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Thread: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

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    Default What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    I’ve tried countless Irish and “Celtic” music collections and they are usually pretty bad. I figure most of these recordings are made for and sold to people outside the region. This got me wondering: What kind of music do Irish (et al) people listen to when they want to hear traditional tunes and songs? Surely not these “Celtic” collections?
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Depends what you feel like listening to.

    Gaelic singing - maybe Julie Fowlis or Kathleen McInnes.
    Fiddle bands - Blazin' Fiddles, Session A9, Fiddlers Bid.
    Fiddle- Duncan Chisholm is essential listening.
    There is heaps and heaps of it.

    There are radio programmes on Gaelic radio and Radio Scotland (Travelling Folk and others) which can be good.

    I actually don't tend to listen to too much of it. I prefer it live, I guess.
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Hi,

    In terms of listening I like fiddle music with Duncan Chisholm and Pete Clark being my favourites. They both lean towards slower paced tunes, which suit my ability to translate them to mandolin. Phil Cunningham also writes some great original music in the trad vein and of course performs with the greatest Scots fiddler of them all Aly Bain.

    Regards,

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    What Dagger says, certainly as far as Scottish music goes, and I would add the very many excellent Scottish Country Dance Bands, generally accordion-led, with second accordion, piano, fiddle, bass and drums. There are also very many of the younger players producing their own brands of music; those young players are often the products of our Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow and other centres of excellence which now offer Scottish-based music courses.
    As well as Duncan Chisholm there is Paul Anderson MBE, possibly the best of the fiddlers playing the music of Scott Skinner, William Marshall, Peter Milne and the Gows. Aonghas Grant from the Lochaber area, born in 1931, is still playing and teaching fiddle and well worth a listen.

    Then there are the pipers, both Great Highland Bagpipe exponents and those who play small pipes or Border pipes, etc.

    In the tourist centres you will find plenty of CDs of compilations of well-known tunes which folk will identify as Scottish but which are very similar to the products offering Irish Music selections in the tourist areas.

    Dagger mentions radio programmes. One which has been on the air for many years on BBC Radio Scotland is the Saturday evening "Take The Floor" which features a lot of excellent dance band music. On television BBC Alba, the Gaelic language programme, has regularly got some fine music, with several of the names that Dagger mentioned above featuring.
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    For getting new stuff thrown at me I usually like to tune in to TG4 https://www.tg4.ie/ga/ Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh did a series Geantraí with Julie Fowlis which was pretty special they loop in to various musicians & their local scenes as the series goes on https://youtu.be/NAZPjH7Q4IA they've worked together a good bit & are well worth a watch. BBC Alba did a series Dà-Fhillte which was a good watch https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r98yr

    Ian Lynch has been doing a great series called Fire Draw Near which is laced with some real gems & are a proper delve into the songs and tunes he explores https://soundcloud.com/firedrawnear

    Another one I really loved was Ain't No Disco by Myles O'Reilly https://thisaintnodisco.ie/

    Lots of new stuff keeps popping up every now & then.
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    I still enjoy bands. I listen to Danu, Malinky, Old Blind Dogs, Bua, Tannahill Weavers. I also like Barry and Laura Kerr, Ye Vagabonds. It would help to know what you've got that you don't like to see how your selections are not leading you where you want to be. Here in the Boston area, Brian O'Donovan hosts a weekly radio show on WGBH on Saturdays at 3 pm you can stream. His knowledge is encyclopedic and his taste unfailingly good.

    https://www.wgbh.org/music/celtic/a-celtic-sojourn
    Steve

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    If you want to go down a rabbit hole of great Irish trad music, the YouTube channel for Hup (a great trad programme that was on TG4, our Irish language station) is a good starting point:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl2...Njm3MiSAYTxFTA

    Colum King does a great radio programme called "Ceolplay", available online on CharityRadio:

    https://charityradio.ie/colum-king/


    Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha's RnaG radio programme "Ceol Binn ó na Beanna is another good one, available online:

    https://www.rte.ie/radio/rnag/ceol-binn-o-na-beanna/


    Céilí House with Kieran Hanrahan is another good 'un:

    https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/ceili-house/


    Another radio programme that is available online, The West Wind on Clare FM:

    https://www.clare.fm/listen-back/


    Also second and highly recommend Ian Lynch's Fire Draw Near podcast.

