Irish Internet Radio and TV from Dublin, Ireland.

LI for October, 2012 We Banjo 3. For openers: They were absolutely the hottest show at this year's Irish Fest in Milwaukee. The group's album is Roots of the Banjo Tree. Audiences kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger for the band as the weekend featured the birth of a new force in Irish music, and boy!!, did everyone know it! The legendary Enda Scahill left the iconic Brock-McGuire Group to found this, and has hit a stunner. Joined by brother Fergal on every instrument but banjo, the lads are then joined by the Howey brothers, Martin and David—all of them from Galway. We WERE a bit trepidatious about the group, thinking that three banjos, even in the hands of masters, could be a bit wearing. Add in mandolins, guitars and Fergal's All-Ireland fiddle and bodhran work, plus David's spectacular voice, and then you have it. VERY special. The whole album is wonderful They are equal to it in the live performance, as well. New Group of the Year. No doubt. As usual, you are hearing about this here first. Mark it well. Holy moley!!

The Coast Road is just out on Clo-iar-Chonnachta. Veteran fiddle goddess Karen Ryan is brilliant. Never mind her work with our music’s best female group, The London Lasses (sorry, Pete!), she is a master. As good as any, we reckon. Stunning playing from a real musician. All 15 selections are instrumentals. While the album favors the jigs and reels, all tempos and time signatures are brought to the fore. We love it. Every cut. This woman is a real presence and a true musician on the scene. As she is one of the folks in charge of the wonderful Return to Camden Town annual festival, we have a recommendation. Book yourself immediately! This is a great album and she is immediately in contention as the Female Musician of the Year. Lovely, altogether.

Speaking of immediate contenders for Female Musician of the Year, here comes the wonderful Michelle Mulcahy, also with a brand new album form Clo-Iar Chonnachta. Entitled, Suaimhneas. There are only a few harp players in the world who have a truly distinctive style. The prodigy, Michelle Mulcahy is one of them. To be this good, this different, this special, this early---this is great. If you think you know what the Celtic harp can sound like, get hold of this gem. You’ll begin to understand that all instruments have far deeper possibilities in the hands of a master than we can calculate. Along with her brilliant sister, Louise, on several instruments, the most notable being the uilleann pipes, and dad, Mick on button box, she has been involved in traditional music literally all her life---and at the highest levels. This solo album immediately puts her on the inside track for Female Instrumentalist of the Year. It will be an interesting contest between her and Clo-iar-Chonnachta label mate, Karen Ryan (above). Tough choice. Very, very tough. Music of the gods from these two women.

Notes of interest: We have a lot of these, they pile up and we want to share them. There are some great new albums coming up next month, but for heaven’s sakes, don’t forget Chicago’s IBAM, that magical event, unrivalled in the world, beginning October 11 with international movie star and Irish lad, Steven Rea, opening The Irish American Heritage Center’s new James Joyce exhibition. The heart of IBAM is at the Center and runs Friday through Sunday, October 12,13,14. The list of Irish musical stars, internationally acclaimed authors and artists and expert panels on everything from Irish art to cooking recipes is on the net. As we said, there is nothing like it in the world. Check it out online. Just Google IBAM. Go ahead. Just check. You’ll see, and then we’ll see you there. Wow!

* The brilliant vocal genius, Laura Smith is in the studio in Ontario as we write this with her first new album in 10 years, due next year. We have heard a couple early, early cuts. Stunning.

*New album just coming out from Slide!

*Speaking of new albums, Danny O’Mahony and Micheal O Raghallaigh have a new album out, As It Happened. It is wonderful and we will review it next month. For now, you should know to go online every Monday from 2-4 p.m. Chicago time (8-10 GMT) and listen to Danny’s terrific trad program, A Trip to the Cottage. Great stuff. Real Irish music. Just Google RadioKerry. You’ll get there easily. Mondays are just the best. You can have the music all day and evening! Start with Danny, then from 5-6:30 Chicago time (11-12:30 p.m. GMT) you can get A Feast of Irish Folk with Mary Caraway and Erik Carlson on Then comes Shay Clarke with Blarney on the Air on WDCB, 90.9fm in Chicago, from 7-8 p.m. (1-2 a.m. GMT), Next co-host Maryann Keifer and I are on WDCB with Ireland Tonight, 8-9 p.m. (2-3 a.m. GMT). Maryann’s favorite, Dr. Love MAY be returning for a guest visit. Along with Maryann, we are counting the hours!

*Also, catch Imelda Brogha’s and my show right here on LI, The Bill&Imelda show every Sunday at noon Chicago time (6:00 GMT) for two full hours of the real deal Irish and Scottish music. Join LiveIreland and then join us in the chat room, live every Sunday at The show has over 40,000 listeners each week, worldwide!! Can’t believe it! 40,000? Yep. That’s what they tell us!!!


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