Tradconnect Reviews's Blog (348)

Album Review - Teresa Horgan & Matt Griffin / Brightest Sky Blue

Teresa Horgan and Matt Griffin have crafted a delicious slice of folk heaven on this debut recording.  Its instant appeal comes from the addition of some well-orchestrated arrangements with strings and woodwind.  Even so, without this extra element it would still be a good folk album. With it, however, you have the best…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on August 21, 2015 at 12:30 — 1 Comment

Album Review - Dylan Foley & Dan Gurney / Irish Music from the Hudson Valley

Irish Music from the Hudson Valley is a tribute to Father Charlie Coen and Mike McHale. Both emigrated to the US in the 50’s and found their way to the Catskill’s where they taught music to a young Foley and Gurney who were beginning their journey into traditional music. Foley and Gurney are now best…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on August 20, 2015 at 16:30 — No Comments

Album Review - Ian Carr & Karen Tweed / SHHH

SHHH was first released in 1995, and has been unavailable for the last decade or so.  Karen Tweed was a founding member of The Posies and later played with Ian Carr as part of the Kathryn Tickell Band. They had previously met at a festival and Carr’s distinctive guitar style had impressed Tweed. This is a digital re-issue and the merits…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on July 25, 2015 at 12:00 — No Comments

Album Review - Four Winds

This much anticipated release brings together a quartet of musicians who have established outstanding individual reputations on the trad scene. The resultant album is strong both musically and vocally. A distinctive male vocal sets it apart from other releases with Daoirí Farrell’s voice combining robustly with Tom Delany on pipes and whistles, Caroline Keane on…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on July 6, 2015 at 13:30 — No Comments

Album Review - The Music and Life of John McKenna

The John McKenna Society have done a remarkable job in remastering his works, in what must be one of the best presented packages released in recent times.  Not only do you get the complete McKenna works but you get a great 104 page booklet with great detail about his homeland in North Leitrim and the people he played his music with. The world…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on June 19, 2015 at 15:30 — No Comments

Album Review - Noel O' Grady, Henry Benagh, John Carty and Marcus Hernon / The Good Mixer

The album of the year for 2015 may well have been recorded 26 years ago, and were that to happen it would be quite an achievement. Give added consideration to the fact that there were no sound engineers, producers or the like present, and that it was recorded on basic equipment in the home of John Carty and you have quite a story.…



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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on June 17, 2015 at 16:00 — 1 Comment

Album Review - Connla

New group Connla display all the right ingredients on their debut E.P. Recorded and mixed at RedBox studios in Belfast by Cormac O’ Kane, it contains two pipe and flute driven instrumental tracks and two vocal tracks. Instrumentally they layer on pipes and flute to a strong guitar and bodhrán back beat with shifts in tempo breaking up tracks that extend to over 6 minutes.…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on June 11, 2015 at 17:30 — No Comments

Album Review - Haley Richardson / Heart on a String (with Dylan Richardson)

The New York traditional community is strong at nurturing talent and the support of musicians like Brian Conway and John Whelan has enabled this recording to come to fruition.  Haley Richardson is a precocious​ young talent, and with the help of Brian, John and others has made this recording. There have been a…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on June 10, 2015 at 10:30 — No Comments

Album Review - Andy Lamy / The New Blackthorn Stick

New York clarinetist Andy Lamy has assembled an array of high profile musicians for this innovative recording - the first full album featuring the clarinet.  Mary Bergin, Brian Conway, Dermot Byrne, Kevin Crawford, Jerry O’Sullivan, John Whelan, Gabriel Donohue, and Donie Carroll to name a few.  The support team…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on May 27, 2015 at 17:30 — No Comments

Album Review - Brendan McAuley / The McCartney's of Pennyburn

This is an impressive recording by Belfast born Brendan McAuley.  It features mostly new compositions that tell the story of The McCartneys of Pennyburn. Brendan’s great, great grandfather bought the lease to the Pennyburn estate, just outside Derry city in 1865 and restored the old Pennyburn windmill that existed there at the time.…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on May 20, 2015 at 16:30 — 1 Comment

Album Review - Anna Falkenau / Féileacán na Saoirse

Anna Falkenau has just released an album of traditional fiddle music.  It features tunes from the Irish and American old-time music traditions, as well as some original compositions.  Contributors to the record include Ged Foley and Kevin Hough (guitar), Holly…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on May 19, 2015 at 7:00 — No Comments

Album Review - Socks in the Frying Pan / Return of the Giant Sock Monsters...

