-songwriter Kitty Macfarlane’s debut album came out in 2018 and I saw her brilliant solo gig supporting RURA in Celtic Connections 2020 but only now did I listen to the album, Namer of Clouds. And hear me: it’s a stunning achievement, especially as it was her first solo outing. Great tunes, wonderful lyrics … Continue reading “Namer of Clouds”: a belated discovery

What I listened to in the summer of ’22, part 2: Dave Sheridan, AVA

Two Irish 🇮🇪 artists that got my attention this summer are very different; one established and trad, the other fairly new and decidedly not trad.The master flautist Dave Sheridan’s two albums, Sheridan’s Guest House (2006) and Drivin’ Leitrim Timber (2010) were a great delight. As the Celtic scene is brim full of good trad music, … Continue reading What I listened to in the summer of ’22, part 2: Dave Sheridan, AVA

Listening Diary for May 30 – June 5, 2022: Liam O’Flynn, M G Boulter, Boxing Banjo, Faun

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: Liam O’Flynn, M G Boulter, Boxing Banjo, Faun

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

Album Review / Seth Lakeman: Make Your Mark

The big guy of British folk released a new album late in 2021 and I got to listening to it this week. And to take this one thing off the table right away: I think the album cover is just ****ing great. That axe-hewn face in huge closeup in stark monochrome - you instantly know … Continue reading Album Review / Seth Lakeman: Make Your Mark

Album Review / Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan: Still As Your Sleeping

It's always a special moment when a new album by one of your big favorites comes out. When I was a teenager, it was the new Rush or Peter Gabriel or Iron Maiden for me; that was a long, so long ago (I do still love Rush and Gabriel, though) and these days, it's a … Continue reading Album Review / Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan: Still As Your Sleeping

Album Review / Honey and the Bear: Journey Through The Roke

The English duo of Lucy and Jon Hart, collectively known as Honey and the Bear, came to my knowledge with this, their second album, released this spring. It was one of those happy surprises when an artificial intelligence (I can't remember which) recommended an artist to and actually hit the sweet spot. Journey Through The … Continue reading Album Review / Honey and the Bear: Journey Through The Roke