Irish Traditions found In Foxglove & Fuchsia

Irish Traditions found In Foxglove & FuchsiaOpening with a Song from County Mayo and known as a Corrs track Bhríd Óg Ní Mháille, sung in Gaelic as we hear the traditional close-up and personal rendition o the unmarried young Brigid O’Malley. We feel instantly the emotional warmth of the voice that will warm your soul throughout Foxglove & Fuchsia. Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh voice dominates the album on this bright and foot tapping collection that will bring you vocal sunshine on the dullest day as the reels and slides spill out of your speakers. This is music for the fireside, in a small public house to share with friends and family this is most definitely not arena music. Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh on Foxglove & Fuchsia captures the warmth, friendship and togetherness that binds traditional music across the globe wherever it is played. The sound is clear a clarion call in any language, the songs are a beguiling mix of Gaelic and English.  Music to laugh, smile, shed a tear too and clap with delight the emotional is captured and understood crossing barriers of language with its inherent simplicity. The tone and texture reflecting the flowers in the album title Foxglove & Fuchsia. The Foxglove growing in the shade its beauty reflected in the dappled sunlight, always slightly hidden from view. In contrast the Fuchsia a vivid, blowsy flower that demands your eye’s attention. What does demand your attention of your ear is Muireann’s wonderful lyrical vocals, a unique blending natural and with hidden depths as the voice pulls the vitality from the damp, moist vitality of the earth in every number. Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh has achieved this by surrounding herself with a phalanx of might musicians that add to the interpretation of traditional Irish Music. Re-shaping the essence into a bright contemporary sound on an album that blends new songs with traditional, the old lyrics rearranged with new melodies.

The almost-title track Where Foxglove takes us into a special place the lyrics paint a visual soundscapes, we are among the flowers overlooking the sea. The guitar of Gerry O’Beirne & Donal O’Connor’s strings gentle complement the full tonal glory of her vocals. The harmonies on The Final Trawl make this track standout. Gaelic number from Basket Island about love lasting the test of time, the music and words fall over you and there is a solid permanence of love throughout the number.  The mood changes we get up and dance to The Reels, infectious music and she plays the whistle with passion and flair on the instrumental joined by Bodhran played by Donnchadh & her husband Billy Mag Fhloinn on Bouzouki. A true celebration of instruments and the uplifting atmosphere that the instruments create. Her voice is not silent for long as I courted A Soldier, with harp and Uilleann pipes this is a gentle number that is delivering the heart and soul of Irish music.

Closing out this album that inner beauty with its quiet approach is Bean Dubh An Ghleanna, Black Bean of the Glen, so appropriate that unrequited love is explored as the music and a language of traditional Irish music is shared. An album full of beautiful moments, warmth and comfort. The speakers have transported us to a different land we find ourselves sitting in her garden surrounded by earthly beauty celebrating Foxglove & Fuchsia, comfortable in the personal space where we sit in her garden surrounded by earthly beauty celebrating Foxglove & Fuchsia shares with us on the album.

Foxglove & Fuchsia – Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Bhríd Óg Ní Mháille
  2. Sleamhnain / Slides
  3. Where Foxglove
  4. The Final Trawl
  5. Muirisin Deas Is Nora
  6. Rileanna / Reels
  7. I Courted A Soldier
  8. An Sciobairin
  9. Polcal / Polkas
  10. Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier
  11. Bean Dubh An Ghleanna

Irish Traditions found In Foxglove & Fuchsia

Nothing Wayward Music from Ian Siegal and Jimbo Matthus

Wayward Sons-

Nothing Wayward Music from

Ian Siegal and Jimbo Matthus

 

 

There are many roads in creating stand out music that gets noticed. It is a certainty that the musical furrow Ian and Jimbo are ploughing is one of them. Definitely Nothing Wayward in the Live Music from Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus.

