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23
Sat, Sep

Piping It In
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  Time for the largest Irish Music festival in the United States and perhaps the world, The Milwaukee Wisconsin Irish Fest, www.irishfest.com. This is the one festival that sets the bar for all the rest. This year it features the most outstanding lineup of talent I’ve ever seen and I’m not going to list everybody that’s playing this year, you can go to the website and read all who’s coming. I do want to mention two groups that are playing there that you’ll really want to see, We Banjo 3 and Socks in the Frying Pan. I’ve written about both groups and their new CDs in the last couple of issues of the paper and, if you read this regularly, you’ll know that I’m very fond of both groups. Please do yourself a favor and see these two groups, if you see nothing else. Let me know what you think and I’ll try and get some of your comments in the next issue.

Now for some new CDs and I have two beauties to talk about and a new one coming that I’ve yet to hear but am anxious to do so. The new CD I’m waiting on is the new one from Open The Door For Three. Pat Broaders, Liz Knowles and Kieran O’Hare make up the band and their first CD was one of my favorite all time. I can’t imagine how much I’ll like the new one, but until it gets here, imagine is all I can do. Did hear from Pat this morning, they’re on the road performing and he’ll bring some by the store when they get home. There’s something to look forward to hearing.

The two CDs I have to review both came to me from the artists who recorded them and were wonderful surprises. First is the latest from the Gothard Sisters, “Mountain Rose”. This is their third CD and, while I had heard of them, I had never heard them before. What a lovely surprise! They are great! Three sisters, Greta, Willow and Solana, who started their career as classical violinists and who have obviously been singing together since they were babies, are the Gothard Sisters (www.gothardsisters.com). Based in Seattle, we have unfortunately not seen much of the sisters in this area but I sincerely hope that problem will be rectified soon. Their music is a delightful blend of Irish, Scottish, Welsh, American Folk and original songs played on fiddle, guitar, bodhran, whistle and sung with just a taste of western influence that gives them a unique sound all their own. Their original pieces are bright and well written and their original arrangements of classic tunes are clever, intelligent and very easy on the ear. Their CD comes with full lyric sheet, so you can sing along if you’ve a mind to. They do a lovely rendition of Andy M. Stewart’s “Queen of Argyll’ and certainly my favorite rendition of Kate Rusby’s “I Courted A Sailor”. Covers aren’t their only glory, original tunes like “Cat in a Bush” and “Mountain Rose Waltz” are spectactular and certainly worth the price of admission. This is a band that I am honestly looking forward to hear in person, but until I do I am going to enjoy their CDs for all they’re worth.

The last CD I have to talk about today is one of those the Uncle Bill Margeson calls “the real deal” and man is it ever. Very very traditional fiddle, button box, guitar, whistle and flute played by three of the most impressive musicians. The CD is “Lá ag Ól Uisce” and the three musicians are Tomás Ó Gealbháin, Caoimhín Ó Fearghail and Seán Ó Fearghail. Together they perform the best and purest Irish music you can imagine. This is one of those CDs that are getting increasingly hard to come by, since very few are produced, very few are brought into the states and those that are brought in are snapped up by serious music collectors as soon as they hit the shelves. The few that I got were gone in a week and I’m not sure I can get any more. This music though is what I call the soul of Ireland, or Irish Soul if you will. It’s what defines us and is at the heart of all Irish music, though sometimes you’ve got to look pretty deep to find it. I’ve had people press me to define this better and I can’t, it’s more feelings than words. I do know that if you listen to Bothy Band, Planxty, Wolf Tones, Derek Warfield, Pat Cannady, Jimmy Keane, Paddy Homan, Liz Carrol and so many others, you’ll start to understand what I mean. So here’s to the great music that surrounds us all, defines us, nurtures us, sustains us and the wonderful folks who play it for us. Bless them all.

Off to the festivals now, please continue to support independent music and musicians. See you in the store at 630-834-8108 or online at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Slainté

September 2017

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