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
Fans of the Waterboys likely missed the one concert they staged on the East Coast for their Appointment with Mr. Yeats disc.
Fear not! As Mike Scott promised me in our last interview, they have just announced a coast to coast North American tour this autumn. This will be the first full North American tour for the band since 2007.
To celebrate July 4, a great lineup from both sides of the Atlantic will converge in Gaelic Park on July 6. The sounds offered on this day guarantee a great diversity that will appeal to every palette.
Padraig Allen and the McLean Avenue Band is a crowd-pleasing group at the crossroads of folk, country and trad that is familiar to many.
Dublin’s the Von Shakes might not be such a household name. The group members, leader Paddy Brazel, Hugh O’Reilly (guitar) and Cillian McSweeney (bass), have been together since school in Howth, Co. Dublin. They all attended the same school and have known each other since childhood, which calls to mind U2. Their power punk pop, however, calls to mind The Strokes.
Nar·row·back [nar-oh-bak], noun, slang -- a person of slight build who is unfit for hard labor.
Who among us Irish Americans hasn’t been called that at one time or another? The Narrowbacks, a band lead singer Seamus Keane says was “born in a slummy Iona College dorm after some late night sing songs, a couple whiskeys,” is a boozy, fun soundtrack to the experience of being a narrowback!
"It's great to see you at a happy occasion instead of running into one another at a wake,” I joked in the midst of a warm embrace with a long-lost distant cousin recently.
Wrong thing to say. You see, there was a certain unnamed Irish matriarch in our family just waiting at stage left to pounce and voice a dash of melodramatic disappointment over not being called when this cousin’s mother died.
If it’s June in New York City, it must be Bloomsday!
The usual crowd of writers and performers -- Larry Kirwan, Colum McCann ands Colin Broderick --assembled at Ulysses Folk House on Wall Street over the weekend to give praise to the immortal James Joyce masterwork Ulysses. For Aedin Maloney, daughter of Chieftains leader Paddy Moloney, the event is the highlight of the year.
Call me a calloused, cynical urban music critic if you must, but it’s been a while since music moved me to tears. When you reach a certain age and you’ve seen so many shows you enter any gig situation with a jaundiced been there/done that vibe.
Two concerts I attended last week changed all that.
Paul McCartney’s show in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center on Saturday night was not only the best concert I’ve seen in years, it also provided an evening of daddy/daughter bonding that’s so rare as my oldest girl asserts her adolescent independence.
When McCartney opened with “Eight Days a Week,” it was telling how my teenaged daughter screamed her head off in the same way the young girls did when “the cute Beatle” landed at JFK for the first time 50 years ago. And yes, her father screamed right alongside her! For it is a privilege and a pleasure to stand in the same space as a man who has made so much music that means so much to so many people.
Ah, the wooden spoon. Who among us doesn’t shiver with a sense of deep-seeded dread whenever we remove one from the dishwasher?
To be sure, it conjures up many memories of hard-handed discipline of our Irish parents from days gone by.