Altan will play a benefit concert for KZYX on Saturday, March 10th at Eagles Hall in Fort Bragg, CA.

Altan will play a benefit concert for KZYX on Saturday, March 10th at Eagles Hall in Fort Bragg, CA.


Oak and Thorn 2/25/16 by Colleen



Alasdair Fraser-The Sweetness of Mary-Return to Kintail-Culburnie

Michael Black-The Willow Tree-Michael Black-Compass

Three Mile Stone-Old Innishowan-Irish Music from San Francisco


Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh–Seoithin -Daybreak-Compass

Deanta-The Usual Suspects-Whisper of a Secret-Green Linnet

John Doyle, Nuala Kennedy, Eamon Cleary- Lovely Nancy-The Alt-Under the Arch

Kevin Crawford-Phil and Rory’s-Carrying the Tune-Brooklyn Boy Records


Heidi Talbot-High Germany-Distant Future-Compass

Open House-The Okarina-Hoof and Mouth-Green Linnet

Wendy Stewart-The Dusty Miller/Love and Whiskey-About Time 2

Ossian-The Carrying Stream-The Carrying Stream-Green Trax


Old Blind Dogs-Tramps and Hawkers-Fit-Green Linnet

Eilidh Shaw-Liz Carroll’s-Heepirumbo-CD Trax

Dougie MacLean-Broken Wings-Marching Mystery-Dunkeld

Maddy Prior, Rose Kemp, Abbie Lathe-I Need you to turn to-Bib and Tuck-Park


John Doyle-Captain Glenn-Wayward Son-Compass

Joe McKenna-The Buachaill Dreota/Jackie Tar-The Irish Low Whistle

Maggie MacInnes-Cearcall min G’healalch-Oren na Mna

John McSherry-The Slide from Grace-Soma-Compass-Compass


Teresa Horgan and Matt Griffin-Fair Flowers of the Valley-Brightest Sky Blue

Johnny Connolly-Marcelle and Marcel-Bridgetown-Green Linnet

Sean Keane-Meeting is a Pleasure-Turn a Phrase-Kells

Patrick Street-The Raheen Medley-Live-Grenn Linnet


Maggie Boyle and Steve Tilson-Silver Dagger-Of Moor and Mesa-Green Linnet

Teresa Horgan and Matt Griffin-Roscommon Reel-Brightest Sky Blue-H & G

Michael Black-Little Pack of Tailors-Michael Black

Usher’s Island-The Half Century Set-Usher’s Island




This is the first installment of new music we brought back from Celtic Connections 2018.

Duncan Chisholm “Haze Across the Sun” from Sandwood (2018) on Copperfish

Hannah Rarity “Miller Tae My Trade” from Beginnings – Ep on Hannah Rarity

String Sisters “The Blooming Conductor (Live)” from Between Wind and Water (2018) on String Sisters

Set break

Patrick Ball “Cremonea” from Celtic Harp, Vol. IV: O’Carolan’s Dream (1989) on Fortuna Records


Margaret Stewart “An Dòmhnallach Urramach (The Noble son of Clan Donald)” from Togaidh Mi Mo Sheòlta (2008) on Greentrax

Blazin’ Fiddles “Catch and Kiss” from North on Blazin’ Fiddles

Gillebride MacMillan “Iain Mac ‘Ic Fhionghainn” from Air Forladh (On Leave) on Dealas Limited

Set break

The Friel Sisters “Jigs: Humours of Ballyloughlin / Rakes of Clonmel / Kilkenny Jig (feat. Gearoid Ó Maonaigh & Seamus O’Kane)” from The Friel Sisters on The Friel Sisters

Cathal McConnell “The Hurricane of Reels” from Long Expectant Comes At Last (2000) on Compass Records

Liz Carroll “Barbra Streisand’s Trip to Saginaw / Michael Connell’s” from On the Offbeat (2013) on Liz Carroll

Set break

Station ID

Nava “Banish Misfortune” from Nava on Independent

Estbel “Väike Lind” from Saar on Nordic Notes

Lahira “Ailean Duinn” from Live at CC on Independent

Set break


Skyhook “Snowing Up the Hill: Miller of Drone/Calum Breugach / Midgefest / Snowing Up the Hill” from At the Stringsmith’s Forge on Skyhookmusic

