New Celtic CDs from Harmony Glen, Chris Sherburn & Findlay Napier, Men of Worth, Christine Sparks

Got the urge to sing, dance, or disappear into a great Celtic legacy?

 

Harmony Glen - The Cure for Anything

The Cure for Anything
by Harmony Glen
Warning: Listening to this album full of Irish feelgood folk might cause a severe urge to dance and sing and generally behave in ways that are not by default approved of my the general public. It might leave you with an everlasting smile on your face!
Genre: Folk: Irish Contemporary
Release Date: 2014

Two Men On a Boat
by Chris Sherburn & Findlay Napier
A mixture of contemporary and Traditional Scottish and English folk music and song accompanied by acoustic guitar and concertina and all recorded live on a 64″ Humber Keel canal boat.
Genre: Folk: Scottish Traditional
Release Date: 2014

Men of Worth 1997-1999
by Men of Worth
A collection of traditional, contemporary and original Irish and Scottish Folk Music. Two previously released albums repackaged as a double CD.
Genre: Folk: Scottish Traditional
Release Date: 2012

Caledonia
by Christine Sparks
A mix of traditional Scottish and contemporary Scottish folk songs. 12 beautiful songs sung by The truly Sensational Christine Sparks. Her pure voice and the stripped back production create a breathtaking album that is truly created with love.
Genre: Folk: Scottish Traditional
Release Date: 2014

New Celtic CDs from Kieran O’Hare & John Skelton, Tonnta Ceoil, Randal Bays and Family, The McDeviants

Traditional Irish music with some tin whistles, fiddles, flutes, concertinas and some Irish drinking songs.

 

Kieran O'Hare & John Skelton - Two Tone

Two Tone
by Kieran O’Hare & John Skelton
Exciting fist-in-glove duet playing of Irish traditional music on flute and tinwhistle–driving and powerful, with guest John Blake on guitar and piano.
Genre: Folk: Irish Traditional
Release Date: 2014

Lucky for Some
by Tonnta Ceoil
Tonnta Ceoil are a modern Irish trad group from the heart of Co. Clare fusing old and new musical styles in an exciting mix of music and song.
Genre: Folk: Irish Traditional
Release Date: 2014

A Rake of Tunes
by Randal Bays and Family
A collection of unaccompanied Irish traditional music played on fiddles, flute and concertina by Randal Bays and family… reels, jigs, hornpipes plus a few live recordings from concerts and sessions.
Genre: Folk: Irish Traditional
Release Date: 2014

Seven Long Years
by The McDeviants
Irish drinking and folk songs. Sometimes naughty, sometimes nice. Always fun.
Genre: Folk: Irish Contemporary
Release Date: 2014

MP3: “Fizzbuzz” by Nua

Cover_Final

NUA is an innovative new trad trio, bringing a fresh and unique sound to traditional music, creating their own distinctive flavor with both original and traditional compositions from Ireland and Scotland. Based in Toronto, Canada, NUA consists of three award-winning members: fiddle player James M Law, guitarist Graeme McGillivray and bodhrán player Jacob McCauley.

The interaction between the three is what really makes the music shine, whether it be their soaring melodies or tasteful grooves. The trio is also well known for their exciting incorporation of odd time signatures and polyrhythms, which give the music an electrifying lift and spontaneity.

Each member adds their own distinctive sound and influence to the music. Although they are a trio with a sole melody player, the brilliant multi-tasking of each member is demonstrated countless times with perhaps a guitar-driven flat-picked melody, rhythmic fiddle playing, or melodic bodhrán playing to add to the mix. The ability for each member to take on multiple roles is one of the staples of NUA. This adds to a thrilling live experience, and a “you just don’t know what’s coming next” approach!

 

Band: Nua

Buy CD: Bold

Download MP3: Fizzbuzz

Website: Nua

Hometown: Toronto, Canada

Similar Artists: Flook, Lau, Oliver Schroer

 

The Celtic Music Magazine is the Voice of indie Celtic Music online. It features Celtic CD reviews, articles, and free Celtic MP3s since 2000. We’re changing your world with Celtic music. Subscribe to our podcast and monthly newsletter at www.celticmp3s.com.

 

REVIEW: “The O’Carolan Songwriter’s Project” by Candace Corrigan

ocarolancover250

Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór, Eleanor Plunkett, George Brabazon, and Fanny Power have more in common than simply being popular Irish songs; all these classic pieces are also written by the same man, Turlough O’Carolan – the blind, Irish harper. While these tunes themselves are generally widely known, the lyrics to them are not. In fact, most people aren’t even aware there are lyrics to these wonderful pieces because they have never really been translated from the original Gaelic. Likewise, many people aren’t even aware that he was a poet long before he was a harper. Hence, the inspiration for the wonderful album entitled “The O’Carolan Songwriter’s Project” organized by producer, songwriter and lead vocalist Candice Corrigan.

