The birth, re-birth, and enduring legacy of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. ℘℘℘ In 1968, Van Morrison was on the lam from the mob and hiding in Boston. Author Ryan Walsh takes Van’s frantic story of “another time, another place” and folds it into the radical zeitgeist of Boston Cambridge in Astral Weeks: A Secret History ofRead more..
Posts Tagged ‘Music Reviews’
A number of albums released this year and last have has strong thematic links to the Easter Rising. ℘℘℘ Rising Black Bank Folk A debut album years the making, Rising, tells the human stories of historic heroes, an idea inspired by musician John Colbert’s personal connection to the rebellion through his great uncle, Con Colbert,Read more..
New music of Irish and Irish American interest. ℘℘℘ Legacy, Volume 2 Celtic Thunder This familiar, favored collection of incredible talent begins with an extraordinary rendition of the other-worldly “Now We Are Free” featuring Keith Harkin, who later in the album sings his original “Lauren & I,” a beautiful song made more interesting when learnedRead more..
Damien Rice: o If you have lost faith in the possibility for a new singer-songwriter to emerge with a graceful album of dirges and lullabies, it’s time to believe again. Dublin-born Damien Rice’s debut album, o, has been released in the U.S. by Vector Recordings (see also www. damienrice.com) after being praised ceaselessly overseas for theRead more..
A roaring rip tide of traditional music recordings has been flowing out of Ireland and Irish America recently, much of it released by the musicians themselves without recourse to record labels. A listing of the year’s best discs could easily include several dozen equally worthy releases, so limiting this roundup to a mere ten wasRead more..
Mirth-Making Heroes There are folks who think of “Celtic” music as a gently soothing, slightly ethereal style, heavy on the harps and tin whistles. They haven’t heard At the Racket, a fun-loving bunch who prefer their jigs and reels on the saxophone and tenor banjo. This “racket” is actually the sort of whoop-it-up band youRead more..
“Sometimes it is a spiritual experience, but most of the time it’s not…You have to work very hard to get that. But that’s okay. There’s no free lunch, y’know?” – Van Morrison ℘℘℘ Leave it to Van Morrison to lend a bit of welcome perspective at the end of From a Whisper to a Scream,Read more..
Paul Brady Oh What A World Compass Records Let’s all ponder Paul Brady’s career for a moment. The man has written songs that have been recorded by the likes of Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, and Cher. He’s co-written with Roseanne Cash, Beth Nielsen-Chapman, and Curtis Stigers. “Luck of the Draw,” as recorded by Bonnie Raitt,Read more..
Modern Ireland can boast plenty of pop superstars whose recordings sell in the millions. But if U2, Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor and Enya are undeniably Irish musicians, is what they play really Irish music? When listening to the artists whose recordings are reviewed below, you won’t have to ponder that interesting philosophical question. There’s nothingRead more..