Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pierre Bensusan to Perform in The Grain Store At Ballymaloe on Mon 5 November

Pierre Bensusan, winner of Guitar Player Magazine's Reader's Choice Award as "Best World Music Guitar Player” will perform in The Grain Store At Ballymaloe on Monday 5 November at 8pm.
The French-Algerian artist, globally known as the "Mozart of Guitar,” will introduce Irish audiences to his most recent album, Vividly, a multi-cultural, melodic instrumental and vocal album that marks his 35th year as a recording artist.
The Los Angeles Times calls Pierre Bensusan "one of the most unique and brilliant acoustic guitar veterans in the world music scene today."  He has the ability to make a single guitar sound like an entire band as he brings the audience on a mesmerizing musical journey. And yet, Pierre is more than any musician or music lover expects from a guitarist. He is a composer as well as a bilingual and  improvisational vocalist, melding whistles and resonant low notes with his own scat technique.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Online Guitar Lessons with Jim Murray

Learn Irish guitar accompaniment with Jim Murray. These guitar tutorials will guide you using step by step instructions on how to become a competent and confident accompanist of traditional Irish music.

Jim has broken down his technique into easy to see and easy to understand lessons. Each of these lessons have supporting audio and visual clips which can be played over and over to aid learning.
More information & subscriptions here:
Learn Irish Guitar

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Guitar Workshop With Arty McGlynn, The Anglers Return Country House

Arty McGlynn
Arty McGlynn (Photo credit: candyschwartz)
Irish Music Workshops
With John Carty, Arty McGlynn, Jimmie Higgins, Fiachra O'Regan and Friends
€190 pps 2 night stay / attend the workshop classes of your choice*
€790 pps 4 days/ 3 nights all inclusive
€55 Attend banjo, guitar, or fiddle for the day with lunch between segments.

October 21st 2012, 10:00am – 3:30am
The Anglers Return Country House

The Session: Events - Guitar Workshop With Arty McGlynn, The Anglers Return Country House:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Irish Guitar Podcast Lesson 72. Yellow Tinker

"The “Yellow Tinker” is a tune in the G mixolydian mode. In other words the scale used is a C Scale but played in the key of G.

The tune is associated with the playing of Galway accordionist Joe Burke , and perhaps because of Burke, it is very popular and widely played.

The first and third parts of the tune are almost pure mixolydian, whilst the second part of the tune is almost pure G Major, although Tony didn’t alter the key signature for the second part, despite there being an argument for doing so. Overall he just felt it was more convenient to leave t

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Elvis Presley's Jig set

"Elvis Presley's Jig" (Paul de Grae) is based on an old German folksong that Elvis sang in the movie "GI Blues". "The Cordal Jig" is traditional Irish. "Tonra's Jig" was composed by Brenadn Tonra, originally from Mayo, later resident in Boston. Played on double-tracked guitar by Paul de Grae, January 1996.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Guitar Festival of Ireland

Andrés SegoviaCover of Andrés SegoviaMusic that sounds as its creators imagined it. Musicians who play with rapture and conviction. Concert-goers who take plunges into worlds of sound, far removed from the bustle of everyday life. Every year the Guitar Festival of Ireland makes it all possible, and has been doing so for the past eight years.The festival, now in its ninth year, is a world-class music event and features a programme of great performances in some of Dublin's finest venues.

Over the course of its existence, the GFI has been transformed from a genre-based festival to a more eclectic series of events that now spans the boundaries of an incredibly diverse instrument. Never afraid to take chances the festival team have, to date, produced an impressive array of the best in live guitar music with ground-breaking collaborations from internationally acclaimed musicians as well as from innovative new artists.

This year the festival opens on 26 April in National Concert Hall with internationally renowned performer and teacher John Feeley. This this concert will coincide with the launch of the much anticipated new editions of J.S. Bach's Cello Suites arranged for guitar by John Feeley. As a recurring festival favourite he has been described by Michael Dervan in the Irish Times as 'a trailblazer...when it comes to the guitar and guitar-playing in Ireland'.