    TG4 player has a wealth of trad music programmes - it's our Irish language telly station but there's an option to click for English subtitles if ye don't have the language. As well as Hup mentioned above, there's also Geantraí, last night's Gradam Ceoil awards programme is up now (it was mighty, my old tenor banjo teacher Angelina Carberry was awarded Ceoltóir na Bliana - musician of the year!), Trad Fest, Sé Mo Laoch, and one of my favourite programmes that they've made, last year's "Slí na mBeaglaoich", where Cormac and Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich drive up the west coast of Ireland in Cormac's old camper van, starting in Kerry and stopping in Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal, playing music with the locals.

    https://www.tg4.ie/en/player/categor...ich&genre=Ceol


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    Ye Vagabonds "The Hare's Lament"
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Watched a wee bit of Slí na mBeaglaoich. Looks grand.

    How's your Irish language, Jill?
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    I recently discovered TG4 and it's been life changing. They only upload short clips on youtube with links to their own webplayer, which is open to anyone in the world. In addition to Hup there is also a 'Trad TG4' channel that's worth checking out:

    https://www.youtube.com/c/TradTG4

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    Watched a wee bit of Slí na mBeaglaoich. Looks grand.

    How's your Irish language, Jill?
    My Irish is very rusty as far as speaking goes, but I can follow programmes on TG4 pretty well. I've been taking some online courses to try to get more fluent.
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve L View Post
    It would help to know what you've got that you don't like to see how your selections are not leading you where you want to be.
    I have some CDs of O’Carlolan music that I enjoy, but when I venture off into “Celtic” or “Irish” (etc) songs it’s always via Tidal (similar to Spotify et al). Most collections start off good but quickly end up with synth-/electric drum-driven versions of Danny Boy sang by some old crooner. Not saying that’s bad but just not what I’d like to hear. I’d like to find some collections of traditional songs played on acoustic instruments, the way I picture people singing in some old pub. Finding good collections of tunes is pretty easy, but traditional SONGS seems harder. And as was mentioned earlier by someone, music like this is probably more enjoyable live.
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    I was at a session in Galway years ago. In the 80s. During a break between tunes one of the players asked me to play a Jimmy Rogers tune. At the time I could not, and he said, "well certainly you haven't come all the way over hear to play this music."
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    I have some CDs of O’Carlolan music that I enjoy, but when I venture off into “Celtic” or “Irish” (etc) songs it’s always via Tidal (similar to Spotify et al). Most collections start off good but quickly end up with synth-/electric drum-driven versions of Danny Boy sang by some old crooner. Not saying that’s bad but just not what I’d like to hear. I’d like to find some collections of traditional songs played on acoustic instruments, the way I picture people singing in some old pub. Finding good collections of tunes is pretty easy, but traditional SONGS seems harder. And as was mentioned earlier by someone, music like this is probably more enjoyable live.
    Here's some songs for ye:

    Radie Peat & Daragh Lynch from the band Lankum



    Ye Vagabonds:





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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    Here's some songs for ye:

    Radie Peat & Daragh Lynch from the band Lankum



    Ye Vagabonds:





    Thanks for taking the time to look these up and post them. I listened to them all and really enjoyed "I'm a Rover" the best. The simplicity of the arrangement and the catchy melody are great. I know I've heard versions of this song over the years but I like this one the best.
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    A contemporary Irish musician who is a great singer (and bouzouki player) is Daoiri Farrell. I completely accept that this is a meaningless/cheap/trite comparison, but he sort of seems a bit like an Irish Billy Strings to me (or Billy Strings is a bit like an American Daoiri Farrell).

    Last edited by Paul Cowham; Nov-03-2021 at 7:57pm.