Sam Kelly “The King’s Shilling” from The Lost Boys on TCR Music

Fiddler’s Bid “On The Wings Of Skorie” from Da Farder Ben Da Welcomer on Greentrax Recordings

Set break


Blazin’ Fiddles “The Highlander’s Revenge” from The Key (2018) on Blazin’ Fiddles

Skipinnish “alive” from The Seventh Wave (2017) on Skipinnish Records

Skipinnish “The Hag: The Hag at the Churn / The Gathering / Dolina MacKay / Michael Rankins” from The Seventh Wave (2017) on Skipinnish Records

Set break



Oak and Thorn 2/11/18 by Colleen

artist-song-recording -label


Alasdair Fraser-Independence Trail-Dawn Dance-Culburnie

Runa-Erin, Gra mo Chroi-Jealousy-Runa

June McCormick And Michael Rooney-Aghaidh Jhanuis-Draiocht-Draiocht Music



Dougie McLean-Ca the Yowes-Tribute-Dunkeld

Cythara-Women of Ireland/Morrison’s Jig/Over the Hills and Far Away-Plucked and Hammered-KRL

Mairead ni Mhaonaigh-A Oganaigh Og-Na Mooney-Traditional Arts

Usher’s Island-The Half Century Set-Usher’s Island-Compass



Mary Jane Lammond Wendy MacIssac-Air aGhille Tha mo Run-Seinn-Factor

John Doyle Usher’s Island-Heart in Hand-Usher’s Island-Compass

McKasson and McDonald-The Cheese Closet-Harbour

Julie Fowlis-Puirt-A-Beul-Every Story-Machair



Archie Fisher-Yonder Banks-Sunsets I’ve Galloped Into-Snow Goose

Deanta-The Usual Suspects-Whisper of a Secret-Green Linnet

Jim Malcolm-The Echo Mocks the Corncrake-The Corncrake-Beltane

Steve Baughman-Leitrim Queen-Farewell to Orkney-Celtic Guitar



Runa-Farewell to Tarwathie-Live-Runa

Ensemble Galilei-The Celt-The Mystic and the Muse-Dorian

Steve Byrne-Young Jessie O Bonnie Dundee-Songs from Home-Green Trax

Grainne Murphy-The New Mown Meadow/Maids of Mount Kisco-Murphy



Cassie and Maggie-The King’s Shilling-Sterling Road-Cassie and Maggie

Joe McKenna Contentment is Wealth-The Irish Low Whistle-Shanachie

Battlefield-Battle of Waterloo-The World’s Room-Green Linnet

Billy McComiskey-Keogh’s/Maggie Lynn-Outside the Box-Compass



Karen Casey and John Doyle-Exile’s Return-Exile’s Return-Compass

Cythara-Cunningham’s Odd Dance-Plucked and Hammered

Ed Miller-The Spanish Lady-Never Frae my Mind-Wellfield

Franco Morone-The Road to Lisdoonverna-The Road to Lisdoonvarna







Liz Carroll-Letter to Peter Pan-Lost in the Loop-Green Linnet
Cara Dillon-Spenser the Rover-Hill of Thieves-Proper
Connie McKennit-Women of Ireland-Celtic Mist-Maggie’s Music


Maighread ni Dhomhnaill- Is Fada Liom Uaim I-No Dowry-Shanachie
Maire Breathnach-The Mystic Jigs-Fiddler’s Green-Blix
Steve Tilson-Night Visiting Song-Solorubato-Fellside
Janet Harbison-Love’s Comfort-Harpestry-Imaginary Road


Danny Carnahan-Glenlogie-Journeys of the Heart-Celtoid Records
Kevin Crawford and Cillian Vallely-Man from Moyasta-On Common Ground-Bally ‘O Records
Karen Matheson-Mi Le M’uillin-Voices of Celtic Women-Shanachie
Grey Larsen-The Gathering-The Gathering-Sugar Hill


Rachel Walker-Ruith na Gaoith-Fon Ruel-Sholus-Skipinish
Anam-An Blew Treghys-Riptide-Green Linnet
Tim O’Brien-Mick Ryan’s Lament-Two Journeys-Howdy Skies
McKasson and Mc Donald-The Cheese Closet Set-Harbour-McKasson and McDonald


John Doyle and Karan Casey-Madam I’m a Darling-Exile’s Return-Comapss
Shannon Heaton-Grandfather’s Thoughts-The Blue Dress
De Temps Anton-La Turlutte du Rotoculteur-Musication
Ian Hardie-Liathach-Music and Song of Green Trax


