Showing posts with label Mary Chapin Carpenter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Chapin Carpenter. Show all posts

Monday 6 March 2017


This year Celtic Connections music festival celebrated the contributions to music by women, with concerts this year by top women musicians – intimate Laura Marling, heart-warming Mary Chapin Carpenter, the star quality of Olivia Newton John and also the talent of, Beth Neilson Chapman, Eddi Reader and Julie Fowlis. Celtic Connections is the world's largest world, folk and roots music festival with over 2,000 musicians, 300 events, 20 venues.

My concerts this year also included rhythmic songwriter King Creosote, storyteller Rab Noakes and accomplished fiddler John McCusker. A special mention for Rose Code Blue’s concert at City halls, with his full band and as always some exciting new songs. Check him out!  Many of the most exciting younger folk musicians like to mix up the genres (cletic fusion) – King Creosote, C Duncan, Rose Code Blue. A prime example was Martyn Bennett who mixed the piping traditions with modern dance grooves to great effect.
Kathleen McInnes with Rab Noakes
John McCusker
I enjoyed a quality concert from Rab Noakes, when he sang both his classics (landmark songs) along with his more recent work – songs such as Gently Does It, I’m Walkin Here, Tramps and Immigrants. I remember singing his classics with other folk singers – Edens Flow, Clear Day, Together Forever, Branch. Happy Days! Noakes too mixes his Scottish roots and American influences.
Rab Noakes
Jim Lauderdale
Jerry Douglas
Music at Celtic Connections celebrates the benefits of our very diversity.
“One of the many true joys of CC is that within our tradition of Celtic music and international collaborations, we do not think about creative boundaries. Instead, we present on our stages some of the most brilliant musicians working today and explore the richness and diversity of the music we are celebrating.” Celtic Connections director Donald Shaw.

One of the joys of folk music is it live improvisation and collaboration. It is not about sheet music or the studio as much as sitting playing with others in a casual, relaxed way and the discovery old tunes and new. Its also about playing intimate, folk venues and clubs. Yes its about past a rich past tradition, but it also adds the new. As greats Burns, Yeats or Dylan knew and understood, artists need to build on the past and as Rab Noakes wrote , ‘A future with no past, has no future.’
John Paul White
Iona Fyfe
The climax of the festival is always the memorable Transatlantic Sessions concert, with its energetic Scottish tunes balanced with American rhythms. We left the Glasgow concert hall with the sounds of Scottish fiddles, American country, Trad and Gaelic ballads and engrossing rhythms, to take with us renewed into the winter night!

Next year Celtic will partner with Ireland. Many of Ireland's best musicians have performed at the festival – including Van Morrison, Clannad, Sharon Shannon, Karen Casey, Chieftains, Altan, Dervish, Damien Dempsey, Cara Dillon, more! Next year's festival promises to be a good one!

Showcase Scotland this year – C Duncan, Adam Holmes, Rachel Sermanni.

*BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2017 was won by fiddler Charlie Stewart. Other finalists included Dougie McCance (bagpipes), Ella Munro (Scots song), Grant McFarlan (accordion), Iona Fyfe (Scots song), Kim Cranie (Gaelic song).

*Danny Kyle Open Stage WINNERS (from 72 acts)
Doro Weber (drums) with the Magpies.
Marianne McGregor (Scottish singer songwriter),
An Dha ( English folk band), fiddle, cello)
Dope Sick Fly ( Scottish funk band)
Arocet ( Scottish trad )

“You have to be somebody before you can share yourself.” (online) Silcon valley apostate Jason Larnier
Laura Marling
Olivia Newton John
Julie Fowlis

Thursday 9 February 2017

Mary Chapin Carpenter at Celtic Connections 2017

Mary Chapin Carpenter

A positive energy and message in her songs, Carpenter sang resilience songs.
This was a concert in three sets - First up was the beautiful voice of Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis. She sang the Beatle’s ‘Blackbird’ and her set was far too short!  

Julie Fowlis

Next was the fun accomplished folk band the Altan from Donegal, who played energizing reels and jigs. Their lead singer and violinist Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh sang movingly in the Irish Gaelic. The group has collaborated with Dolly Parton, The Chieftains, Bonnie Raitt and others.

The main event was with the Grammy-winning Mary Chapin Carpenter who performed songs from her 2014 ‘The Things That we are Made Of’, such as the well crafted song ‘Something Tame, Something Wild.’ She hoped she might offer some balance to the freak show happening in America, which drew a loud clap!

She spoke of walking in the Blue Ridge mountains near her home and of how she was inspired to write a song ‘Oh Rosetta’, by the spirit of the celebrated gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who was the godmother of rock n roll and played rings around others. She also enjoyed being inside a perfect song with a intimate interpretation of Lucinda William’s ‘Passionate Kisses’.

We had only MCC’s husky, honey-toned voice and guitar for a tender ‘This Shirt’. Then she took the tempo and her voice up several notches with a rocky, blues songs – ‘Shut Up and Kiss Me’, ‘I Feel Lucky’ and ‘I Took my Chances’ backed by the full luxurious musicality of her band of grand piano, electric guitar and drums. The words of her songs often reach out and reflect on life’s extremes. MCC is also a talented guitarist.

