A singer from the western shore of Kerry, a band with members from Galway and New Zealand, Irish language songs from a range of artists including Van Morrison and Sinead O'Connor, music from a well loved Irish superstar who crosses all kinds of borders in her singing and an Irish American who builds all kinds of bridges with hers --music for your Saint Patrick's Day from voices you may not have heard, and in ways you may not have heard them
Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh Daybreak: FÃ¡inne an Lae Nic Amhlaoibh (that's said nic OWL-eve) is a native of the Dingle peninsula in Kerry. She's also the lead singer with the top traditional band Danu. For her first solo CD, she chose many songs she'd grown up with in the far west of Ireland, as well as few that she felt were better suited to a solo gig than a seven member band. There are songs in Irish and in English, as well as two instrumental pieces with Nic Amhlaoibh on flute and whistle. Of note, the road and love song Western Highway, and the lullabye Seoithin Seotho.
A song from Australia, one from a Dublin transplanted musician who now lives in new York, a piece about a red Honda Civic and one about the wars of Napoleon Bonaparte: the music on Grada's CD is as varied in source as are the band members, who bring backgrounds from Dublin to Galway to New Zealand to bear on this set of traditional and original songs and tunes, most based around the idea of travel, which they do quite a bit of. more about the CD here.
Eist: songs in their native language finds John Spillane, Van Morrison, Mary Black, Maura O'Connell and others singing in Irish. more about that at this link.
Speaking of Mary Black, her two disc Best of Mary Black, volume two, includes out takes, unreleased gems, and favorite hits from Irish and American writers, including Jimmy McCarthy and Bob Dylan. more on that recording in this post
Hanneke Cassel and Christopher Lewis have joined forces for a fiddle and guitar exploration of hymns familiar and less so, called Calm the Raging Sea. Though the music is not specifically Irish it's very Celtic in feeling, natural as Cassel is the former US national Scottish style fiddle champion and spent a number of years on the road backing up Irish American singer and songwriter Cathie Ryan. find out more here.
Cathie Ryan offers four CDs so far which build bridges between Irish and American music. Hear from Ryan in a Voices column at this link. and there's more about her most recent release, The Farthest Wave, here.
You'll find regular coverage of Irish and other Celtic musics here on Gather at Voices. The Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, the making of a Christmas album including new and traditional Celtic styles with Matt and Shannon Heaton, and thinking about the connections between Ireland and America through music with Cathie Ryan are several of the subjects we've covered so far.
Kerry Dexter, Music Correspondent Kerry's credits include VH1, CMT, the folk music magazine Dirty Linen, Strings, The Encyclopedia of Ireland and the Americas, and The MusicHound Guides. She also writes about the arts and creative practice at Music Road and contributes to Fred Bals' Series of Tubes.