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Here’s a good question: if you are an experienced Irish music lover, is there any reason to buy compendium albums? The answer is assuredly, yes. No matter how much time you spend in Irish music, there are hundreds or thousands of songs, tunes, and singers whom you have not heard. Look, everyone knows what they like. That takes no knowledge or experience. You either like Clannad…Continue
We met David Doocey some time ago when he was a guest in our home while on tour with the David Munnelly Band. Like DeDannan, the no-longer-in-existence David Munnelly Band produced a rich field of musicians, all out on their own and creating real excitement. Artists such as Fergal Scahill, Kieran Munnelly, Shauna Mullin, Andrew Murray, and David Doocey come to…Continue
Maurice Lennon is one of the best fiddle players in the world, and none can argue it. His new album, The Little Ones, is just out on Clo Iar-Chonnacht to prove it. The label has been hot, hot, hot lately with a series of terrific releases, and this one is the capstone. There are 14 tunes here, all again reaffirming Maurice’s place at the top. He is joined by many members of…Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on September 3, 2013 at 19:00 — No Comments
Maurice Lennon is one of the best fiddle players in the world, and none can argue it. His new album, The Little Ones, is just out on Clo Iar-Chonnacht to prove it. The label has been hot, hot, hot lately with a series of terrific releases, and this one is the…Continue
The Paul McKenna Band has a brand new tasty treat out on Compass and it is called Elements. Sensational. Four stars! The Paul McKenna Band is from Scotland and is a quartet consisting of Paul, David McNee, Sean Gray, and Ewan Baird. It is a gem, and there are two problems here. Well, maybe three. My complaint with the McKenna band for the last…Continue
A stunner to open this month’s reviews. It is entitled, Classic Celtic Music and it is from Smithsonian Folkways. What a historically important and entertaining compendium this is. As you would expect, anything from Smithsonian has a booklet with it that is worth the…Continue
Here are several tasty treats for you. Let’s start with the new, new first. Sox in the Frying Pan has a self-titled album out. These three young men are terrific musicians with an obvious sense of humor. Brothers Shane and Fiachra Hayes on accordion/fiddle/banjo are accompanied by Aodan Coyne on guitar and vocals. We would expect these three from Clare to be excellent on their…Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on May 15, 2013 at 10:00 — No Comments
Five years ago, I was happily driving down the road, minding my own business and listening to the album, Fire In The Kitchen by The Chieftains. Isn’t that a great title? It is one of those Chieftains’ multi-artist things—this one featuring Nova Scotian and Quebecoix artists. You know the drill. Chieftains, plus several guest stars.
April 2013 LIContinue
Added by Bill Margeson on April 5, 2013 at 20:30 — No Comments
If you are reading this column, you probably know who Lunasa is. Iconic in the tradition. One of the most popular groups of all time in trad, and rightly so. They are out with a new album—joined by The RTE Orchestra! Altan did an album like this last year. This one is better. Great to hear the symphonic treatment of some of the band’s favorite tunes, playing right…Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on March 25, 2013 at 11:00 — No Comments
Iarla O’Lionaird has just released his latest, Foxlight. We could write for days about this sean nos singer. Well, he’s not sean nos.BBut, he’s not modern. He inhabits his own universe in which he lives creatively among a lot of strains of Irish music. Working against him, in terms of a big, broad, mass appeal, is the fact that almost all of what he sings is…Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on March 22, 2013 at 13:30 — No Comments
Added by Bill Margeson on March 16, 2013 at 19:40 — No Comments
Ready for a technologically error-free program with serious philosophical discourse about the roots of Irish Traditional Music?
Well, for the rest of us...be sure to catch Bill & Imelda LIVE: Two Yanks from Chicago. TODAY 6pm GMT, 12 noon Chicago time, and YOU figure it out everywhere else! Join us in the chat room! See you there!…Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on February 24, 2013 at 16:19 — No Comments
The roof has caved in. I’ve whined for years that I’m falling so far behind that soon I will be buried under 18 feet of cd’s and unable to find my way to the surface. It has happened. Therefore, this is a cop-out column. It will be filled with little short, proclamations with no backup or analysis of anything. By the end of it, however, you’ll know about some terrific new albums!
Added by Bill Margeson on February 18, 2013 at 12:30 — No Comments
Welcome to the 2013 Livies. Along with TG4, these are the most eagerly anticipated Irish Traditional Music Awards of the year. The reason? LiveIreland's unprecedented and instantaneous worldwide reach in its readership. When any site like LiveIreland is the 900 pound gorilla in the room, it's paid attention to. It is our honor to recognize the Best of the Best with…Continue
Before we begin our annual Christmas column, respect must be paid to Paddy Homan and his army of volunteers who hosted such a well-run and enjoyable fundraiser for the iconic Irish fiddler, Maurice Lennon. Held a few weeks ago at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago, a terrific amount of money was raised to help pay some of Maurice’s medical…Continue
Tenor, John McDermott has just released his 27th album, My Gentle Harp-A Tribute to Thomas Moore. That total of albums is somewhat staggering, and this is John’s best. For the few not aware, Thomas Moore (1779-1852) was, perhaps, the great Irish songwriter of all time. It is tempting to turn this into an article on Thomas…Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on October 31, 2012 at 8:30 — No Comments
LI for October, 2012 We Banjo 3. For openers: They were absolutely the hottest show at this year's Irish Fest in Milwaukee. The group's album is Roots of the Banjo Tree. Audiences kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger for the band as the weekend featured the birth of a new force in Irish music, and boy!!, did everyone know it! The legendary Enda Scahill left the iconic…Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on September 20, 2012 at 12:00 — No Comments
This weekend, Friday and Saturday, stay tuned to LI with LIVE updates from the biggest Irish festival in the world, Milwaukee's Irishfest! Our intrepid correspondents and our two favorite Yanks, Bill and Imelda will be there with tons of brief and newsworthy reports. We don't know EXACTLY when they'll be,. Bill and Imelda don't know exactly when…Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on August 16, 2012 at 13:30 — No Comments
Kathryn Claire is the kind of name you expect to find in Irish music. She is a tremendous fiddle player and singer. Hanz Araki is most definitely not the type of name you expect to run across in the music. He is a tremendous wooden flute player and singer. Together, these two Yanks from the northwest corner of America are revolutionizing the Irish music business, as we speak.…Continue