Links for some of the musicians featured on Oak & Thorn.
Many of these people sell their CDs directly from their Websites – a great way to support them!
We are continuously adding links and information; check back for updates.
Altan – Fiddling and Irish Gaelic singing in the County Donegal tradition.
Afro Celt Sound System – Fusing African world-beat style with Irish tunes and songs, the most successful such blend yet. Really original sound; great stuff. MySpace page here. Fan pages here – lots of info!
Baka Beyond – “The original Afro-Celtic crossover band”
Patrick Ball – Irish harper and storyteller from Northern California.
Battlefield Band – Powerhouse group from Scotland, still going strong after 30 years.
Beolach – Energetic and talented group from Cape Breton Island, expanding the traditional sound.
Michael Black– One of the celebrated Black Family, he has a solo album out featuring his fine singing.
Bodega – Great new band from Glasgow, big strong high-energy sound. Here’s a page about their second CD.
Boys of the Lough – Still going strong after 40 years! Pan-Celtic trad group with members from Ireland, Scotland, Shetland, and Northumberland.
The Bothy Band – Five years, four albums, and immortality. No Website, but you can get some history from this Folkworld article.
David Brewer – Energetic multi-instrumental (pipes, whistles, bodhran, guitar, and by now he’s probably learned something else) musician from Santa Cruz, playing mostly Scottish music. Frontman for the band Molly’s Revenge, also records and tours with fiddler Rebecca Lomnicky.
Brother – Featuring my favorite instrumental combination, didgeridoo and Great Highland bagpipes, along with electric guitars, drumkit, and wild craziness.
Kevin Burke – Legendary Irish fiddler.
Capercaillie – Scottish trad-modern supergroup. Caution: Drive carefully, the music can cause you speeding tickets.
Danny Carnahan – Multitalented California musician, singer, songwriter, working in Celtic, Folk, New Age, Jazz, and Jam-band traditions.
Celtic Fiddle Festival –
The Chieftains – Rock stars who happen to be folk musicians.
Duncan Chisholm – Scottish fiddler, founder of Wolfstone. Expressive, emotional style. A personal favorite.
Clannad – One of the first groups to successfully blend Irish traditional music with contemporary styles. Eventually they went all New Agey, but their early albums still sound great.
Cliar – Scottish Gaelic is cool again (thanks, Runrig!) and Cliar is extending the vocal tradition with some stunning arrangements.
J. P. Cormier – Amazing guitarist from Cape Breton Island.
Craobh Rua (“creev ro,” sort of)- Great trad Irish-Scottish group.
Chrissy Crowley – Exciting and creative Cape Breton fiddler with a touch of wildness. Amazing live performer; I hope she makes it big.
Johnny Cunningham – Gifted fiddler, founding member of Silly Wizard, one of the funniest musicians ever, and a genuinely nice guy. Wish he was still with us.
Phil Cunningham – (MySpace) Gifted accordionist, composer, producer, former member of Silly Wizard, almost as funny as his brother Johnny.
Daimh (pronounced “Da-eev” or “Dife” depending on where you’re from) – Very high energy Scottish group. Crossing Point is one of my favorite CDs from 2007.
Danu – Terrific Irish traditional group.
Dervish – Irish supergroup; terrific instrumentals, and distinctive ornamented vocals by Cathy Jordan. Nice Website too.
John Doyle – Omnipresent Irish-American guitarist, singer, accompanist, and producer.
Alasdair Fraser – Very popular Scottish fiddler, composer, teacher, and entertainer.
Genticorum (also see their MySpace page) – Dynamic and original traditional French-Canadian ‘power trio’.
Grada – Contemporary Irish trad group with several very good CDs.
James Graham – Gaelic singer with a strong, clear, expressive voice. Also performs with Na Seoid.
Colin Grant – Cape Breton fiddler with a distinctive style, doing some original compositions and arrangements. A talent to watch.
Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill – Well known and very popular fiddle/guitar duo, anchoring the Sebastopol festival every year.
Hevia – (MySpace page) Fantastic Asturian bagpiper and composer. Contemporary sound, blending electronic and traditional intrumentation and sampling different cultures.
Jerry Holland – Master fiddler and composer in the Cape Breton Island style.
Mike Katz – Bagpiper for the most recent incarnation of Battlefield Band, also solo artist.
Paddy Keenan – Virtuoso Uileann piper, founding member of the seminal Bothy Band, genuine Traveller, and a fine fellow.
Mary Ann Kennedy – BBC Radio Scotland host, Gold Medal-winning Harper & Gaelic singer with Cliar and Na Seoid.
Kila – Taking Irish music into new territory; completely unique sound – Irish-World fusion?
Griogair Labhruidh (“Lawrie”) – Singer and piper, with a strong, distinctive voice and emotional delivery. One of my favorite discoveries from Celtic Connections 2010.
Mary Jane Lamond – Traditional Scottish Gaelic songs from Cape Breton Island, with contemporary arrangements.
LAU – New trio from Scotland, energetic and innovative.
Rebecca Lomnicky – Amazingly talented young fiddler from Oregon, winner of the 20th Anniversary Glenfiddich Fiddle Championship. She and David Brewer totally rocked the Matheson theater for us!