Deirdre Moynihan (Soprano) and Alec O’Leary (Guitar) are fast becoming recognised as one of Ireland’s most engaging duos. Their performance style is charming yet dynamic and displays the integrity of a well established ensemble. The programme will feature works from the Italian and German repertoire and a rare opportunity to hear the intriguing collection of traditional Spanish songs "Canciones Espanolas Antiguas" compiled by the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. There is also a selection of iconic solo guitar works by J.S.Bach and Leo Brouwer. This concert is in association with the Office of Public Works and takes place in the beautiful Farmleigh House. Admission is free

This year is the 25th anniversary of the death of the great Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia. Graham Wade, one of the world's leading authorities on the art of Segovia, joins us for a special seminar entitled 'Remembering Segovia'. Graham will evaluate the true lasting effects of Segovia's career on the present guitar scene and talk about his friendship with the Maestro.

On Sat. 28 April we have a special seminar with world-renowned composer Stephen Goss. Bound to be a unique seminar entitled: Holy Grail or Merry Dance: The delusion of ‘urtext’ in collaborations between guitarists and composers. We are very excited to be able to offer this free event in association with the Contemporary Music Centre. Later that evening the brilliant Tetra Guitar Quartet will make their Irish debut. Joaquín Rodrigo referred to them as "Excellent artists” and their unique repertoire and highly original programming has helped make the quartet one of the most influential and sought-after guitar ensembles on the scene today. Don't miss this wonderful concert presented in association with, and in the wonderful surroundings of, the Chester Beatty Library.
Also making an Irish debut at the Guitar Festival of Ireland is a remarkable young Italian guitarist Elena Zucchini. Described by Alberto Ponce as "the next rising star of the classical guitar world", Elena began her career focussing on Italian and contemporary repertoire and, in 2011, her first album was released containing music by Dyens, Scarlatti, Giuliani, Petrassi and Davidovsky. Elena is a sensitive and attentive musician and she holds two masters degrees in musical performance and interpretation.

Guitar Festival of Ireland, Festival Director Alec O'Leary

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Twomilliondays – Twomilliondays

With Soundcloud offering unprecedented access in terms of glimpses into formative works-in-progress, it has increasingly become a pleasure to watch individual musicians, producers or bands as they develop their sound. One such example is Galway-based experimentalist Twomilliondays. Displaying a knack for enticing, intricate creations since he first started uploading tunes over a year ago, his sound occupies a middle ground somewhere between cerebral electronica, spacious post-rock textures and evocative minimalism.

As his first album-length statement, Twomilliondays is a release of exceptional coherence and depth. It’s also one that, in a way, illustrates the downside of digital Soundcloud/Bandcamp streaming ‘culture’ (for want of a better word): it’s great to scroll down your dashboard, listen to tracks instantly as they’re uploaded, interact and post comments; but even the most attentive of listeners will find that desktop listening doesn’t exactly lend itself to a fully-focused aural experience.

Twomilliondays certainly deserves – and rewards – immersion. These exquisitely layered tracks have an almost mathematical precision to them, yet they are also characterised by an organic warmth that reflects the range of instruments being sampled (guitars, tubas, accordions, flutes…). Setting out its stall with the gently tumbling hooks of opening track ‘Float’, the record is characterised by patiently unfurling, gorgeously textured numbers. The hypnotically chiming intro of ‘Portals’ is interspersed with sparing brass flourishes, its weightless tones gradually giving way to insistent percussion. The elegiac ‘Dadaab’ combines a cyclical loop with distorted, decayed guitar textures; growing in intensity before a gently pulsing synthetic loop sneaks subtly into the background.

As pointed out elsewhere, there are shades of the likes of Autechre or Fennesz evident, but never to an obvious degree: the sound is uniquely his and hard to tie down genre-wise. Among the minimalist and electronic influences there are also hints of Irish traditional music on ‘Organum’s dizzying, increasingly elaborate patterns, while ‘Arcanum’ gives free rein to the percussive tendencies that are a recurring feature on the album. Possibly the best track of all is ‘Solfeggio’, which begins with celestial ambient strains before growing in intensity via a sublime gear-shift.

