Twenty years ago, Spider Stacy wrote a lyrical, lovely, sort-of-a-love-song, on which he sings lead for The Pogues, called "Tuesday Morning." When I saw the sad news on the morning of October 8 of Philip Chevron's untimely death, I thought of Spider's song.
There's no bigger news in Celtic music than the first new studio album by Clannad in 15 years. The Grammy-winning family band from Donegal began the trend of backing lush Gaelic vocal harmonies with shimmering synth pads back in the 1980s.
This month sees the appearance of a new constellation of neo-traditional stars in the Irish music firmament: the Teetotallers -- flute player Kevin Crawford of Lunasa; guitarist John Phillips, formerly of Solas; and fiddler Martin Hayes of the duo Hayes and Cahill.
I'm back with more reviews of material I picked up or heard about at the Folk Alliance International meeting. This time, I'm writing about Americans, so let's start with some real Americana, and one of the hottest bands in folk music, Spuyten Duyvil.
Her lively, fleet-fingered playing has made her an icon in Irish music, though she has not played in the U.S. in recent years. However, as part of what has become a de facto "St. Patrick's Month," she is doing an American tour in March, as are several of the top names in Irish traditional music.
I don't know if Shane MacGowan, the rock star who became very, very famous 30 years ago for taking traditional Irish music and giving it a wild, punk twist, is a "genius," but he has produced some bloody good work.
Emanating from multiple stages around Lincoln Center this Sunday, OurLand Festival will celebrate the artistic, literary and musical heritage of Ireland, the mark it made on America and the cross-cultural ties that bind the two countries.
Every year in February, Folk Alliance International brings together folk musicians, promoters, labels, organizers, agents, managers, DJs, journalists, and other folk lovers, for a giant trade show and music showcase.
With vibrant traditional styles embraced worldwide, Irish music is a strong brand. Extending that brand in weird and wonderful ways is Julie Feeney, an innovative singer, songwriter, poet and performer who is halfway through a ten-night New York stand.
Martin Hayes is a traditional Irish fiddler and the son of a traditional Irish fiddler, so he is well aware that traditional music is a constantly evolving form. Hayes is a masterful fiddler who is known for his soulful playing as well as his ability to fly through a brisk improvisational melody.