Showing posts with label americans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label americans. Show all posts

Sunday 19 February 2023

Transatlantic Sessions 2023


The Transatlantic Sessions 2023 celebrated its 20th year with its familiar and successful format – like a warm comfort blanket – which is one of the highlights of cc festivals final weekend. Afterwards the TS goes on tour to six UK venues. The strength of the sessions concerts is the unique quality of the folk, roots band that is fronted by a range of talented solo performers. They set the stage as a relaxed living room to capture that live folk essence.

This year’s sessions hosted its eclectic and diverse line up with firstly - Canadian folk royalty, singer songwriter Martha Wainwright, who recently released her fifth album Love Will Be Reborn, as well as her autobiography 'No Regrets.' She sang a poignant 'Love Will Be Reborn' and later more joyous songs with her guitar. She is an accomplished and engrossing performer, with her contemplative vocal nuances. 

Martha Wainwright

Karen Matheson

It is always good to see new talent coming through, tonight with Americans folk/ blues singer Amythyst Kiah and accomplished roots musicians, Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves: their debut album earned them the Independent Music Awards “Best Bluegrass Album.” Amythyst impressed with her strong soul voice: her first album in 2022, Wary + Strange, saw her opening for The Who. 

Amethyst Kiah


Liam O Maonial

Irish musician Liam Ó Maonlai, frontman of Hothouse Flowers, displayed his virtuosity and range on both piano and vocals. His song ‘Worry Not’ had shades of John Marty’s folk blues. Revered Capercaillie vocalist, Scots Gaelic singer  Karen Matheson sang with her tender and pure voice ‘’I will Set my Ship in Order.’ In 2021 she released her album Still Time, with both traditional and contemporary songs. While dubro master Jerry Douglas performed a soaring George Harrison’s ‘My Guitar Gently Weeps ` and the finale of ever popular reels was uplifting.

Crucially the TS concert is led by the synergy between Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas, backed by the quality Scots, Irish and American musicians. As well as the tight dynamism of composers Phil Cunningham, John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick and Donald Shaw.

Jerry Douglas
John Doyle

This was my 14th TS concert, and I did miss some of the American musicians who are often to the right of musical directors Jerry Douglas and Al Bain - Russ Barenburg, Tim O’Brian, Darrell Scott and others. I met audience members who’d travelled a distance to be part of the Celtic connections festivals – from Ireland and the US. A truly international, open and outward-looking musical celebration, as well as building on the Celtic musical traditions.

Many Americans celebrate their Scots Irish, connections – (with 17 Scots Irish of the 44 US presidents). My own background is Scots, Irish too, and the history of religious strife over these islands (and Europe!) is very confusing – even for scholars! Many left Europe for the Americas for freedoms, and took their heritage and religion with them. And also importantly, enlightened thought and freedom of thought, which we so value today. America was and is a melting pot of many diverse cultures, which led to a musical blending with travellers up the Mississippi river from New Orleans, and the Appalachian mountains – from Nashville to Chicago, to New York to Los Angeles. I’ve been on those road trips too, years back. 

Music is one of the most powerful forces to bring us all together. Our culture is very much NOT an extra, it’s the roots and future of who we are, and leads politics. It offers all a creative voice. There’s an artists in all of us. 

The Transatlantic band of both Celtic and Americana roots talent, includes Phil Cunningham, John Doyle, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw, James Mackintosh and Daniel Kimbro.

Saturday 31 October 2020

**Celtic Connections 2021 announced!

**Celtic Connections 2021 announces its first live digital festival from 15th January to 1st February 2021

Offers a unique content online fro the very first time, hoping to reach an even wider audience with special collaborations and workshops.


Donald Shaw, artistic director on Folk nights Radio Two, spoke of his long time collaborations  with American Dirk Powell and of the ceilidh bands he grew up with on the Argyll peninsula. Shaw visited Powell when the Transatlantic Sessions played several concerts over in America a few years back. Shaw likes to soak up the ambience of any region and celebrate our differences and also for the festival to engage internationally.


Folk music is about the community and is inter-generational. The old plus the new.

Celtic Connections is Europe’s largest winter music festival – welcoming over 2K artists over 300 events. 2021 will be the festivals 28th year with some of the biggest names in Scottish music scene and beyond. The full program will be announced in early December – with some fo the well-known and bets-loved acts that have graced the festival stages.


Roots music is always at the heart of the festival that unites with cultures and music world wide. The festival will focus on creating new digital content commissioned projects filmed over some fo Glasgow’s iconic venues. To support and encourage creative industries and to protect Scotland’s rich musical legacy. 


A number of international artists will be filmed remotely and added to the line up. Shows will be available for a week .

Funded by Glasgow Life, Creative Scotland and the Scottish government.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Haim's Days Are Gone

The three LA Haim sisters grew up with rock n roll and so their sound draws heavily from 70s and 80s pop rock. 
I like that they are playing basketball in their Save Me video and that they look good without having to totter around the stage in enormous heels the way most girl bands do. They actually play instruments too (!)  - Este plays a mean bass guitar, Danielle energetic rocking guitar and Alana dynamic fun rhythms on percussion, drums and keys.  
Their first album title, Days Are Gone, has been receiving mostly good reviews. They are strong vocally and all four singles are quality funky indie rock pop (Don't Save Me, Forever, The Wire, Falling). The track Go Slow shows a bit of an XX influence. The later tracks veer slightly into a poppy sound and with Let Me Go reminiscing for 70s rock. 

Otherwise the girls write and produce their own material and do it well. I would prefer that they stuck to the raw rock sound that they play live. I like their fun energy and new sound vibe.
I saw them play an upbeat and cool gig at Glasgow's SW13 venue last May, where they did a rocking version of early Fleetwood Mac's Oh Well. They also played Glastonbury 2013 and other UK festivals and they topped the BBC's Sound of 2013.  I noticed them firstly on the Jools Holland tv show earlier this year and I thought they played a distinctive rhythm that made them stand out.

Haim at SW13 Glasgow