Folkfinds: Rob Clamp’s “The Prime of Miss Jean Allan”

Rob Clamp

We’ve visited the UK’s thriving old-time scene before, but for our first trip to Scotland we visit multi-instrumentalist Rob Clamp. Rob focuses his musical attentions on his Scottish and American heritage. His original ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Allan,’ written for his grandmother, is a lovely and straightforward waltz which … → read more

ANNA FALKENAU: Féileacán na Saoirse

AnnaFalkenau: FeileacannaSaoi

          ANNA FALKENAU Féileacán na Saoirse Scroll Music 1401 www.annafalkenau.com   The Irish-to-English translation of Anna Falkenau’s solo fiddle album is, roughly, “Butterfly of Freedom,” an apt descriptor. It reminds me of Kevin Burke projects in the ways in which tunes are freed by putting composition … → read more

ALASDAIR ROBERTS: Alasdair Roberts

          Alasdair Roberts Alasdair Roberts Drag City 613 www.dragcity.com   Alasdair Roberts’ handsome Stirlingshire voice, ancient new lyrics and honed Bert Jansch-acoustic style make this a pearl of an album, as lost and found love haunts several pieces. “The Problem of Freedom” takes us through the … → read more

KATHERINE FIRST and THE KITCHEN PARTY: Dancing Tables and Dancing Chairs

        KATHERINE FIRST and       THE KITCHEN PARTY Dancing Tables and Dancing Chairs Fiddle First Music 002 www.katherinefirst.com In Ireland, one of the greatest honors a family can bestow upon a visitor is to invite that person into their kitchen. The kitchen is considered the room of greatest … → read more

THE ALT: The Alt

          The Alt The Alt Under the Arch 002 www.thealtmusic.com   The Alt is an accidental trio that came together with a glorious result. Irish-born musician/vocalists John Doyle (guitar/bouzouki/mandola), Nuala Kennedy (flute/whistles), and Eamon O’Leary (guitar/bouzouki) have assembled a well-crafted album bookended by songs that highlight … → read more

CLANNAD: The Essential

          CLANNAD The Essential RCA/Legacy legacyrecordings.com   The word “essential” can refer to something that is absolutely necessary, its deepest essence, or even both at once. Whether or not this two-disc collection satisfies either definition is very much a matter of individual taste. Clannad began in … → read more

KENNEDY’S KITCHEN: Birds Upon The Trees

          KENNEDY’S KITCHEN Birds Upon The Trees Kennedy’s Kitchen www.kennedyskitchen.com   Based in South Bend, Indiana, this family-based acoustic outfit is fronted by singer-guitarist joHn (Spell-check is going berserk, but yes, that’s how he wants it) Kennedy and includes two of his highly talented nephews, Liam … → read more