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Bill Margeson's Blog (75)

Margeson on the music May 2011


Let’s just wander around a bit this time. Ok? A little of this, a little of that. You know the drill.


  • Just this second got off the phone with Sue Bourne. Who? Well, she has just released a brilliant documentary about the 2010 Irish World Dancing  Championships, which were held in Glasgow. It is stunning. The filming and editing is Academy Award…

Added by Bill Margeson on June 20, 2011 at 18:05 — 3 Comments

Margeson on the Music, April 2011

Be forewarned. At the end of this, nothing may be clearer. Hopefully, we’ll both be better informed, but this is murky stuff. It all began years ago. Fado, fado. While having lunch with legendary Sligo fiddler, Manus McGuire, the topic of regionalization in Irish traditional music reared its head. Manus resides in East Clare. He agreed with music partner, Paul Brock (sitting…


Added by Bill Margeson on March 22, 2011 at 19:30 — 2 Comments

Margeson on the Music

First, thanks to all for your many, many comments on last month’s column featuring the Best Artists of the Decade Awards. Great craic. Speaking of great craic, you are in the right place for all things St. Patrick! March! The high holy holiday! NO ONE in the world does St. Patrick’s like LiveIreland!! NO ONE!!!!


Now, on to some important, trad albums which might be…


Added by Bill Margeson on March 1, 2011 at 20:30 — 2 Comments

liveIreland Decades Awards 2000 to 2010

Decades Awards in Order 2000-2010

It is 10 years already. Ten years since the last “Best Of The Decade in Irish Music” list on LiveIreland! Ten years of magical moments in Irish music represented here by the very best of the very best of the very best. You get the drift. Each artist listed here has dedicated his or her life to the music, and they are the best there is at the tradition we all hold so dear. These Awards are not recognition of their…


Added by Bill Margeson on December 30, 2010 at 12:00 — 10 Comments

Margeson on the music, December, 2010

In what has become a yearly tradition, we here at LI give out around this time as to what are the top albums for the Christmas gift giver.
The ones with real trad taste. The gift giver who wants to give something fab---something trad. Does it shock you to find out we have recommendations? Now, it is up to you to find them. Easy. There are a couple that will require contacting the unequalled European distributor, Copperplate and Alan O’Leary directly. Also, think…

Added by Bill Margeson on November 30, 2010 at 20:18 — 1 Comment

Margeson on the Music November 2010

Boston’s Joe Derrane has just released his new album, Grove Lane on the Compass label. That is the last objective sentence you will read here on Joe Derrane.

Joe Derrane is the greatest button box player in the history of Irish music. His gentlemanly nature will be totally embarrassed by that sentence, but it is nonetheless true. And, there are some incredible box players in the history of the music. We spoke extensively with him in preparation for this article. Living at home…


Added by Bill Margeson on October 25, 2010 at 16:35 — No Comments

Margeson on the Music October 2010

Tradition in Review 10 10

What treats this month! The joy modified only by our Nazi editor’s demand of sticking to deadlines. All right. No whining. On to the music, and a fab batch it is, to be sure!

First up---and we may be in for a record here. Boston’s Joe Derrane has a new album JUST out. On Compass. Entitled, Grove Lane. In his hands, a button box moves to an entire “other” level. A god!! As we grovel, let’s tell you it is 12…


Added by Bill Margeson on September 19, 2010 at 19:00 — No Comments

Margeson on the Music September 2010

This isn’t going to be easy. We wanted to do an article on Len Graham’s new book, Joe Holmes- Here I Am Amongst You. First, let’s abandon any pretense of journalistic objectivity here. To the knowledgeable reader, Len Graham is already an icon. There is no more respected performer and scholar of real Irish songs than Len. His career is filled with triumphs, awards, friends and artistic achievements that cover four decades. His contributions to song cannot be overemphasized. The… Continue

Added by Bill Margeson on August 27, 2010 at 10:30 — 1 Comment

Margeson on the music August 2010

Well, it has happened again. In writing a few in-depth reviews the last few months on Kevin Burke, Brian Finnegan and Alan O’Leary, we have let slip a number of goodies. So, brace yourself, darling. This is gonna be one of those machine gun columns covering 11 albums. One quick note. Have you Googled Copperplate Distribution as we have encouraged you? No? Copperplate is the best place in the world for the true trad fan, and if you are not familiar with it and Alan O’Leary, you cannot call…


Added by Bill Margeson on August 2, 2010 at 21:00 — No Comments

Margeson on the Music July 2010

Well, this Article is supposed to be about Brian Finnegan’s new album, The Ravishing Genius of Bones. The great temptation is to write a travel article, instead. Finding Brian Finnegan. Unbelievably, I found myself on a splotchy cell phone connection to Brian when he was in Moscow. Moscow! “I’m over here doing some concert work with Boris Grebenshikov. He’s great! You should see where we’re playing! It is like the Royal Albert Hall of Russia!” Moscow?