As implied before, this isn’t an album for snap judgements. Each successive listen will bring out something you hadn’t fully noticed before: background details become focal points; obscured tones and drones grow in clarity; conflicting elements suddenly start playing delightfully off each other. In terms of creating its own absorbing soundworld, Twomilliondays is reminiscent of the likes of Pantha Du Prince’s This Bliss or Four Tet’s Rounds: not genre bedfellows by any means, but the same masterful balance of elements is frequently in evidence. With a second release apparently in the pipeline, this may be just the beginning: if so, the bar has been set high.

AU Magazine » Twomilliondays – Twomilliondays

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tributes to Banjo Barney

Barney McKenna, member of The DublinersBarney McKenna, member of The Dubliners (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Irish president Michael D Higgins has led tributes to folk musician Barney McKenna, the last surviving member of The Dubliners, who has died, aged 72.

A renowned banjo player, McKenna – affectionately dubbed Banjo Barney – passed away yesterday morning in his beloved Dublin, after collapsing at his home in Howth.

He was the last remaining member of the original line-up of The Dubliners, celebrated worldwide for their revival of Irish folk songs, their raucous sound and their hell-raising.

Mr Higgins, a friend of McKenna, said he had made a major contribution to music and song throughout his life, and above all to the banjo as an instrument.

“His influence on and generosity to other instrumentalists was immense,” he said.

The president recalled McKenna’s “huge commitment” to the Irish abroad as well as at home, and the band’s popularity in Britain, where The Dubliners played a packed Albert Hall in 1967 and again more than four decades on last month.

Fiddler John Sheahan, who joined The Dubliners just two years after it was formed in 1962, said McKenna’s death would be a universal loss.

“He was one of these unique characters,” he said.

“He was like a brother to me, as were the other former members of The Dubliners. Over the years we became very much a family, I suppose, in our own right.

“He’ll be a huge loss to everybody.”

Alan Felton's THE WIND THAT SHOOK THE BARLEY Plays at Brighton Fringe, May 16-18

In Alan Felton's new show for Brighton Fringe, “The Wind that Shook the Barley,” Felton will be singing with Viviene Moore, a Brighton-based singer and accompanied by Tim Roycroft on guitar. The three join together to run through songs and readings that display the poignancy, despair and heroism of Irish rebellions over the course of 400 years.

The show brings to life through traditional music and contemporary writings the drama of the tense relationships between the Irish and the English during 400 years of Irish rebellions. Written and directed by Alan Felton, the unusual venue is the comfortable ambience of Alan’s parlour on the seafront in Hove.

This is the show’s first Fringe outing and runs for three evenings 16th, 17th and 18th May at 6 o’clock. “The show’s title, from a song of about 1798, recalls the universal heartbreak of a girl who doesn’t want her man to join the rebels, but in a twist of fate gets shot herself whilst saying farewell to him in a field of barley.”

Alan Felton is an actor, singer and entertainer who studied history at Oxford University and has a lifelong passion for reviving lost music and Irish history.

Vivien Moore has loved singing all her life and enjoys all kinds of music from rock to Early Music to Irish folk songs.

Tim Roycroft has had a passing interest in folk music since the 60s so when he joined a local Morris side the world of traditional music opened up and became a major influence.

Alan, Vivien and Tim are performing together for the first time and will answer any questions or talk about all things Rebellious after the show or over a drink just round the corner at the Iron Duke Hotel.

For more information, visit

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Gaelic Storm brings a piece of Ireland to Knoxville

GAELIC STORM*GAELIC STORM* (Photo credit: gobucks2)Gaelic Storm took the stage on Friday night at The Square Room at 8 p.m. Being First Friday in Knoxville, there was a large crowd at the show.

Gaelic Storm originated in 1995 in California. This five-member band's popularity flourished after their debut in Titanic where they performed as an Irish folk band at the steerage party.

Gaelic storm plays traditional Irish music; however, they add their own modern flair to many of their tunes. They believe in having solid roots but living in the present simultaneously.

Patrick Murphy and Steve Twigger, the lead singers and founders of the band, integrate much humor into their show. Quick humor inspired by drunken events kept the audience laughing all night long. They also had fans aching with laughter upon Justin Beiber remarks.

