Album of the Week

Celtic Music Radio and Audio@GCU in Musical Harmony

Celtic Music Radio returns to The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for live broadcasts from the Buchanan Suite starting Friday 16th January at 11am. Celtic Music Radio is delighted that...

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Concerts and Gig Guide

Celtic Connections announces Danny Kyle Open Stage Finalists 2015

Every year at Celtic Connections the cream of new musical talent perform at the Danny Kyle Open Stage. A diverse panel of judges – from industry stalwarts to members of the...

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Studio guests

Review: The Chair at The Old Fruitmarket – Sunday 25 January

With an mini invasion from Orkney, there were no chairs required as it’s standing room only when THE CHAIR are in town. Whilst I say there was only standing room it certainly...

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Outside broadcasts

Donald Shaw praises Celtic Music Radio at Celtic Connections

Celtic Music Radio is broadcasting live for the 10th year in a row at Celtic Connections, which got under from Thursday, 15 January and continues to Sunday 1 February...

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Recent Posts

Celtic Connections announces Danny Kyle Open Stage Finalists 2015

Celtic Connections announces Danny Kyle Open Stage Finalists 2015

Feb 1, 2015

Every year at Celtic Connections the cream of new musical talent perform at the Danny Kyle Open Stage.

A diverse panel of judges – from industry stalwarts to members of the general public – then have the unenviable task of picking just six finalists who are all winners from the numerous acts that took part.

The finalists of this year’s Open Stage, which is supported by the Evening Times and broadcast live every night live on Celtic Music Radio 95FM, performed in the finale concert on Sunday 1 February in the Exhibition Hall of The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, before being presented with their awards.  Each of the six finalists will then get a support performance slot at Celtic Connections 2016.

Liz Clark, Producer of the Danny Kyle Open Stage, said: “Once again we have seen an outstanding level of talent at the Danny Kyle Open Stage. Year on year the up and coming artists blow me away with their ability and enthusiasm and this year was no exception. 

“It was fantastic to see our six winners from last year take to the Celtic Connections stages and I have no doubt that this year’s six winners will be firm favourites at Celtic Connections 2016. Watch this space.”

If you missed any of the finalists or any of the performers on the Danny Kyle Open Stage 2015, then go to our Listen Again Archive page to listen at anytime, on your laptop or any other device.

Review: JD McPherson and Cactus Blossoms, 02 ABC, Glasgow, 24 January 2015

Review: JD McPherson and Cactus Blossoms, 02 ABC, Glasgow, 24 January 2015

Feb 1, 2015

J D McPherson – a name rapidly gaining huge popularity in rock & roll circles, was back in Glasgow on 24 January as part of Celtic Connections.

This was his second visit. When he last appeared two years ago, it was in the much smaller Òran Mór venue in the west end of Glasgow with a much smaller audience.

This time, JD appeared at the 02ABC arena in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow city centre and the place was absolutely packed.

JD and the band were clearly delighted to be back in Glasgow – indicating that this was one of their favourite places to perform. The audience expressed their delight at his enthusiasm!

They moved quickly through a lot of material, covering tracks from the first Signs and Signifiers album, together with new material due to be released shortly. The highlight of the new material (as least for me) is “Let the Good Times Roll”, not the old song, but one of the same name composed by JD.

By the end of the gig, the audience was well pleased, but more was to come.

The band announced that they would like to bring onstage for a couple of number two brother from the USA who they had been touring with, The Cactus Blossoms. They performed two songs, starting with This Boy (the old Beatles song).

From the moment they started the audience were stunned by their harmonies which can best be described as bearing an uncanny resemblance to the very early Everly Brothers material. I suspect they are going to build themselves a very large following both in the States and over here.

For more information and video from their website, visit The Cactus Blossoms website or go to their Facebook page .

For two hours of superb entertainment it was well worth the very reasonable £16 ticket.

I will be playing their music and JD McPherson both on Rock & Roll Saturday (6-8.00pm), and On the Weekend on Sundays 10.00am-12 noon on Celtic Music Radio 95FM.

Mike Marwick

Presenter, Celtic Music Radio 95FM

Review : Jamie Smith’s Mabon & Moxie @ Òran Mór, Saturday 24 January 2015

Review : Jamie Smith’s Mabon & Moxie @ Òran Mór, Saturday 24 January 2015

Feb 1, 2015

Question – take a five piece band from Wales with one of their members unable to be there and what do we get on stage?…six guys of course!

The band did state before the concert that there would be a couple of surprises and we weren’t disappointed. Adam Rhodes was the missing member, however instead we were treated to Ewan MacPherson (Shooglenifty) on guitar and Tom Callister (Barrule) on banjo and fiddle.  They are a great example of original interceltic music and fronted by Jamie Smith on accordion and Oliver Wilson-Dickson on fiddle as well as the impeccably dressed (as always!) Iolo Whelan on drums and percussion and Matt (the man with the hat) Downer on basses.

