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 -
|Liam O Maonial|
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, includesand .