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    The Irish Traditional Music Archive started a series during lockdown called 'Drawing from the Well'. Available on YouTube and their own website:

    https://www.itma.ie/drawingfromthewell

    https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL...185fdxa6mKwKSP

    Na Píobairí Uilleann (The Piper's Club, Dublin) often post videos online, as well as on their own website.

    https://pipers.ie/source/

    Here's a recent concert they posted on YouTube:

    https://youtu.be/ENa6AIXzM9Q

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    My impression is that traditional tunes and songs are often performed and sometimes sold on CD at those gigs. But it seems to be difficult to get a recording contract based on traditional material. There's a lot of modern music based on Celtic traditions, for example Calan from Wales or Braebach from Scotland. Lankum, mentioned above, is probably one of the best examples of high-profile recording artists who play at least some traditional music. There are also well-known singers such as Cara Dillon or Karine Polwart, who are certainly "folk" but not exclusively "traditional".

    And finding recorded Celtic trad from reasonably recent years involving mandolin is properly difficult. Phil Beer from Show of Hands or Benji Kirkpatrick from Bellowhead play some traditional tunes on mandolin, but you asked for Scottish and Irish, not English. So there's Dagger Gordon and Kevin MacLeod, whose music you probably already know from this forum. All great music.

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Quiet morning here at home and I've been listening to a bit of Duncan Chisholm, someone I was unfamiliar with until this discussion. Thank you for that, Dagger, mandrian, et al. I also took some time to explore some of what Beanzy posted (will check out more when time permits). I clicked on the first link and randomly chose a show called "Hup!" on TG4. WOW - absolutely excellent stuff. I'll be going back and watching a lot more of that (even the footage of the settings was wonderful, such beautiful old places). I couldn't understand some of the language (Irish?) but most was in English, and ALL the music was great. Thanks so much for that, Beanzy.

    This week I was thinking about this thread and started wondering, as an American, what I would recommend to someone if he/she asked me how to find some great American folk/traditional music. I think this is a harder thing than I realized. Someone like Burl Ives (back in the day) was good about singing traditional songs in very stripped-down way. But in order to find contemporary American artists doing old American folk songs, one would probably have to look into "children's music" or maybe some compilations of Stephen Foster songs by various artists, etc. "Folk" singers like Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, et al, would not do.

    Another observation from an American perspective that some of you abroad might find somewhat interesting (or not): I don't know what it's like to grow up in Ireland, Scotland, England, etc.: but growing up in small town America, the music of the old world was something I never knew about. At some point in my early adulthood (I'm almost 50 now) I began to notice ancient sounds when I would hear them: "Celtic"-sounding music in a film, or an old fiddle tune, etc. - things I didn't know how to put a name to. These old sounds seemed to wake something that was already inside me that I'd never known about.

    This is what drew me to the mandolin as well: ancient sounds (not Bluegrass). I then began to trace my own history and found that I could go as far back as 17th century Wales on my paternal side (everyone eventually ended up in England, and then to America), and England on the maternal. So there seems to be something innate that draws me to the ancient sounds, hobbits, fairy tales - old things in general. I also think the weariness of fast-paced modernity in America can drive people to seek out older and simpler things. I wonder if this has been the experience of other Americans here who love old music, etc.?
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    ... So there seems to be something innate that draws me to the ancient sounds, hobbits, fairy tales - old things in general. I also think the weariness of fast-paced modernity in America can drive people to seek out older and simpler things. I wonder if this has been the experience of other Americans here who love old music, etc.?
    I grew up in Rock City (Detroit) - zep was my childhood. As an adult I spent a lot of time in the mountains. The mountain tundra impelled in me a feeling for an imagined Gaelic landscape. Nature was the call. Somewhere, perhaps, I had heard the strains of the austere gaelic harp - on the radio? I don't know. But it fostered in me a feeling of antiquity, almost a spiritual connection with the natural world. I enjoy session music too, but this music got hold of me in a different way. I had to get a clarsach and play it. I'm still mostly compelled by airs. https://youtu.be/eidm1c8xQ8s