Gaelic Storm's upbeat tempo invites fans to dance along. Jessie Burns, fiddle player and only female member of the band, played long, speedy solos that required immeasurable skill. Burns has played in a number of Irish and folk bands from 2005 to the present. While playing, Burns owns the stage and sets the hearts of audience members ablaze with the heart of Celtic music.

According to fellow bandmate, Patrick Murphy, "Jessie is going to be like Nicholas Cage in Ghost Rider. She's gonna melt your face off." With her speed and technique, she nearly did at the Square Room.

TNJN - Gaelic Storm brings a piece of Ireland to Knoxville

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Bound for Botany Bay", John Doyle

"Bound for Botany Bay", performed by John Doyle ( in concert at the Institute of Musical Traditions (, Takoma Park, Maryland, USA on November 16, 2011.

John Doyle is renowned as one of the most talented guitarists performing in either the Irish or Appalachian traditions. As an accompanist, he adapts to and compliments the style of those he plays with, but his rhythmic and melodic contributions do much more than simply provide a background, creating complex, fascinating layers within the tunes without ever overshadowing the principal performer. Fans who have seen John Doyle perform as a band member or accompanist have also been treated to his solo guitar work, his wonderful, lyrical singing and, more recently, his dynamic fiddling.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

CelticFest Vancouver 2012 celebrates Celtic culture in Vancouver

It’s just been announced that CelticFest Vancouver 2012, the eighth annual celebration of all things Celtic, will be coming to Vancouver March 10-18 with a mix of music, dance, and family-friendly entertainment.

New this year is the Celts on the Creek sneak-peek event (March 10, the Village on False Creek), where you can get a glimpse of the programming in store. Activities include roving costumed characters and music from Seattle folk group the Gothard Sisters, local alt-folk group Good for Grapes, local Celtic-folk band the Jocelyn Pettit Band, and Canadian acoustic-Celtic ensemble the Streels.

The From Texas to Tipperary concert (March 15, Edgewater Casino) celebrates the roots of Americana-Celtic music with performances from local folk singer-songwriter Jim Byrnes, Canadian blues-folk artist Roy Forbes, Vancouver acoustic-indie guitarist Steve Dawson, Canadian roots-rock singer-songwriter Babe Gurr, Vancouver country-rock artist Cameron Latimer, Vancouver folk multi-instrumentalist T. Nile, local acoustic-roots group Fish & Bird, Vancouver folk-rock band the Matinée, and Vancouver roots singer-songwriter Farrell Spence, all backed by the CelticFest House Band.

On March 15 and 16, you can take in some free lunchtime concerts at the Pacific Centre Mall’s plaza.

The San Patricios Concert: From Galway to Guadalajara hits the Edgewater Casino on March 16, and explores the musical connections between Ireland and Mexico with music from Vancouver mariachi group Mariachi Los Dorados, local Latin band Locarno, Vancouver folk-world ensemble the Paperboys, and the CelticFest House Band.

BIG St. Pat’s Night Out! (March 17, the Vogue Theatre) features performances from local world-fusion group Delhi 2 Dublin and Luxembourg group Dream Catcher.

On March 17 and 18, the Celtic Village and Street Market fills Granville Street (between Georgia and Smithe) with free music and entertainment, and a selection of Celtic treasures, food, products, artisans, stories, and all-ages interactive activities. Coast Mental Health volunteers will be on the scene collecting donations to support its work in providing high-quality services and housing for people with mental illness.

Celtic Fest Vancouver 2012 concludes with the eighth annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 18, downtown Vancouver), presented by Pacific Centre. The parade starts at 11 am at Drake and Howe and continues north along Howe, the same route as used in 2011. Expect to see over 2,000 participants including pipe and drum bands, a marching colour guard, Celtic musicians, the VPD motorcycle-drill team, fire brigades, acrobats, vintage cars, Irish and Scottish youth dance and music groups, and multicultural organizations.

Also on the event list for this year is the Whisky Kiss Scotch Tasting, a traditional Irish music session, and a youth variety show.

Tickets and further info can be found on the CelticFest website.

CelticFest Vancouver 2012 celebrates Celtic culture in Vancouver | Vancouver, Canada |