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Irish Internet Radio and TV from Dublin, Ireland.

Brace yourself, Bridgid. There is a BRAND new album out, ink-still-wet-on-the-cover-sort-of- thing. The name of the group and album is Full Set. They came to us through Fergal and Enda Scahill. Full Set is six young unbelievably talented singers and musicians. Three from Dublin, one from Cork, one from Corofin, and we don’t know the other.

Doesn’t make any difference. We will tell you ALL about this very soon. Wow! One of the key players in Full Set, is the best young Irish piper we have heard in years. We shouldn’t say “young Irish piper”. We should just say, “best piper we’ve heard in years.” Sean McCarthy. He’s the musician in Full Set who is out of Cork. His equally new solo album is entitled Halcyon Days. Sensational. More later.

 

Perfect title, Halcyon Days, as his playing is a throwback to Willie Clancy and Seamus Ennis. Yup. The fab Daithi Sproule has a brand new album out, Lost River: Vol. 1. You know Daithi. Guitar player for Altan. A great musician and singer of the real stuff. We’re writing a huge article for Irish Music Magazine on Daithi and this album right now. Suffice it to say here that it is filled to the brim with treats. Very tasty, indeed! We love Daithi’s singing, and his guitar playing is rightly admired around the world. Our pal, Jack Baker at Rampant Lion has this album, we know. (He has EVERYTHING.) So does Copperplate in London with the unexcelled Alan O’Leary. It is a great piece of music. And, yes, there WILL be a Vol. II ! Over the years, we have come to marvel at Daithi and his music. Every album he releases confirms that judgment.

 

A winner of an album from a winner of a musician and singer! And, there are tons of great guest artists, also, including our Liz Carroll! For the true true trad fan, it is hard to do better than Bosca Ceoil and Fiddle from Cathal Clohessy and Eamonn Costello on fiddle and button box, respectively. Copperplate in London has it available. This is a hard to find gem. The trad fan will adore this. Really terrific playing from two young men who really understand the tradition and play it gorgeously. We play this a LOT in the office. Just Google Copperplate. Welcome to heaven. Oonagh Derby has Harmony Street out. A great singer. Fab songwriter. Okay. This is not strictly trad. It IS strictly Irish, and this talented young woman from Armagh is set for a very long run, indeed. This is a fast train leaving the station. Get on board. Big time talent. Stunning. Check her out, and we know Copperplate in London has this, as well. If Copperplate is handling it, and it is not trad, it tells you how good this is. We are a little late to this dance, but the Paul McKenna Band from Scotland is out with a lovely piece of business. It is entitled Stem the Tide. There may be no stemming The Paul McKenna Band. This album will cement what is already a very bright future, as well as a wonderful present for the band.

 

The lead singing and harmonies on this album are perfect. This is great music. Our only complaint is that there are not enough instrumentals out of the thirteen selections. The band is so good instrumentally, but we fear they are on the verge becoming an outstanding ballad group. That would be a shame. More tunes, a couple fewer songs. Having said that, we absolutely love Paul McKenna and the band’s sensational singing. Fabulous album, but out of balance. We can’t get enough of their version of Again For Greenland. Two Tap Trio has A Night at the Fair out. The group consists of the astonishingly talented Norah Rendell on flute and vocals, Nathan Gourley on fiddle, and Brian Miller on guitar, bouzouki, and harmony vocals. How good is this? It is an early and serious contender for Vocal/Instrumental Album of the Year. Norah Rendell is a serious contender for Female Vocalist of the Year. We are stunned, and play this album constantly in the office and car. Lily Neill is out with The Habit of a Foreign Sky. She is a sensational harpist. She shares space with Sharon Mulcahy, Ailie Robertson, and Maire Ni Chathasaigh at the top of a list of very creative women who are redefining the Celtic harp. There are some jazzy almost strange pieces on this, but then Lily lays an Irish tune on you of such staggering beauty that is melts your hard heart. Find it.

 

Here's the truth, and it is fairly humiliating. Two-time consecutive winner of the Female Musician of the Year, Shannon Heaton, is also part of a wonderful group, based out of New England. It is called, Long Time Courting. They are getting a lot of work at several venues in New England, including concert halls and festivals. Big time talents. Four gals. We'll say no more. Nudge. Nudge. Nod as good as a wink. Here's the kicker: we're holding the album in our hands and it is called, Alternate Routes. We don't know if we're supposed to tell you all about it yet. As we review this we have not been able to catch up with Shannon. We reached her a few days ago on the telephone, and we found ourselves interrupting a flute class she was conducting somewhere out there. Having said hello to all the students on her speaker phone, and flogging the weekly radio program, we never got a chance to get the details on this album. Here is what it is for right now. It's a terrific album. We'll have all this sorted out and report back to you soon. You don’t know it yet, but you want this album. I have no idea what else to tell you right now. Google all these artists. Get busy. They absolutely deserve and command your support. You know where to find these, the usual sources. There is a ton of tremendous music represented in these albums. LiveIreland’s responsibility is to find it and make you aware of it. Your job is to support these artists. Nice workin’ with you. Do tune in to the weekly radio program for the best in real Irish music. Co-host Maryann Keifer and Producer, Imelda Bhroga are there for you every week. Monday nights 8:00 pm, WDCB 90.9 FM. Also check it out on www.wdcb.org. While listening, also check out our website, www.irelandtonight.com and Friend us on Facebook at Ireland Tonight. All the latest news and inside scoops. This is the weekly spot for the real deal, traditional Irish music. Now, off to Milwaukee Irish Fest. See you there! Pints on you!!! *Ta!

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Comment by Bill Margeson on August 2, 2011 at 11:34
Lee, thanks! I'm a HUGE fan of bluegrass. Just saw Ricky Skaggs Sunday night. Lots of great players out of the Carolinas!
Comment by Lee Perkins on August 2, 2011 at 10:56

Amazing. Reminds me of how here in the u.s. so much great americana music has emerged from the traditional bluegrass/oldtime traditions; which honors both and takes them so much further. Full Set seems to do just this with the Irish tradition.

 

Terrific album. And so glad it's already on iTunes

Comment by Bill Margeson on July 26, 2011 at 15:13
Thanks Paul and Jenna. TERRIFIC young group. Going places!
Comment by Paul O'Brien on July 26, 2011 at 11:25
Just checked out Full Set. Thanks.
Comment by Imelda on July 20, 2011 at 20:19

Love Full Set.
Can't wait to hear about Long TIme Courting!

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