The Irish music…


Added by Bill Margeson on July 8, 2010 at 22:43 — 2 Comments

Margeson on the Music June 2010

Kevin Burke’s new album is entitled, Suite. The first thing you are going to have to do is drop the idea that you know what a Kevin Burke album will sound like. Any reader of this site knows, or should know, who Kevin Burke is. The credentials speak for themselves. Of course, he was the fiddler for the iconic Bothy Band of the early 70’s. The Bothy Band was one of the progenitors of a resurgent traditional music era that has only grown since the band was joined by the likes…


Added by Bill Margeson on June 11, 2010 at 9:30 — 1 Comment

Margeson on the music May 17th 2010

The regular reader knows the frequency we bring the London distribution and promotion firm, Copperplate Distribution, to the fore, as a service for you. Copperplate founder, Alan O’Leary has been mentioned on these pages almost as often as Liz Carroll, Jimmy Keane and Reeltime over the years. For good reasons. And, here they are.…


Added by Bill Margeson on May 17, 2010 at 17:56 — No Comments

Margeson on the Music May 2010

There are two great things about listening to as much Irish music as we do. Well, three. The first is that when you get about 500 cd’s a year sent to you, you get to listen to a lot of Irish music, and a lot of that is from groups and soloists you have come to trust for delivering the goods. The real deal. Second is the bit when you find a really fab, super new talent who just knocks you down. The third is when someone sends a great, great album you had missed. This month we have an…


Added by Bill Margeson on April 18, 2010 at 17:16 — 1 Comment

Tradition in Review April, 2010 Seamus Ennis

Tradition in Review

April, 2010

Let’s take a break from the normal argy bargy of the column reviews. Let’s speak briefly this month about one of the giants of the music. All the young musicians out there blasting away, some with real ability (we’ll review Teada’s brill new album next month, along with a new fiddler on the scene Grainne Murphy). All of these musicians worldwide simply stand on the shoulders of the immortals, such as Seamus…


Added by Bill Margeson on March 19, 2010 at 23:22 — No Comments

Margeson on the music February 2010

Hope all is well in Dublin at headquarters! Here in Chicago, we have finally, completely had it with winter. Blizzards. Cold. Ice. Skidding cars. Skidding people. Bah. Humbug.

Well, we have received about 70 albums in the mail in the last couple months. So, here are the best of ‘em. There will be 9. This will be fast. Brace yourself, Bridgid:

1. Altan! They are JUST out, as of March 1, with their 25th anniversary album on Compass. This is cool. They went back into their own…


Added by Bill Margeson on February 21, 2010 at 21:00 — 1 Comment

The Livies liveIreland Music Awards 2010

Here they are and here we go. No Irish music Awards are so quickly spread around the world, nor so massively read about, thanks to the incredible reach of LiveIreland. As usual, these Awards represent the best of the best for the past year. Stunning stuff, and congratulations to all the winners. The envelopes please!!

Female Vocal Album of the Year…


Added by Bill Margeson on December 30, 2009 at 21:00 — 1 Comment

Margeson on the music December 09 News Update.

A quick note---next month is The Livies. They are our annual Awards for the best of the best for 2009. Don't miss them! No Awards are seen and heard worldwide so quickly, and by so many people!!!! Now as to the reviews:

The natural thing is to try NOT to go to extremes. I mean, it sounds so silly, over the top, wacky when you start “raving”. Your friends begin to fear for your mental state, and you walk around with your eyes in a glazed state that invites intervention. Thank heavens your… Continue

Added by Bill Margeson on December 23, 2009 at 8:00 — 1 Comment

Margeson on the Music Dec 09

LiveIreland Dec. 2009

I remember well when I started collecting antique images of Ulysses S. Grant, America’s greatest general. When anyone starts collecting, they are all in a mad rush. For me, it was anything with Grant’s image on it. For others, it is coins, stamps, old samplers, antique maps…whatever. And, for all those collectors, the result is always the same. The madness subsides, and through whatever process one goes through, the taste becomes more specific. Twists, turns and… Continue

Added by Bill Margeson on December 10, 2009 at 0:30 — No Comments

Liam Clancy 1935 - 2009

We are all saddened at news of the loss of Liam Clancy. The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem are major figures in the history of Irish music, especially in America. From the mid-50's onward, the Clanceys and Makem were Irish music to many millions of Americans through their appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, an iconic program in the history of music in America. But, the Clanceys and Makem were much more than simply popular entertainers. They were noted collectors of old Irish songs,… Continue

Added by Bill Margeson on December 5, 2009 at 21:20 — 3 Comments

Margeson On The Music November 09

Well, this is just perfect. Mick Moloney is out with his brand new album on Compass. Entitled, If It Wasn’t For The Irish and the Jews, it is a continuation of the albums in which Mick is the acknowledged best----turn of the 20th century Irish-American, Tin Pan Alley music. The previous album, McNally’s Row of Flats, was a hit, and won every award available in Irish music, including a couple from this venue!

As usual, with a Moloney album, the liner notes are worth the… Continue

Added by Bill Margeson on November 16, 2009 at 23:00 — 2 Comments

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