Off The Recordby Mike Farragher
- Concern Worldwide launches charity CD “Together for Christmas”
- Cormac De Barra reinvents the harp as a rock and roll instrument
- Singer Jake Bugg’s new album brings us to paradise by way of Memphis
- Pierce Turner returns to US for New York, Philadelphia concerts
- The Celtic Tenors Christmas CD lends an Irish vibe to the sounds of the season
The most pleasant surprise awaited me as I was rambling through town and running my Saturday errands not long ago. When I clicked on the ignition Irish music filled the car.
This is not surprising for an Irish rock reviewer, but the delight came from knowing that it was being played on the college radio station where I met my wife and got my start in this sordid music business!
Iarla O'Lionáird grew up and learned his craft in the musical heartland of Cúil Aodha in the West Cork Gaeltacht. He has established himself both as a masterful exponent of sean nos song, and as a pioneer in its renewal and development.
He is back with a new release, Foxlight, which continues his long and deep partnership with Peter Gabriel and the folks at Realworld Records.
Foxlight opens with “The Heart of the World,” an epic track that builds slowly and soon sweeps the landscape like a bald eagle in flight, helped with a repetitive riff similar to the one that propelled “Where the Streets Have No Name.”
I was recently dining with a group of colleagues I hadn't seen in a while at a meal break inside of a training seminar. After catching up on the frivolity -- how many kids you have now, how long have you been with the company -- one African American gal turned to me and asked out of the blue, "So, Mike, what are you giving up for Lent this year?"
"Uh, Catholicism?" came the reply before a wave of polite laughter (note -- I am the boss of these people, so everything I say is met with polite laughter).
One of the most interesting morsels to drop in my mailbag in many a moon is Speech Project, an album of unique compositions by Gerry Diver.
Diver weaves exclusive spoken word contributions from Irish music legends such as Shane MacGowan, Damien Dempsey, Christy Moore, Martin Hayes and Danny Meehan (as well as archive interviews) to create new songs from the inflections in their speech and native accents.
The stately walls of the Garden City Hotel on Long Island are swinging to the sounds of Tara O’Grady, who brings her sultry jazz stylings to the venerable hotel every Friday and Saturday night from 7-10 p.m.
“This is a great new weekly gig that started on New Year’s Eve,” O’Grady explains.
The Dropkick Murphys have plans to shake, rattle and roll our St. Patrick’s Day experience with their new disc Signed and Sealed in Blood and a national tour.
The album is their second with producer Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Old Crow Medicine Show), a partnership that raised the band’s profile with a hit holiday song, "The Season's Upon Us."