Alex Monaghan's Blog (10)

Pierre Schryer & Adam Dobres - The Darling Boys from Canada!

Two highly respected Canadian musicians, Pierre Schryer and Adam Dobres embrace a bewildering breadth of styles - mainly traditional, although much of their material is recently composed and some of it leans towards blues, bluegrass, jazz and even early classical music. Pierre comes from a family steeped in traditional French Canadian music…


Added by Alex Monaghan on May 18, 2019 at 19:00 — No Comments

Banjophony - Damien O'Kane & Ron Block

O'Kane has long been known as a great tenor banjo player, but he hasn't made much of a splash as an instrumentalist since his Mystery Inch album with Dave Kosky about a decade ago. Since then, Damien has been more focused on vocals - and vocalists - but now he's teamed up with bluegrass banjoman Ron Block for a fabulous fusion of folk from both sides…


Added by Alex Monaghan on October 24, 2018 at 22:30 — No Comments

Who Wants All-Female Bands?

It seems the women have had it all their own way long enough - promoters and festival organisers are clamping down on all-female bands, and finally setting quotas to ensure that there aren't too many girl groups on stage.

That's the kindest interpretation I can find of the situation highlighted in this…


Added by Alex Monaghan on February 12, 2016 at 17:30 — 2 Comments

Poppy Seeds - Irish Music Breton Style

POPPY SEEDS - Close Shaved

Own Label ROM 002

12 tracks, 56 minutes

Some great instrumental music here from a Breton band playing Irish tunes. Flute, fiddle, mandolin and guitars deliver a surprisingly full sound. Traditional favourites such as The Antrim Rose, The Poppy Leaf and one of the many Paddy Fahy's reels are combined with the band's own tunes: the excellent modern…


Added by Alex Monaghan on September 22, 2014 at 22:31 — No Comments

Beyond Celtic Fiddling

Before I head back to more familiar territory, I'm building on my  Scandinavian fiddle blog and extending its remit to cover Quebec and Klezmer fiddle styles. The reason for this is two highly entertaining CDs which came my way recently.

First up is a…


Added by Alex Monaghan on February 27, 2014 at 0:00 — No Comments

Living Tradition Magazine is 100 this week!

Living Tradition Magazine - Issue 100 now out! The Scottish based magazine, which started in 1993 and has been published every two months since then, has reached Issue 100. I've been involved since Issue 1, and while the magazine has had some rocky times the commitment behind it has never…


Added by Alex Monaghan on February 8, 2014 at 23:00 — 1 Comment

Three Fiddle Albums from the North

I've been listening to a lot of fiddle music recently: new and old, Irish and Scottish, and several other kinds. I was listening to Altan and Fidil yesterday, from the concert which ended the Frankie Kennedy Winter School: but that's not the sort of Northern fiddle music I want to tell you about here. The music I was listening to today comes from much further north than Donegal,…


Added by Alex Monaghan on January 9, 2014 at 1:30 — No Comments

Cho Chuk - A fiddle CD from 2002 which I've recently discovered

A real blast from the past to end 2013. Cho Chuk is a 2002 release by fiddler Jenny Gardner which I hadn't heard before this year, and since I finally got a copy a few months ago I've been playing it over and over. So I thought I'd share this wee hidden gem with you. Nine of the ten tracks are Jenny's own compositions,…


Added by Alex Monaghan on December 29, 2013 at 17:00 — No Comments

Review of Epic Male Band CD

Epic Male Band is a project led by Finnish fiddler extraordinaire Esko Järvelä. You know, he's written loads of tunes, he plays 5-string fiddle with Nordgrass outfit Frigg, and the marvellous Tsuumi Sound System, as well as semi-Celtic band Baltic Crossing and various other ensembles.

Epic Male Band is something a bit different:…


Added by Alex Monaghan on December 11, 2013 at 21:30 — No Comments

Roundup of some recent piping CDs

There is so much good music available on CD now, especially in little specialist niches. The mainstream is moving to file downloads, and I suppose that will happen to trad too (Aly Bain tells me he's seen a big increase in download sales), but for now I'm delighted to see so many CDs. You'd think trad was specialist enough, but for my first blog here I'm going to focus in on…


Added by Alex Monaghan on September 11, 2013 at 16:00 — 1 Comment

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