Lunasa – Irish instrumental supergroup.
Donal Lunny –
Buddy MacMaster – Legendary Cape Breton Island fiddler.
Finlay MacDonald Band – Funky, powerhouse instrumentals arranged around the Scottish bagpipe and fiddle.
Bruce MacGregor – Fantastic fiddler and composer, fun guy to run around Glasgow with too. His composition about one of his father’s exploits, “The Highlander’s Revenge,” is one of the best new tunes of the decade.
MacGregor, Brechin, O hEadhra – Read the review of their Celtic Connections gig on our main page. These guys are awesome.
Dougie MacLean – Needs no introduction to Oak & Thorn listeners. Practically a national treasure of Scotland, and an amazingly nice guy. Also, he collects tractors – how cool is that?
Manran – Fabulous new Scottish band, merging trad and contemporary sounds. Uniquely featuring both Irish and Scottish pipes as well as accordion, guitar, drums & bass. Vocals by Norrie MacIver, formerly of Bodega, an Oak & Thorn favorite.
Molly’s Revenge – Great band out of Santa Cruz CA. Don’t miss an opportunity to see them live!
Tommy Makem, “The Bard of Armagh” – Revered folksinger, best known for his work with the Clancy Brothers. Passed away in 2007 after a rich and full lifetime of music and poetry.
Michael McGoldrick – Nearly as omnipresent as John Doyle. Amazing instrumentalist (flute, whistle, Uileann pipes).
Paul Mounsey – Alas, there is no official website for this amazing artist. Wikipedia has a list of his albums. MusicScotland.com has all of his recordings available.
Mozaik (also see Andy Irvine) – Irish-American-Hungarian-Dutch fusion group. Fantastic stuff.
Na h-Òganaich – Revival of a 1970s trio credited with innovating the sound of Gaelic song, helping revive it as a popular form.
Na Seòid (“Na Sheoj”, sort of) – Gaelic vocal supergroup with a powerful, expressive sound. Magnificent! Also on Myspace.
Niamh Parsons – Irish singer with crystal-clear voice.
Pennou Skoulm – Breton instrumental supergroup. Also on Myspace.
Planxty – Seminal Irish group from the 1970s, often credited with revolutionizing Irish traditional music.
Red Hot Chili Pipers Fabulous bagpipe rock band.
Jason Roach – Cape Breton Island pianist
Stan Rogers – Hard to believe he’s been gone 25 years.
Runrig – Greatest Celtic rock band ever. Widely credited with the revival of popular interest in Scottish Gaelic song.
Session A9 – MySpace page – “Modern trad” group based around 3 fiddles, performing new compositions in the traditional idiom. Beautiful sound.
Sharon Shannon – Irish accordionist and fiddle player, energetic and innovative. Plays very well with others, in a wide variety of styles.
Silly Wizard – One of the great folk groups of all time. The band retired in 1988, nearly at their peak, having made 8 great albums. Good article about them here.
Slainte Mhath (pronounced “Slancha Va”) – Not quite Celtic-rock, not quite trad either – Cape Breton band (no longer active) updating the tradition.
Steeleye Span – The band of my youth… the first truly great folk-rock group.
Solas – Irish-American supergroup; high-energy trad sound.
Davy Spillane – Well-known Uilleann piper and whistle player, also skillful composer.
Andy M. Stewart – Former lead singer for Silly Wizard, one of the most expressive singers from the Scottish folk revival. A personal favorite.
Alan Stivell – Breton harper, bagpiper, composer, living legend.
String Sisters – An all-female fiddle group composed of Annbjørg Lien from Norway, Catriona Macdonald from Shetland, Liz Carroll and Liz Knowles from America, Mairead ni Mhaonaigh (Altan) from Ireland and Emma Härdelin from Sweden. BIG sound!
Pam Swan -Vocalist and world music treasure in the SF Bay area. Her CD with Shira Kammen, “Wild Wood” is a favorite on Oak & Thorn.
The Tannahill Weavers – Straight trad Scottish folk band with power and emotion. Trademark harmonies drive their vocal sound, and their instrumentals usually feature bagpipes with fiddle harmony. Distinctive and powerful sound.
Tempest – Celtic-influenced rock band out of Northern California. Actually Celto-Scandinavian rock, with a dose of other world influences as well. I’d love to see them play with the Wicked Tinkers.
Le Vent duNord – French-Canadian Celts! These guys tear it up live, and their CDs are pretty good too. Beautiful harmonies and instrumentals, built around the vielle a roue (hurdy-gurdy).
Rachel Walker – Gaelic singer with beautiful voice, strong delivery and interesting arrangements (some Runrig influences).
Wicked Tinkers– Pipes drums, didge, and Bronze Age Celtic horn – “like the voice of some H.P. Lovecraft aquatic leviathan.” Can’t wait to see them live!
John Williams – Fantastically gifted Irish-American squeezebox player (concertina, accordion, sometimes flute or whistle or piano), founding member of Solas.
Robin Williamson – Harper and storyteller, a genuine Bard from the ancient tradition.
Wolfstone – Terrific Scottish Celtic-rock band.