An imaginative approach to marketing has given Socks in the Frying Pan a larger than life public persona. They do indeed get noticed, and their debut album in 2012 showed that as a trio they pack quite a musical punch, with their high energy traditional music. This recording is a continuation of that debut. Constantly striving for change is…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on May 15, 2015 at 9:30 — No Comments

Album Review - Paddy O'Brien, Nathan Gourley & Dáithí Sproule / Bright and Early

This is a sprightly album featuring two stalwarts of traditional music and one of New York’s best up and coming fiddlers.  The names Paddy O’ Brien and Dáithi Sproule need no introduction. We have also covered Nathan Gourley earlier in the year as he delivered one of the best fiddle duet albums you are likely to encounter…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on May 12, 2015 at 10:30 — No Comments

Album Review - Rhoda Barfoot / Across The Sea To Ireland

Each year one vocal album manages to stand out from the crowd, and set itself apart on creative and musical grounds.  Across the Sea To Ireland may just be that album. To be able to say this about a recording that includes standards like Amazing Grace, Caledonia, Galway Bay and Mo Ghile…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on May 6, 2015 at 8:00 — No Comments

Album Review - Unfolding / Young Music From East Clare

Unfolding is an album by a group of young musicians associated with The Music Room in Tulla, East Clare and in particular their concertina teacher, Mary Mac Namara. The album was produced as a fundraiser for music exchanges which proved successful, with the album receiving…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on May 5, 2015 at 7:00 — No Comments

Album Review : Aoife Ní Chaoimh & Paudie O'Connor / Didn't She Dance and Dance

This new release by Aoife Ní Chaoimh and Paudie O’Connor was in many people’s Top 3 releases for 2014.  It really is that good.  The tunes within it are Aoife and Paudie’s interpretation of what they have seen and heard over the many years they have been playing.  These tunes are as much informed by place as they are by…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on April 23, 2015 at 10:30 — No Comments

Album Review - Ailie Robertson / Little Lights

Ailie Robertson dispels some of the myths associated with the harp on her new solo album called Little Lights.  With Tim Edey on guitar and accordion and Natalie Haas on cello they push the boundaries of what a harp can, or should be.  They experiment with the natural harp resonance through the use of pedals and other plug-in effects. …

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on April 10, 2015 at 10:00 — No Comments

Album Review - Nathan Gourley & Laura Feddersen / Life is all Checkered

Life is all Checkered by Nathan Gourley and Laura Feddersen was one of the musical highlights of 2014. It was in our top 5 albums of the year and could easily have taken the top spot.  Its use of complementary drones and chordal harmonies and the musicians general approach to the arrangements unearthed…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on March 30, 2015 at 9:00 — No Comments

Album Review - Alan Kelly Gang / The Last Bell

Alan Kelly and his gang have recorded The Last Bell live in order to, as they say “capture the feeling and magic that can only happen when all of us are working together in musical unity and in the moment”.  This creates a vibrant and dynamic flow to the tracks that in truth is trademark Kelly. Alan has been producing some outstanding music for quite…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on March 26, 2015 at 9:00 — 1 Comment

Album Review - Áine Heslin / The Tunes Foundry

Strength of composition is very much to the fore in this compelling collection of new tunes from Clare flautist Áine Heslin. Prolific in her output, she has amassed a collection of tunes over the years and this recording brings 23 of them to life across 11 tracks. She displays an expressive…

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Added by Tradconnect Reviews on March 24, 2015 at 8:30 — No Comments

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