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    I grew up in Rock City (Detroit) - zep was my childhood. As an adult I spent a lot of time in the mountains. The mountain tundra impelled in me a feeling for an imagined Gaelic landscape. Nature was the call. Somewhere, perhaps, I had heard the strains of the austere gaelic harp - on the radio? I don't know. But it fostered in me a feeling of antiquity, almost a spiritual connection with the natural world. I enjoy session music too, but this music got hold of me in a different way. I had to get a clarsach and play it. I'm still mostly compelled by airs. https://youtu.be/eidm1c8xQ8s
    I'm also drawn to airs and slower stuff over the faster tunes. That's convenient for me as a player because I usually can't play fast tunes very well either.
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Part of my growing up was in Glasgow (Scotland), and in the 60s and 70s Scottish trad wasn't very cool among younger musicians, possibly due to the 'unhip' MOR influence of The Alexander Brothers (a bit Scottish and Western), Moira Anderson and Kenneth McKellar (Victorian parlour songs), Andy Stewart (Scottish music hall), and the 'kilts and haggis' portrayal of Scottish trad culture in media at the time. All these guys were excellent musicians and entertainers, but they weren't cool. Ireland and Shetland were regarded as acceptable sources of cool folk music, as were Scottish folk and folk/rock bands, and the English electric bands like Fairport and Steeleye Span. Fortunately, since then trad Scotttish music has come into its own, with lots of great younger musicians and a much wider appreciation of the culture.

    I love what people like Martin Hayes have done with Irish music, in showing that it can mostly be played very effectively without requiring lightning fingers and fast technique. I think that's helped rescue it from the stereotyped 140mph Irish pub sesssions in England and Scotland that many found intimidating or ultimately, just boring. These sessions were rarely led by Irish nationals - they do still exist, but they're not the only game in town. A harpist friend of mine from Devon in the 80s sent his wife a postcard written at an Irish festival frequented by lots of non Irish musicians, that read:

    'Dear XXXXXX',

    Diddly di de diddly dee de di de diddly dreee de hum de dreedly di de do de dum do di diddly di de diddly dee de di de diddly dreee de hum de dreedly di de do de dum do di
    diddly di de diddly dee de di de diddly dreee de hum de dreedly di de do de dum do di
    diddly di de diddly dee de di de diddly dreee de hum de dreedly di de do de dum do di
    diddly di de diddly dee de di de diddly dreee de hum de dreedly di de do de dum do di

    Love, XXXXX'

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Caleb, I understand the attraction to "old world" music.
    I think that's kind of universal.

    Where I live, in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire fiddlers such as Jonny Hardie and Paul Anderson can trace their teachers back through unbroken links to Niel Gow.

    Like most of Scotland, it's a small enough area and music scene that if you're into the music of these people, you probably also know them personally, at least on nodding terms.

    So, like everywhere, there was a 60s "folk revival", but there was also a continuous living tradition that didn't need too much research.
    It was right in front of people, including those that don't like the music.
    Bren

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    This is off more on a tangent - but growing up in Minnesota in the 1960's and 1970's I was exposed to what was the end of the heyday of the great Scandinavian American bands as well as the great US polka bands. (German/Czech rather than Irish polka). No it wasn't cool with a lot of kids, but I enjoyed it. Didn't even realize until fairly recently about the rich Irish music tradition in the Twin Cities for the past century or so.

    Yes, Martin Hayes has done an interesting turn with the music. Definitely different than when I used to watch him regularly in an Irish trad-rock band called Midnight Court. We enjoyed it well enough while it lasted. Haven't really started his biography so it will be interesting to read his take on those times.

    Also interesting that, at least here in Minnesota, a number of the Scandinavian American bands had some Irish tunes in their set lists. And the Doherty Family of St. Paul had a few Scandinavian tunes in their repertoire, too.
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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    I seem to remember Martin and Dennis were in a punk band in Chicago.
    Bren

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    Default Re: What Irish/Scottish music do Irish/Scottish people listen to?

    Ooh, I meant to post this one - the old pibrochs and marches - I listen to the pipes, or old norwegian fiddlers. I get my happy grooving stuff in other forms..

    (the late Chris Caswell)https://youtu.be/vpoTk4DHCbs

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