This project features the wonderful talents of 15 fabulous musicians whose goal is to take some of O’Carolan’s wonderful songs and show them in a new light by translating the lyrics into a “poetic, singable English.” A goal they certainly achieve. While staying true to O’Carolan’s work arrangers, Sarah Wilfong and Aislinn Gagliardi, do a brilliant job of breathing new life into these songs and truly revitalizing them. In their introductory video on their website, they describe Turlough as an itinerant musician and a rock star of his age. Listening to these arrangements one can see why.

Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór is known to be one of O’Carolan’s first compositions and it discusses two hills that are supposedly inhabited by fairies, or the good people, as they are known in Ireland. It is one of his most popular pieces. Yet, other than this most aren’t aware of the full story told by O’Carolan. In this version of Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór/Planxty Drew, we get to hear it. It begins with the pipes played by Skip Cleavinger that wonderfully sets the mood for this ethereal tale. After playing the first part through once, Candice Corrigan breaks in with the first verse, “There were two fairy hills, one grand, one spare / Whose queens went to battle in a fury rare / The grand one claimed the greater power / And war raged on by the old,” capturing our attention and imagination, bringing us right into the story. Building off of the pipes and her vocals are also the brilliant bright sound of a harp and the lightness of a flute. Nothing about it, however, seems forced or rushed but melds beautifully into the tale that is being told, crescendoing and decrescendoing to add emphasis where needed. At the end, it changes pace into Planxty Drew. The drumtakes over with a lilting flute. Nevertheless, this arrangement works well as it carries us onward, much in the way an epilogue of story may complete the needs of the reader.

The third track on this album, George Brabazon, is a wonderful drinking song that is believed to be composed towards the end of O’Carolan’s career. Like his planxties, this was written in honor of a real person. The subject is most likely George Brabazon of New Park, in the barony of Gallen and parish of Kilconduff, County Mayo. As is fitting, this arrangement features the harp, O’Carolan’s instrument, played by Aislinn Gagliardi. While I say this is fitting because it is O’Carolan’s instrument, I also say it is fitting because it creates this wonderful juxtaposition that was O’Carolan as a person. Here we have this wonderful, rousing drinking song, but at the same time there is a certain elegance about it that works beautifully. Much in the way that O’Carolan was a bit on the rough side and a man who loved his whiskey, yet much of his life was centered around wealthy patrons and elegance.

 Finally, perhaps one of my favorite songs on the album, Bridget Cruise, showcases more of the romantic side of O’Carolan. It is about the love of his life. While he fell in love with her as a young man prior roe coming blind, he was unable to be with her because at the time she was of nobility and he came from a simple laboring family. In this arrangement, the harp and fiddle play will off each other trading off who caries the melody. Nevertheless, at the same time the harp is also the percussion. Meanwhile, the vocals grip the listener as she sweetly unfolds O’Carolan’s thoughts. The first few lines state, “I cannot sleep one night soundly / Thinking of you night and day.” It truly is a gripping, sad and sweet song full of emotion that is emoted through the instruments of these talented musicians.

In short, if you love Celtic music buy this album. You will not be disappointed. Not only will you love to listen to these familiar songs, but also you will begin to see the music of this artist, who has affected thousands of others, through a different light.

Artist: The O’Carolan Songwriter’s Project
Buy Album: The O’Carolan Songwriter’s Project

 Stephen Mc Sweeney is a High School English/Drama teacher. Besides writing for the Celtic MP3s Music Magazine, he enjoys acting, writing and playing Celtic music. He can be seen as one of the members of the band Terrible Musicians, where he plays percussion and mandolin.

New Celtic CDs from Karen Corbin, Pierre Schryer Band, Hugh Morrison, The Craicheads, Seah Leah & Jeremy Spencer

This week’s new Celtic CDs will have you celebrating Scottish freedom. Plus, you’ll find some outstanding traditional music and a wee bit o’ Celtic rock. Lend these bands an ear!

 

Hugh Morrison - Scotland Is Free

Ready for the Storm
by Karen Corbin
Her debut celtic/folk CD, Karen’s natural, rich and sincere voice delivers fresh interpretations of some of her favourite traditional and contemporary celtic folk songs.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
Release Date: 2014

Blue Drag
by Pierre Schryer Band
2004 JUNO Awards Nominee for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year – Group. “There’s some blue notes, but it’s no drag! Pierre’s tone is full and rich and his groove is deep, leading the band expertly on each selection”. Tim O’Brien – Nashville, TN
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 2003

Scotland Is Free
by Hugh Morrison
Scottish native, Hugh Morrison returns with a new album, Scotland is Free. Scottish history, past & present caught on 12 tracks.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
Release Date: 2014

Brewed in London
by The Craicheads
This debut album from London based Irish Rockers The Craicheads positively crackles with the life, energy and joie de vivre of their live shows
Genre: Folk: Irish Contemporary
Release Date: 2014

Entanglement
by Sean Leahy & Jeremy Spencer
Traditional Irish Music On Fiddle & Guitar
Genre: Folk: Irish Traditional
Release Date: 2014