They opened with Huzzah! – a great track to get the crowd going , although getting them to actually dance proved a no-go even though it was a standing gig.  Some of the other pieces played ranged from reels to slower pieces sung in Welsh by Jamie which included Whiskey Pump Reels, Galician Stylee, Lady Of The Woods and Caru Pum Merch (translated as loving five girls!).  This is a beautiful haunting song which really did require some quiet from the audience that wasn’t always given unfortunately.

The joys of seeing acts live is that they often give the stories behind some of their work and this was the case of the Gordano Ranter.  This song was written after the guys experience of stopping at the aforementioned service station on the M5 late one evening, and having the misfortune to be served by a young man who, they reckoned hadn’t had customers for some considerable time and decided to vent all his anguishes to the band. It certainly had the crowd laughing as we have had such an experience at some time when least expecting it!

It was a great night’s entertainment and the group have a new album coming out soon which I look forward to hearing so watch this space!

moxieThe first group on support this evening were five young Irish lads who collective are known as Moxie.

Here again we have five musicians who went away to the west coast of Ireland together for two weeks, to look at their  music in respect of the constant changing Atlantic coastline and sky. There seem to be more and more groups today, locking themselves away for a week or two for intense music sessions and in general it seems to work as it has for this band. Their other selling point, is that they are fronted by two banjo players – Ted Kelly and Cillian Doheny who compliment each other very well with accordion player (and poet) Darren Roche between them, along with Jos Kelly on keyboard and Paddy Hazleton on percussion.

Playing tracks from their recently relased debut album ‘Planted’, they have a diverse range of music and on one piece in particular where Jos was allowed his solo, it was reminiscient of Rick Wakeman from Yes or Keith Emerson from Emerson, Lake & Palmer in their heydays!

We were also entertained by the rendition of a poem penned by Darren on a bus journey from Limerick to Dublin – adding a different dimension to the gig.  As for Darren’s accordion playing , I never realised one could stretch so far as he makes full usuage of his instrument at all times.

Onwards and upwards guys!

Ruth Roy

Presenter, Celtic Music Radio 95FM

Review: Cahalen Morrison and Eli West with Pharis and Jason Romero, Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow – 30 January 2015

Review: Cahalen Morrison and Eli West with Pharis and Jason Romero, Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow – 30 January 2015

Feb 1, 2015

There’s a deeply vibrant joy about Cahalen Morrison and Eli West’s music and these characteristics crackled at this quite superb gig.

Musicianship this good is uplifting, mesmerising, magical and beguiling – it makes everyone smile with a warm feeling of being enriched by a celebration of remarkable talents, an exquisite musical union.

For 90 minutes, the new, old-time duo enthralled a packed house with exquisite harmonies and dueling fretwork embracing Cahalen’s delicious banjo or mandolin playing and Eli’s equally tasty guitar offerings. It was captivating throughout.

The arrangement for Off the Chama from their “I’ll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands” album – the first track I played from it on Celtic Music Radio – was simple yet breathtaking, with both performers intuitively caressing the song and invoking nods of approval all round. The song – hypnotic and measured – was not a highlight: it was impossible to select any individual offering for such a title.

Pocketful Of Dust and Anxious Rows emerged from a flawless set list drawn up by the magicians from Seattle, who were joined at one stage by the revered, Grammy winner, Tim O’Brien, who produced “Hammer”. Their love of other artistes’ great contributions showed when they dipped into Townes Van Zandt’s admirable collection to offer up Oh Loretta and it skipped along with such vigour that the great Townes would surely have approved.

Pharis Jason RomeroThe support (pictured left) – headliners I reckon in their own right – Pharis and Jason Romero proved a resounding delight with twinkle-eyed, deft songs such as I Want To be Lucky (about moose, cougars and gambling) and It Just Suits Me perfect examples of the lingering pleasures that ooze from their superb 2013 release, “Long Gone Out West Blues”.

Resident in Pharis’ hometown of Horsefly, British Columbia, they are renowned banjo makers but have taken time to create a new album that’s due out in March. Titled “A Wanderer I’ll Stay” this will certainly be on the “must buy” lists of all who were in their sparkling company on this occasion.

Their carefully-crafted songs were beautifully performed and highlighted their devotion to their craft and to each other. Pharis cracked the best gag all night when Jason praised her for having “a perfect pitch.” She gleefully responded: “Why then am I married to a banjo player?”

This was a bold, double-header gig, a memorable gathering of top-drawer artistes on the same night – a mini Transatlantic Session, if you like. Well done to Celtic Connections for pulling it off.

Mike Ritchie

Presenter, Celtic Music Radio 95FM

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Click to visit website - Celtic Connections Music Festival 2015

PPL UK PRS for Music   Community Media Association Department of Creative and Aesthetic Studies, University of Strathclyde Scottish Traditional Music Awards nominee 2014