Opening with Ian Siegal who gets the show underway and introduces double grammy winner and wonderful musician Jimbo Mathus. Wayward Sons,  This is a live album brimming with bonhomie of friendship, bonding over music and the joy of singing, playing guitars and a generous dusting of charismatic magic. Ian and Jimbo in the spoken interlude are a double act, with background to the songs and wit.
This is a twenty-one track album that stretches the CD’s capacity so not a moment of wonder is lost.

The songs are a selection of traditional, artful covers and songs from Ian Siegel’s Picnic Sessions where he first met Jimbo back in 2013 and from Jimbo Mathus’ back catalogue.  Opening with In The Garden, Jimbo opens with vocals and a feel of Dylan runs throughout and has a twist on connections with Paradise.   We hear that Jimbo is glad to be brought overseas and we know they are back in 2016. Then it is Ian’s turn with a Townes Van Zandt’s Heavenly Houseboat Blues, the harmonisation is closer than close the guitar strumming hits the moods and connects to Jimbo’s harp playing. Recorded on Picnic Sessions by accident as Ian was playing it and the rest of the musicians joined in and the recording was captured.

Many people may have sung this song says Jimbo, but I am positive that Jesse James from this duo has a vim and vigour, they resemble outlaws as they approach blues/American roots music with a disrespectful swagger. The outcome is a devilish turning the known into a mighty opus of musical delight.

What do you need after a ditty about Jesse James, some gospel blues which is often included in Ian’s solo sets Mary Don’t You Weep sits in the show tonight perfectly. Ian and Jimbo are a pair of wickedly godf troubadours that just love to perform live and this energy exudes through the album.  Casey Jones a tale of a brave engine driver, lives saved all wrapped up in synchronization of voices, guitars and that swagger that makes this music a zinging hum of electric energy. This like other well-trodden tracks are given a musical spring clean with a Siegal /Matthus interpretation.  These artist are definitely not lazy in their approach, as they sing Old Earl, a tale of a lazy man who didn’t crawl until the age of seventeen, a real foot tapping, make you smile number. We leave behind outlaws and progress to pirates and an interlude where Ian checks what key, only happens in the live moment. Back talking about Overseas with Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues, is a sea swashbuckling number.

With cheers of delight the closing number, Ewan MacColl’s, Dirty Old Town draws the album to a close not with a whimper but a musical hurrah! This album will keep us going until we can hear the duo live for ourselves in UK & Europe in Spring 2016.

You need to purchase the album and hear every track for the nuances and more. This review is a mere snippet of the quality of the album a whisper in the wind that the music leaves behind.

Multi-award winning Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus have redefined great music, no pigeon-holes for them it is all about lyrics and guitars shaping the mood with vocals that stir your soul, make you smile, laugh and cry.

We all collectively have to thank whom- ever it was who pressed record at Café de Noot, a venue in Hoogland, Netherlands. So this show is not relegated to a folklore memory. We know how good it was because we have a front seat in our music rooms for today and beyond.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus – Wayward Sons, Nugene Records   Release date 4th March

Track Listing

  1. Introduction
  2. In The Garden
  3. Jimbo’s Alive
  4. Heavenly Houseboat Blues
  5. Jesse James
  6. Mary Don’t You Weep
  7. The Story of Casey Jones
  8. Casey Jones
  9. Crazy Old Soldier
  10. Tallahatchie
  11. Old Earl
  12. The Blues
  13. Ludella
  14. Stack O’Lee
  15. What They Call You?
  16. Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues
  17. Too Much water
  18. Goodnight Irene
  19. Milltone
  20. I’ll Fly Away
  21. Dirty Old Town

Ian Siegal Jimbo Mathus

 

You will not want to miss out check out venues, towns and dates HERE

A little preview of what Jimbo and Ian will be getting up to on our 2016 tour.

