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The Tin Fiddle by Damien McGeehan
Album review by Siobhan Long/Irish Times

The tin fiddle has been a central feature of the music of Donegal, and is particularly associated with the playing of John Doherty. Damien McGeehan, a founding member of the superb and now sadly defunct trio Fidil, uses this most unusual of instruments as the jumping-off point for a freewheeling exploration of the music of his home place and beyond.

McGeehan exploits the surprisingly rich potential of the tin fiddle through a number of original and traditional pieces, stitching textured rhythms into the body of his chosen tunes. The breadth of influences is striking, stretching(unsurprisingly) from Scottish highlands and a gorgeous waltz from John Doherty to Duke Ellington’s Caravan on The Tinsmith.

McGeehan’s musical literacy opens up a whole new vista on an instrument long marginalised, and reveals some rich pickings in the process. damienmcgeehan.com

Photo Credit: You Tube

 

Fri, Nov 3, 2017

The Round Towers

The Round Towers of Ireland are remarkable among the world's ancient monuments; one author has called them 'Elegant, free-standing pencils of stone.' Today, 65 survive in part or whole. Hand-crafted in native stone and cemented with a sand, lime, horsehair and oxblood mortar - a technique imported from Roman Britain - it's said by many historians that they were built by monastic communities to thwart Viking invaders. And yet, there's reason to believe that the towers were built long before Christianity came to Ireland. Whatever their origins, monasteries did indeed flourish where the round towers existed. And why not. These imposing edifices provided a watch tower, a keep and a refuge.
Image: By kind permission of Stephen Cassidy, The Cassidy Clan.


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Celtic Odyssey

We never tire of listening to this Narada compilation. It's been out a while, but we can still remember the thrill of listening to it for the first time. From Carolan's Ramble to Cashel by Northern Lights to Strathgarry by Simon Wynberg, every cut has become a favorite. Amazon gives you the opportunity to judge for yourself; click Celtic Odyssey.

Altan is a beautiful example of TRUE Celtic folk music! From the fast, up-beat reels, to Mairead's beautifully sung lullabies, The Best of Altan is sure to keep your spirit soaring, and your feet dancing!
Click for Best of Altan


 

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