Irish Internet Radio and TV from Dublin, Ireland.


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 material. During the championships, they had 20 cameras at work at the competition. It follows a few individual competitors of the 6,000 entrants. That’s right. 6,000. The film wisely bypasses all the controversial aspects of Irish dancing, and focuses on the achievements of the dancers and their families. Currently looking for a distribution deal, by the time you read this, the film will have already had its Chicago debut at the Beverly Arts Center. If you don’t get a chance to see it in a theatre, watch for the eventual dvd. Stunning. The name is Jig. Google it. It was made with grants from the Scottish government. Fascinating and compelling. Best thing I’ve seen in ages.  
  • Spring/summer has finally arrived in the States! By, “The States” I, of course, mean Chicago. Annual Gaelic Park Irish Festival was held the weekend of May 28th. In true Chicago fashion, the weather was dreadful. Let’s see, Liz Carroll on fiddle and John Shine on guitar were there. The Four Courts were on hand in the tidal monsoons. This is a powerhouse throw-together group formed here in Chicago by Jimmy Keane. How’s this sound? Jimmy Keane (Male Musician of the Decade) on accordion, Paddy Homan (Male Singer of the Decade) on vocals, the incomparable Maurice Lennon on fiddle---Maurice was one of the founders of the iconic Stockton’s Wing and a brill young keyboardist, Cormac McCarthy from Cork with Jimmy Moore from Kilkenny on guitar. Wow!
  • New album just out from the wonderful box player, Luke Daniels. Entitled, The Mighty Box. As we get a chance to hear the whole thing, we’ll review here, and tell you if it is worth your money and love! Being Luke, it probably is!
  • As I am writing you this, I am listening to Copperplate Podcast 39 from Alan O’Leary. Best podcast on the net for trad music. Right now he is playing Sean Tyrrell, Ronan Browne and Kevin Glackin with their new album, And The Story Goes. Sounds brill! Just Google Copperplate, and sign up for the podcast. The best. Did we already say that? Geez, we love Sean Tyrrell. Was at a massive session years ago with Ronan Browne at The Falls Hotel in Claire. Great memories! Review coming, obviously. 
  • Speaking of Copperplate, they are representing the fantastic, Oonagh Derby and her brand new album, Harmony Street. Full review coming next month. Suffice it to say that this Armagh young woman is a stunner of an alto singer. It is available through the Copperplate site, and we’re sure you could also get it from her directly, as well as th usual outlets such as cdbaby and Claddagh. Google. We may well be listening to Newcomer of the Year!
  • If you have not, find The Brock McGuire Band’s Green Grass Blue Grass. Go to the site. We reviewed it last month, and are still playing it regularly. Also, it has been a hit on Ireland Tonight, our American Public Broadcasting show each Monday evening! will get you there. 8:00 Chicago time. Co-host Maryann Keifer and Producer, Imelda Heinze keep everything on the straight and narrow. Or, they try to.
  • Trad music is in a downturn in America and Ireland. All the energy being sucked up in Ireland by country and western. It is odd. There are more and more students for the music, and less and less people showing up for concerts. Album sales are, in general, awful. Big name acts such as De Dannan with Frankie Gavin had terrible audience numbers at Chicago’s number one venue, The Irish American Heritage Center recently on a Saturday night, of all things! We have written extensively on this, and will again soon. Trad popularity ebbs and flows, but is always there.
  • Great tribute to the late, great box player, Raymond Roland in London at the end of May. Sixty musicians joined in!! Everyone reporting it was one of those great nights! He, himself, was one of the greats. Apparently, it was recorded and will soon be on RTE Raidio na Gealtachta.
  • Irishfest in Milwaukee has a fab, fab lineup this summer, set for August. Check it out! Loads for the true trad lover. More on this later. We’re going to have founder, Ed Ward on the Chicago radio show before the Fest. Legendary.
  • On of trad’s biggest losses has been Reeltime. Riverdance grabbed all the group’s players in various forms, and then life moved on. We consider them the best vocal/instrumental group of all time in trad. They recorded two iconic albums on Green Linnet. Mairin Fahy on fiddle and vocals with Chris Kelly on guitar were the best of the best. Stunning. Well, they are still around in Galway, and performing the highly popular Trad on the Prom. It is their show, and has been packing them in for years. If you are anywhere near Galway, get to it. You will love it. Love it. Love it.
  • founder and major domo, David Lattimer is just back in the door from his family’s holiday in Greece. Greece. Great country, lousy wine.
  • The best radio program in Chicago for the music is Feast of Irish Folk from The University of Chicago. Every Monday from 5-6:30. Tune in.  They have been carrying the banner for trad here in Chicago for decades now! No one more loved or respected in Chicago.
  • There is an event in Chicago. IBAM. Really, it is the brainchild of Chicago Irish American News publisher, Cliff Carlson. Big stuff coming at the next one, and we will be telling you all about it. Think of it as an indoor Milwaukee Irish fest.
  • Most Irish musicians are terrible businessmen and businesswomen. Almost all of them don’t realize it. There ARE a couple who stand out as musicians and business people. The aforementioned Jimmy Keane comes to mind. There are a few others. Damn few. We leave the panicked running around and constant burrowing in Irish music to the lessers in the field. They know who they are. After 25 years, the one thing I know is that the ONLY thing that matters is the music. The rest of it is all nonsense. Hangers on. Wannabes. Know nothings of the music, but there they are. So desperate to be part of it. Don’t confuse the music with the poseurs. The music. First. Last. Always. All there is and all there needs to be!!


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Comment by eiresonia on May 20, 2011 at 21:28

  ... Welcome and expected are your words each month!!!indeed,

in this month personally thank you for all the info about The Greatest Traditional Irish Bands and  musicians,and how pure they style are!!...well like allways,  i love the way u keep month after month,will b pleasure follow you on radio,so thanks  for the link!!

take care lots!!!XXX

Comment by Bill Margeson on May 19, 2011 at 22:56
Thank you, Jenna!
Comment by Imelda on May 15, 2011 at 23:56
As a relative newcomer to the music, I appreciate the depth and breadth of the information you give every month. Thanks for the education! This music is much more than I would have supposed.

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