Showing posts with label Americana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Americana. Show all posts

Sunday, 15 January 2017

CELTIC Connections Glasgow 2017!

Breabach
I’m excited as this will be my tenth year anniversary covering Celtic Connections.! Hard to believe. Here are some of my strongest memories and personal favourites over my time at the festival.

THE GAELIC SONG
One of my most memorable experiences at Celtic Connections festival is hearing the Gaelic songs – sung by the incomparable beauty of the voices of both Julie Fowlis or Karen Matheson. Also newcomer Mischa MacPherson. I don’t understand each word – but I understand the feelings and there is something expressive in Gaelic that comes over in a way that’s not possible in English. I remember taking to press director Hannah about newcomer singer songwriter Rachel Sermanni. She commented how important it was too to have the Gaelic singers as they were so popular.

THE CEILIDH BAND
Another top memory at Celtic is at the Old worldly atmospheric Old Fruitmarket venue, with its coloured fairy lights is the perfect setting for some of Scotland’s top ceillidh bands - Ceilidh Bands this year include – The Unusual Suspects, Manran, Session A9 and Shooglenity.
Rura
THE INDIE ARTISTS
Celtic provides a platform for hearing quality indie artists and attracts a wide variety of talent and a music lover audience. I heard the top guitarist RM Hubbert and the very loud prog rock band Mogwai at the concert hall.


THE TRADITIONAL SINGERS AND SONGS
Naturally the festival hosts some of the best traditional Scottish singers and musicians - Dick Gaughan, Rod Paterson, Karen Matheson, Siobhan Miller. 

THE DANNY KYLE STAGE  (open mic)
Every day at Celtic its enriching to visit the open mic at 5, which attracts top folk musicians world wide. I’ve heard many top musicians here and sometimes those artists who have gone on to win such as Karine Polwart, Rachel Sermanni, Manran, Genesee. 

MY TOP CONCERTS?
Tricky one and its hard to choose. I have to mention the stand out GRIT opening concert 2015 of Martin Bennett’s class album with the full orchestra. A highly unforgettable experience! Martha Wainwright, who held the Fruitmarket audience with only her guitar, voice and songs. The Tribute concerts led by Rab Noakes for the great Scottish singer songwriters – Gerry Rafferty and Michael Marra. And of course the outstanding Transatlantic Sessions - for the musicianship of the band and the quality singers.
Karine Polwart
At Celtic Connections 2016, I enjoyed the concerts of The Chieftains, Lucinda Williams, Rachel Sermanni, Siobhan Wilson and especially the fun ceilidh bands of Rura and Blazin Fiddles. As usual the highlight was the classy accomplished musicianship of the Transatlantic band with the wonderful singers Rhiannon Giddens and Cara Dillon. 
Adam Holmes
**At Celtic 2017, they will focus on the half of the population often ignored – the women’s voices with the singers and musicians. The women care about home, children and mother earth. There is a story of a south American tribe where the women said, Stop, stop! – there is enough food and shelter and telling the men to stop hunting and killing. Some of the many outstanding women this year include - Laura Marling, Eddi Reader, Mary Chapman Carpenter, Alice Marra, Karine Polwart, Beth Neilson Chapman, Shirley Collins, Olivia Newton john, Roberta Sa 

This year I look forward the wonderful and often unexpected collaborations; Showcase Scotland; Celtic’s Educational Program. Celtic is one of the leading annual festivals of folk, world, and roots music – 18 days of concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, free events, late sessions and a host of one-off musical collaborations. To the opening concert with Laura Marling and the RSNO.
Eddi Reader
Martha Wainwright
And not forgetting the men – Rab Noakes, Adam Holmes, King Creoste, Billy Bragg, Jerry Douglas and more.
I look forward to the Buzz of the festival – the gathering of like minded music fans and artists!

The festival will also celebrate the anniversary of the independence of Canada and India.  The festivals partner for this year is Brazil.
**This year also holds several major anniversaries.



Blazin Fiddles
Rab Noakes and Alice Marra

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Dirty Beggars at Stereo: Farewell Party For Now

 The Dirty Beggars entertained us with their exuberant Americana

With a ‘Hey Hey Mama Rock Me’ (the Wagon Wheel song) and the energy of bluegrass rockabilly, they sent us out into the balmy Glasgow streets. Dirty Beggars clearly have the best time on stage with their strumming banjo, strong bass lines, melodic fiddle

The band played Americana songs of the deep south with catchy refrains which brought images of sunny highways. The packed venue appeared to really enjoy their well chosen songs. The boys sweated in their suits and ties and eventually they looked more relaxed in their white shirts.