The theme of Celtic Connections this year is women musicians and tonight certainly celebrated their contributions!  For a grand finale we had Julie, the Altans and a surprise appearance of dubro player Jerry Douglas on stage for ‘He Thinks He’ll Keep Her’. Certainly one of the treats of the festival!

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Celtic Connections 2014 Launch

Celtic Connections 2014 comes of age with it's 21st year.  Celtic offers its audience the unexpected and often unique musical collaborations.  

According to Artistic Director Donald Shaw, the world's largest Celtic festival offers breadth, internationalism and camaraderie.  The festival will host Indie, Americana, International artists with connections to their own folk music, as well as traditional Scottish folk music. 

Two big concerts will be held at Glasgow's new SSE Hydro arena - eighties band Del Amitri and an International Burns Night Concert.   

This year will focus on a Commonwealth theme with several commonwealth and international artists appearing in keeping with Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014. 
Headliners for Glasgow's biggest musical festival in 2014 will include BOBBY Womack, Suzanne Vega, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lloyd Cole, Nicola Benedetti, Seth Lakeman and Imelda May. Plus some of the biggest names in world, folk and Americana music.
Highlights include Indian and Australian music and a celebration of the 1960s “Laurel Canyon” music scene that inspired The Doors, Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
The line-up confirmed today features several Commonwealth celebrations to coincide with Glasgow’s hosting of the sporting games next summer.  Also a concert marking 100 years since the start of the First World War.
Festival favourites performing in 2014 festival are - Capercaillie, who are celebrating their own 30th anniversary, Salsa Celtic, Peatbog Faeries, Treacherous Orchestra, and Gaelic songstresses Julie Fowlis and Kathleen MacInnes.  

The festival will host 300 events, at 20 venues with over 2,100 artists and run from 16th Jan to 2nd Feb 2014.  

Monday 11 February 2013

Transatlantic Sessions 2013

The Transatlantic Sessions concert is about the collective spirit of music with some of the cream of Scottish and American Celtic music. Both musical directors Jerry Douglas and Aly Bain are outstanding musicians. The musicians were joined on stage this year by the singers - Teddy Thompson, Emily Smith, Eric Bibb, Aoife O'Donovan and Mary Chapin Carpenter. The Transatlantic Sessions now tours the UK after its Celtic concerts and they also played over in the US last year as part of Celtic Connections' showcase for the Ryder Cup Chicago, ahead of the contest's coming to Scotland in 2014. It is also the main event at Celtic Connections festival Glasgow each year.

The Transatlantic concert began with the tune Waiting for the Federals played by all the players in the Transatlantic band. Douglas introduced singer Teddy Thompson (son of Richard Thompson) who sang Delilah and Dear Mary. Next Emily Smith sang a Robert Burns song Silver Tassie and her own song A Day Like Today. Bluegrass banjo player Dirk Powell sang the Cajun two-step French song Step de Bonne café.
Dubro player and the most recorded artist ever, Jerry Douglas played Gone to Fortingal. He really is a very striking musician; he also plays with Alison Krauss and Union Street Station. Jerry made the comment that Scotland had romantic tunes but that the US had the titles!  Next blues singer Eric Bibb sang New Home and Goin Down This Road Feelin Bad. 
Aoife O’Donovan and Bruce Molsky
Aoife O’Donovan of the band Crooked Still, sang Hallowell backed simply by piano, and along with Mary Chapin Carpenter and Elaine Smith created some beautiful female harmonies when they sang the song Bright Sunny South. The band played the tune The Helvic Head and then Grammy award winning Mary Chapin Carpenter sang Chasing What’s Already Gone and I Have a Need. She used moving expression and interpretation with her songs of heartbreak and longings.

Second Set: Bruce Molsky and Aoife O’Donovan preformed Pretty Saro. Teddy Thompson sang What Was I Thinking. Mary Chapman Carpenter sang Transcendental Reunion. Aoife O’Donovan sang O Mamma backed by fiddler John McCusker, after which Eric Bibb sang Champagne Habits. Accomplished guitarist Russ Barenberg played the tune Through the Gates. Dirk Powell played Waterbound and Scottish accordion player Phil Cunningham played one his own popular compositions.
Jerry Douglas
Emily Smith
Emily Smith sang The final Trawl and Phil Cunningham, Aly Bain and Michael McGoldrick played Phil’s Air - a tune written about Sir Walter Scott. The finale was an uplifting Down at the Twist and Shout with all the singers and band on stage.

There is nothing much that can beat having such a top quality gathering of musicians and Teddy Thompson, Emily Smith and Aoife O'Donovan are all very gifted singers. I enjoy watching Aly Bain play, he has a relaxed, easy style that makes it look effortless and he’s a master of his craft. As someone remarked this concert is extremely good value considering the number of quality artists that perform! 
Eric Bibb
Aly bain
I did miss Jerry Douglas’s solo performance at the start of the second set which allows us to hear his skill and musicianship to great effect and provides a contrast with only one player on stage. We also missed both American Tim O’Brien and well loved Scottish singer Eddi Reader this year.

Thanks to Festival music director Donald Shaw for all his hard work to make the festival such a successful event.  And a thanks to the Celtic press team for a nice list of the artists set list and songs, this helps greatly with writing up these reviews! Cheers. 
Michael McGoldrick