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Irish Internet Radio and TV from Dublin, Ireland.

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!
There are two cd’s from a fabulous button box player we need to make you aware of. He is Danny O’Mahony. The cd’s are “In Retrospect” and “As It Happened”, also starring the brilliant, Micheal O Raghallaigh on concertina. Both albums are signposts of real music and true talent. Like Imelda and me, Danny hosts an all-traditional Irish music fest, every Monday afternoon at 8:00 p.m., GMT. The show is called “A Trip to the Cottage.” It is on the net at radiokerry.ie. No crapola ballad groups screaming in pubs, or so-called, “celt-rock.” Like us, Danny is addicted to real Irish music. Great show, great music, great musician.
We have just received a couple of wonderful cd’s from a group out of Northern Ireland called Craobh Rua. The title of the cd’s are “Soh It Is” and “If Ida Been Here, Ida Been There.” A very talented quartet. Very. Pipes, flutes, guitars, vocals, banjos, and fiddles produce a percussive, textured sound we love. Get up,‘ya boyos!
Next, another brand new piece of loveliness. Mick McAuley, Winnie Horan, and Colm O Caoimh in “Sailing Back to You.” It’s a wonderful album and the vocals are ok, too. Mick and Winnie shine best when not involved with the group, Solas. And here they are bright stars, indeed. Great tunes and especially two lovely waltzes.
One of our favorite singer/songwriters in the world is Nova Scotia’s Dave Gunning. His newest album is “No More Pennies.” He is magic. We play him on our program all the time and if you have heard him, you know what we are talking about. This is great music from a great artist.
Realta is a trio, also out of Northern Ireland. Two uilleann pipers, guitars, and a lot of other instruments make for a surprisingly well-rounded sound. We like this group. A lot. The vocals are ok, and when the group is cooking, they sound almost like an orchestra. These are very accomplished young musicians.
Runa is a terrific group, and there are five of them. You have to like any group that quotes America’s Robert Frost in the cd notes. The name of their album is “Somewhere Along the Road”, which is performed by the quintet beautifully. There are several influences at work in this group, simultaneously. And it is another modern, yet totally trad sound on the scene, with one of the best album covers in years. We love Runa, and we hope they are set for a long run.
Kathleen Conneely lives in England, and is the sister of Chicago’s pride and joy, Pauline Conneely. She is a terrific tin whistle player and is one of the featured players in the best female group in the world, The London Lasses. Let’s be upfront: An entire cd of 14 tin whistle tunes can be hard to take, but Kathleen pulls it off brilliantly. She and the album are both jewels on the trad scene. Her new album is “The Coming of Spring.” If you love whistle, you will love this. If you don’t love whistle, (many of us don’t), you will still love this. She is a highly accomplished musician. This is a highly accomplished album.
We have more albums coming soon. God help us all.
Let’s fill in some other news----I have been writing and presenting Irish traditional music for 25 years. The best vocal cd I have ever heard is set for release April, 2013. It is by Nova Scotia’s Laura Smith. It is her first album in 16 years, and the story behind that delay is incredible and will not be dealt with here. What is important is this. In the cousic, Celtic folk tradition, she is the best singer/songwriter ever, and the only true genius I have heard in the music business after 43 years. Well, there IS Ray Charles—but that is another universe! Genius. Her new album is called, “Everything is Moving”. Once released, we’ll have a full review, song by song. It now reaches the absolute top of the mountain with Beal Tuinne. Wait until you hear this!! We will have the worldwide airplay premier of the cd on Imelda’s and my weekly program here on LI, Sundays 6pm, GMT.
BTW, Sundays ARE the place to be with Copperplate’s Alan O’Leary on from 4-6pm GMT, every Sunday, followed by Imelda and me. The only block of music where you have four hours of real, traditional Irish music, and it is live every Sunday. We hesitate to say this, but we must: Imelda and I think we have solved all technical issues.
St. Patrick’s Day is coming. Unfortunately, Daithi’s plans to get us over to be part of the LI marathon did not work out this year. It is all his fault, as Imelda and I had our bags packed. Imelda is still inconsolable.
More coming soon. Stay tuned in to the show and join us in the chat room every Sunday during our program. Imelda is always ready to talk about favorite drink recipes, and the latest sales of high heels. You will be more than welcomed, one hundred thousand times.

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