For a rousing finale song the support artists Ho-Ro and Wire Wool, joined the band on stage and the audience bopped and danced and sang along. 

The band’s sound was tight and well rehearsed, and with well matched harmonies. The band is led by the Begbee brothers, Kieran, Finn and Pete, which aids their blend of voices. I got a nice shot of the talented Pedro Cameron on fiddle. All top musicians and with Stuart Printie on double bass completing the line up.

I am always struck by how much American music has influenced Glasgow and also by how much Scottish and Celtic sounds impacted on America in those times past. 
Dirty Beggars played an up-tempo fun sound enjoyed by all ages!

The band are - Kieran Begbie Vocals, Guitar Finn Begbie Vocals, Harmonica, Mandolin, Guitar Pete Begbie Vocals, Banjo, Guitar Stuart Printie Double Bass, Dobro, Mandolin Pedro Cameron Fiddle

The Dirty Beggars released an album entitled Bite the Bullet in 2011 on independent label Dime Roc. They have toured with The Wilders in the UK and also toured in the US.   




Saturday, 10 March 2012

Jim Byrne and the Blackwoods and Dinny at Bar Brel Feb 2012

On a wet Glasgow night Jim Byrne and his band brought colour to the dull February days with enriching and soothing sounds..

The Bar Brel was full and cosy and I took a seat near the front in the hope of getting some good shots. This was the CD launch for Jim’s new set of tunes for his album The Innocent and he was accompanied by the Blackwood’s which consisted of Graham MacKintosh (banjo, violin), Elanor Gunn (violin) Dinny (guitar, harp and vocals), and Peter Bryne (bass, percussion, backing vocals). The band all did a very good job of backing Jim’s deep soothing bluesman vocals.

Stand out songs were requested - Two Empty Chairs, Sand in Our Shoes, and cover song Thirteen. I enjoyed the gypsy guitar vibe of Down by the Wildwood, after which Bryne took the temperature down with the comforting Sweeter than a Rose and the earthy Sand in Our Shoes.  He sang the covers Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes, Satisfied Mind ( Joe "Red" Hayes), There Stands The Glass (Russ Hull, Mary Jean Shurtz and Audrey Greisham) and a fun Make Me a Pallet on the Floor. His cover songs are well thought out as are his own songs which show his obvious love of music.

Jim’s music has a warm nostalgic feel and their set was very much in Jim’s chilled out late night groove style.
I am impressed with the way Jim maintains his Scottishness while taking on his American folk and blues influences. His sound draws on diverse influences such as Johnny Cash and Tom Waits, as well as other lesser known folk artists. Jim Byrne is a singer songwriter influenced by Americana, folk, alt-country and blues music. 
Byrne has an expressive voice and slightly eccentric songs making for a distinctive sound. He steered a calm ship with his quiet relaxed manner and smile which filters through his mellow country tunes and quality guitar playing. 

His new album has a cover by Susanne McGreevy and is called The Innocent. It has more atmosphere and is a step on from his well received previous album "Every Day is Sunshine.” The Innocent has an earthy sound and his songs have quirky and unexpected lyrics. The backing musicians play a wide variety of instruments on the record which adds a rootsy sound with a richer depth and with more fluid soundscapes.

A highly enjoyable night and I recommend checking out Jim's latest offerings.
Dinny sang a few of her own songs as the support slot and she has a very good voice with a pure quality to it as well as being a talented guitarist.  http://songsbyjimbyrne.com/
 As on Jim's previous album, he's joined by some of Glasgow's best musicians, notably Yvonne Lyon (delicate piano on Sleepy Head) and virtuoso guitarist and banjo picker Graham Mackintosh (Satisfied Mind, Thirteen). Jim’s brother, Peter Byrne, adds harmonic richness on backing vocals (check the chorus on Sand in your Shoes) as does Glasgow singer songwriter Dinny (Two Empty Chairs, You Are A Good Friend Of Mine).   

Set List Fancy Wooden Box
Tell Me You Love Me Again
Down By The Wildwood
Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes
Satisfied Mind (cover song by Joe "Red" Hayes)

Thirteen
Sweeter Than A Rose
Sand In Our Shoes

II
You Dont know
There Stands The Glass
Two Empty Chairs
When You Bit Into That Apple
Make Me down A Pallette On Your Floor
The Handle's Broken On my Cup
Daddy's Car