 

Martin Simpson & Dom Flemons Live @ St David’s Hall

- Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons - St David's Hall - Oct 2015_0050lMartin Simpson & Dom Flemons
@ St Davids Hall Cardiff
13th October 2015

Tonight delivered everything that this show, as part of the Roots Unearthed on the 3rd Floor of St David’s Hall, promised to be; two hours of superb musicianship the blending, and mixing of British traditional music and blues in many guises and the common heritage of themes, lyrics and melodies the two traditions share. Above all this was the joy of listening to two musicians who devour the stories and share the joy with the audience with nuggets of information about the songs, the history, the narrative and emotions creating the perfect music experience.

- Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons - St David's Hall - Oct 2015_0136lWe heard nineteen delicious songs that spanned country, vaudeville and delta blues with folk songs from the English lexicon we had ballads, sauciness and infectious guitar licks and the percussive quality of bones the ethereal piping of the quills and harp playing and the joy of banjo tunes played with skillful dexterity. Tonight like all of the gigs on the second tour of this duo was recorded with the tantilising and exciting promise of a CD celebrating the bond of common love of the songs they play and the mutual respect they have for each other’s talent as they uncover and share with us the power of tunes and lyrics that need to be heard and remembered.

- Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons - St David's Hall - Oct 2015_0052lOpening the show Martin delivered St James Hospital a traditional song and in reply Dom brings the ‘over-the-pond’ rendition of St James Infirmary the songs are similar rooted deep in musical memory but the translation and changes reflect the two nations. Like so much music nothing stands still the tunes and lyrics develop and modify to reflect audiences and the times in which they are sung. Music is an organic form nothing is set in aspic once musicians add their own interpretation and arrangement it is what keeps live music vibrant and the pure pleasure it brings to everyone in their seats tonight.

- Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons - St David's Hall - Oct 2015_0111lTonight for many we were introduced to the Quills as part of the multi-instrumentalist repertoire that is Dom Flemons, the first outing for this pipe-like instrument was Bulldose Blues, inspiration for Canned Heat’s Going Up Country this combined with his vocals that have an authority and intensity as he spans the octaves with a purity and a mighty fine holler when required. Added into the mix is the superb finger work, finger picking and slide guitar of Martin Simpson as the music just rolled from their fingers and lips. We had a parody of Stephen Foster’s 1850 Hard Times Come Again No More, not the American Civil war soldiers re-writing Hard Tack Come Again No More; this is an English song during the Cotton Famine in the 1860’s due to blockades of Confederate ports during the Civil War and rename Short Times, found by the Martin & Dom when visiting Cecil Sharpe House, the archives of English Folk songs and dance. All too soon the first half was finished with a flurry as they delivered Leadbelly’s Poor Howard and Champagne Charlie with its links to the music hall tradition across the UK and Europe.

- Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons - St David's Hall - Oct 2015_0016lOpening the second installment with My Money Never Runs Out, Dom plays banjo on this Gus Cannon number. We heard about Minstrel shows and how their popularity spread across the world, segregation Vaudeville and the difficulties of early black musicians and and how blues changed and adapted. The wealth if historical knowledge was as deep and immense as the music they were playing. Stealin’ a jug band number featured a St David’s Hall Jug/Carafe and added another layer of tonal experience the evening bought. The evening closed far too soon with a rousing version of Little Liza Jane and enthusiastic singing from the audience, this was an evening that has that special element that you all get if you were sitting in the audience.

Every song they sung deserves a mention and the story that went with it but to get that go and see them live they are still on tour see below you will not be disappointed. They are touring extensively throughout October, November and December check out the dates and venues HERE

Set List

St James Hospital
St James Infirmary
Bulldose Blues
Ruben
Little Sadie
Payday
Short Times
Old Folks At Home
Poor Howard
Champagne Charlie
My Money Never Runs Out
If I Lose
Stealin’
Coalman Blues
Too Long/I’ve Been Gone
John Hardy
Buckeye Jim
Little Liza Jane