McKasson-McDonald-Boy of Biscay-Harbour-McKassen and McDonald
Grainne Murphy-The New Mown Meadow/ The Maids of Mount Kisco-Short Stories-Murphy
Teresa Horgan and Matt Griffen-Kathy’s Song-Brightest Sky Blue-Horgan and Griffen
Daimh-Nuair a Chi Thu Caileag Bhoidheach-Crossing Point


Colleen Raney-I Live Not Where I Love-Lark-Raney
Michael McGoldrick and John McSherry-Trip to Ieland-At First Sight-Compass
Niamh ni Chara-Cailleach A Airgid-Happy Out
Eric Rigler-A Stor Mo Chroi-Magic and Mystery-Temple

Sian at Celtic Connections 2018

Starting the evening was a new trio, Sian, consisting of Eilidh Cormack, winner of the Ladies’ Gold Medal at the Royal National Mòd on her first attempt at the age of 18 and a semi-finalist in BBC Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2016; Ellen MacDonald, currently performing with Dàimh and also often with Gaelic-tronica pioneers Niteworks; and Ceitlin L R Smith, winner of the Traditional Gold Medal at the Royal National Mòd,  a Danny Kyle winner, and a former lead singer for Gria.  Their voices blended together beautifully, and their harmonies were stellar.  As usual at Celtic Connections Gaelic song shows, I wished I spoke Gaelic, so I could understand the jokes and the lyrics.  It didn’t matter, as their wonderful songs and presence was enough. (Okay, a CD we could bring home so the Oak and Thorn audience could enjoy Sian, too, would have made the evening perfect.)

Margaret Stewart at Celtic Connections 2018Have you ever been in the presence of royalty?  That’s what it felt like when Margaret Stewart, Gold Medal  Mod winner and 2008  Gaelic Singer of the Year and 2011 Musician in Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig; Scotland’s Gaelic College, walked onto the stage and began singing.  Her voice filled the hall, spreading its magic and power.  Performing with a harp accompaniment, Stewart swept the audience back in time, to an era of the great bards.  She showed off her vocal range with soaring laments, ballads, and what should have been a very sad song about a poor maid whipped out of a house, but the melody was too cheerful.  Add to all of her musical talent is her delightful sense of humor.

Kathleen MacInnes at Celtic Connections 2018

Kathleen MacInnes, Gaelic Singer of the Year in 2006 and actress, has a smoky voice and a cheeky presence.  Reading from seventies-era Gaelic/English pages, clearly badly translated text, she had the Gaelic speakers roaring with laughter.  Moments later, she broke our hearts with a tragic ballad of loss, a Gaelic song specialty.  Her fans were everywhere in the hall, all eager to share tidbits about her career as a singer and as an actress.  While she didn’t sing much in this show, there’s another chance to see her in the “Oran nan Gaidheal” event at the Royal Concert Hall on the 26th.

This was truly a magical evening of gorgeous harmonies and beautiful songs, all in Gaelic, in an all-woman show featuring songs written by women.


Hannah Rarity at Celtic Connections 2018

Hannah Rarity is one of the exciting new talents featured at Celtic Connections.  She won us over with her first song, a great rendition of the Child Ballad”Alison Cross.”  Not confining herself to traditional material, she shared her own work, and also worked in a cover of a song by indie pop-folk band The Weepies.  Her amazing vocal talents really showed on last song, Andy M. Stewart’s “Where Are You Tonight I Wonder.”  She took Stewart’s words and imbued them with a sadness that surpassed the original version – hard to believe if you weren’t there to see it.


Cathal McConnell at Celtic Connections 2018

There are things that never seem to change, and Cathal McConnell is one of them.  His humor, the lessons of each tune’s history, those are a part of Cathal that makes for a cozy evening of songs and wonderful flute and whistle tunes.  It’s no wonder that he’s a favorite of the crowd, who would call out to him for more songs or a specific tune.  A Cathal show is filled with excellent takeaway lines, such as: “I’ll just keep talking until I have something to say.”  His patter is on a par with his playing, which is incredible, and his singing.  He has a huge repertoire of songs, ranging from silly to “Young Donald,” a song “so sad it shouldn’t have been written in the first place.”

He’s a true gem of traditional music.