Irish Internet Radio and TV from Dublin, Ireland.
My, my, my. How this all piles up! This time, seven treasures awaiting your discovery. Let’s go:
First up is our 2006 new artist of the year Hanz Araki with musical partner, Kathryn Claire. Are you sitting down? There are actually three brand new cd’s from Hanz and Kathryn with one more to come very soon! The albums are “As I Roved Out” “A Winter Solstice Celebration” and “Songs of Love and Murder.” We don’t have the fourth yet but we’ll let you know when we do. We talked to Hanz briefly, but we’re still not sure exactly how this fab flood of music happened. We’ve never seen four albums out from one artist in a compressed period of time! Wow! Here’s the deal---Hanz is an outstanding singer and traditional flute player. Outstanding. Kathryn Claire has a beautifully clear, mature voice that matches her fiddle playing perfectly. These three cd’s are just perfect, and we feel buried alive by great music. The way to get back on our feet is to dig out by listening and re-listening to these three cd’s of fantastic music. Holy moley!
Next is Cuan, a group of whom we know very little except that they are wonderful. The group on the album, “They Sailed East and They Sailed West” is Colleen Raney doing the vocals, joined by Colm MacCarthaigh on guitar and also singing, with Matty Sears on bodhran. Two beautiful voices, two great styles and a real keeper. Great stuff.
Chad McAnally is a superb harp player out of the Minneapolis area. The album of his that we are listening to is a recent release called, “Of Bards and Beggars.” Something special here-all the tunes on this album are performed on a steel-string harp. This is the way harps originally sounded in Ireland. You seldom hear it now. The last album we remember was from a woman named Ann Heymann about 20 or 25 years ago. We don’t know why it’s not more popular, as the unique sound rings absolutely true and clear as crystal. Add to that the fact that Chad is a soulful harpist who also makes harps, and you have an album of real substance and real enjoyment. Beautiful.
Sean O’Driscoll has “So There You Go” his brand new album just out, and available through Copperplate Distribution in London. Best company in the world for real trad lovers, along with The Rampant Lion in Villa Park. He is a very bright banjo player with great presence, and the album has real lift and movement, especially if you love ceili music. Makes you want to get right up and dance. Our favorite is Landrum’s Waltz. Get hold of this lively piece of work and you’ll have your own favorite cut. Lots of fun.
Karen Ryan is part of the best female group in the business, The London Lasses. Her new solo album with Pete Quinn is “The Coast Road.” We know it is available through Alan O’Leary at Copperplate in London. Karen is such a wonderful fiddle player, and this album immediately nominates her for Female Musician of the Year. She has a lot of tasty guest musicians in, but it is her playing alone that transcends all. This is a very, very exciting album. This woman can play, and look; we know that Pete Quinn is also in the group, The London Lasses, but he is vastly outnumbered, the lucky dog! One of our favorite groups meets one of our favorite fiddle players (Karen) and here we are on The Coast Road” and you should take the trip, also. It is a beautiful journey.
Next we have Dermot Byrne and Floriane Blancke. We are not heretofore familiar with Floriane, but we have admired Dermot’s work on button box for years with Altan. Floriane Blancke is a precise harp player. The button box and harp together is a very different sound. Some people love it and some people have a hard time getting into it. The ease of access into this music is made much easier when you have two real musicians like this clearing the way. Tremendoust stuff, and highly recommended.
The Rachel Hair Trio has their album entitled, “No More Wings.’ There are 10 cuts on the album that feature Rachel’s harp. She is wonderful. The vocals are excellent, with Jen Buttersworth doing the singing. Some of the album is very avante garde and not to our taste. But the Irish tunes are absolutely stunning. This is very, very good music,indeed-- even when it’s not Irish! A lovely album and well recommend.
We hope you are listening to Ireland Tonight on Mondays. WDCB is the station, 90.0fm from 8-9, preceded by our radio partner, Shay Clarke’s show at 7. Maryann Keifer and I bring you the best in Irish trad, and she makes a great scone! The garden gate is, indeed, left open for you. Available online at www.wdcb.org
Ireland Tonight’s Producer is Imelda Brogha, and she co-hosts a weekly two-hour trad extravaganza with me each week on LiveIreland.com from Dublin, Ireland. By a factor of about 30, literally, LiveIreland is the biggest Celtic music website on the net. For the summer, anyway, we are on live every Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Chicago time with several repeats during the week on LiveIreland. Worldwide music domination!!! Irish music on the march!! It is a ball, and you are welcome to join us!!
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