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… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on February 21, 2010 at 21:00 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
We love Martin Simpson. This talented Brit is out with his---what is this?----14th album? On Compass, it is entitled, True Stories. There are 13 cuts in all. Wonderful songs---several penned by himself, and there is also a lovely variety of instrumental treats. Simpson is one of the best guitar players in the business, as well as playing a terrific banjo. We love love love his songs and interpretations. We know of no one who more perfectly blends his voice with his guitar. Masters… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on October 15, 2009 at 7:00 —
Let’s do something a little different this month. First, a review, and then some good, old-fashioned, gossipy newsy stuff from inside the music. Sound good?
First, Fiona Mackenzie is out with a fab album, A Good Suit of Clothes—Songs of the Emigrant Gael. Epic title, hey? Boy, we like her voice. The entire album is in Scots Gaelic, with translations in the liner notes. Well, we THINK it is Scots Gaelic. How would we know? It could be in Irish, but as it is out… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on August 26, 2009 at 19:30 —
K. Milwaukee Irish Fest.
The big mamoo. The grandaddy. The mack daddy. The BIG ONE.
Gorgeous weather all three days, really. Big, big crowds, but not a new record, according to management. Probably about 129,000 over the four night-three day event. Hits? Surely, Scotland's Salsa Celtica,
The Red Hot Chili Pipers
from Scotland,and… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on August 19, 2009 at 9:30 —
On deadline and freezing in Chicago as I write this—leading me to again question the entire orthodoxy of global warming. If it is July, why do I have frostbite? Hmm?
Down to business. Scottish label supreme, Greentrax scores yet again with a brilliant piece of work. Entitled, People and Songs of the Sea, and make no mistake. This is a gorgeous album of people and songs of the Scottish sea. Every now and then comes an album where the liner notes and accompanying descriptions… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on July 6, 2009 at 14:48 —
June, 2009 LiveIreland
So many newsy bits and albums. So little time. Under a nasty deadline from Monsieur Lattimer. Normally, I would complain to the publisher, as with the other publications I write for---but David is also the publisher.
Oh, well…First---and this is important--- if you are going to be in Ireland on July 11, check out the National Concert Hall in Dublin and the Shaun Davey/Rita Connolly Concert being… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on May 28, 2009 at 17:30 —
The first time we ever heard Kevin Crawford play the flute was many, many years ago with the best all-instrumental group in the history of Irish music, Moving Cloud. The group’s two albums on Green Linnet still stand as the gold standard for musicians who love traditional music the world round. No question. Done. Dusted. Kevin also did a lovely solo cd for Green Linnet, entitled, The Dflat Flute. Still superb, lo’ these many years later. The videotape fast forwards, and I am seeing… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on April 19, 2009 at 20:00 —
Derry’s Maranna McCloskey is just out with a brand new album entitled, At Last. For the people familiar with the talented alto’s singing, this will come as welcome news fully justifying the title of the album. It has been a long time coming, and it is already receiving solid reviews and airplay, as witnessed by the LiveIreland award for Vocal Album of the Year, 2009.
Maranna was born in the mid 70’s in Dungiven, Co. Derry. There is a musical pattern to her talent that… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on April 12, 2009 at 19:00 —
Well, well…this month we will have the “Lightning Round”! Let’s take a quick perusal of the most current great stuff on the scene with a brief stop at each station for a one paragraph or less look over. Ready! Roll!
1. Double Play—Liz Carroll and John Doyle
This will hit the stores March 3, and so should you to get it. Is Liz the best Irish fiddler in the world? John the best guitar accompanist? Who knows? Who cares? This is brilliance. Three songs… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on March 6, 2009 at 19:30 —
The Livies 2009
This has been the greatest year ever in writing about the music. There are three reasons. First is Beal Tuinne. It is the most beautiful and important album we have reviewed in our 25 years of writing about Irish music. The second reason is Maranna McCloskey. This Derry singer is out with her first album, At Last. At last, indeed. Third… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on December 26, 2008 at 16:00 —
Margeson On The Music
Christmas approacheth. Gift ideas here. Lots of reviews this month, lots of ideas. To get down to these 12 albums, we had to listen to, literally, about a hundred. So they are ALL good. See what appeals. Then hear what appeals. Just order them from Claddagh, and you can get to them through this site---or go direct to the artists after you visit their sites. Brace yourself,… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on November 12, 2008 at 19:30 —
Margeson On The Music
So much to do. So little time. Task at hand, a ton more albums to tell you about, as really good stuff continues to flow in. Early alert to next month's column reviewing some great new stuff from Chicago's own bohola. But, now, here it all is for this month!…
Added by Bill Margeson on September 21, 2008 at 12:30 —
Okay, okay, these things pile up. In the middle of last month's writing assignments for The Chicago Irish-American News, LiveIreland.com, Irish Music Magazine, the Public Radio show with my co-star and brilliant music interpreter, Shay Clarke, these things pile up. Last month, we told you about a single album. The unequalled, Beal Tuinne. Did you get your copy yet? So, when you get 500 albums sent to you every year, guess what happens? They pile up. Brace yourself, Bridgid, here they all come… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on August 18, 2008 at 19:00 —
The Great Sights & Sounds of Ireland!
November 1-10, 2008
Click here for General Conditions
Click here for the Enrollment Sheet
Click here for Cost and What's Included
The true soul of Ireland is to be found in its music - real, true Irish traditional music, not the tourist, pub-song shoutfest featured in so many Irish locations. We're talking the REAL Irish tradition. This tour features a dynamic daytime… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on April 17, 2008 at 16:52 —
MyLiveIreland member, Rebecca Gresty
and our music writer Bill Margeson recently made contact in our chat site. Rebecca had a demo of her voice up, and Bill heard it. He loved it! He and Rebecca made contact. Bill then asked for the four-cut demo in cd format, and this week played one of the cuts on his American Public Radio programme based out of Chicago! Bill loves her voice so much that he stated that he would play… Continue
Added by Bill Margeson on February 20, 2008 at 18:03 —