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Mike Ritchie

Author's posts

Inverary and District Pipe Band with Bagad Kemper, Celtic Connections, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, January 28, 2017.

When the mid Saturday of the Celtic Connections festival comes it can only mean one thing: the fantastically, talented turn of the pipe bands to entertain the masses – and Inverary and District and Bagad Kemper lived up to all expectations. Bagad Kemper from Britanny took to the stage first with pieces from their latest …

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Shovels and Rope, Celtic Connections, St Lukes, Glasgow, February 4, 2017.

Shovels and Rope admirably represent folk singers with crazy distortion on their guitars, not forgetting pounding drums, warming keyboards, even warmer harmonies, while baby sleeps outside on the tour bus. Michael Trent and Carey Ann Hearst triumphed at this Celtic Connections date with a blistering and scintillating performance. It wasn’t all punky exuberance and high …

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James McMurtry and Nathan Bell, Celtic Connections, Oran Mor, Glasgow, February 2, 2017.

The Continental Club in Austin, Texas is a legendary venue and I’m envious of its patrons as they have the chance to hear the imperious James McMurtry and gorge on his unparalleled collection of bluesy, swampy, rocking, bar-room blues very regularly. The rugged, award-winning McMurtry’s second ever Scottish gig ended more than seven years of …

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MARGO PRICE, Oran Mor, Glasgow – Celtic Connections, January 24, 2017

Her lucid songs may be hewn from the sad dirt and upsetting dust of her upbringing and difficult younger life – a biopic, perhaps? – but Margo Price sure does deliver them with great fire, no little wit, loads of tenderness and an approach to performing that is just great to be around. This was …

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This sold-out inaugural Celtic Connections 2017 Drygate gig was not short of politics on a monumental day States-side, however, this musical set from Hurray For The Riff Raff was voted a fine one. The band’s bass player wore a T-shirt with the bold wording “Not My President” on it and free-thinking activist, Alynda Lee Segarra …

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CHIP TAYLOR, Glasgow Americana Festival, October 7, 2016.

  I was lucky enough to be able to do a CMR interview with Chip Taylor before this bewitching Glasgow Americana 10th Anniversary Festival gig. He was charming, funny, hugely interesting and engaging – and he was the same on stage with a brilliant set list that showed just why he enjoys legendary status. Inducted …

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On the wall stage left, there hung a wooden, tribal-type facemask next to a fire extinguisher. Used together, I’m certain, they would have had no effect whatsoever trying to contain or quell this spirited and blazingly inspirational gig by Dan Stuart who was, once again on Glasgow soil, in cracking form. He was brilliant: edgy, funny, …

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Gretchen Peters, Celtic Connections, The Mackintosh Church, Glasgow, January 31, 2016

  While her first two albums were released to varying shades of indifference, according to Gretchen Peters, the Grammy nominee has gathered such a loyal and sizeable following in these parts that this was her second consecutive gig at Celtic Connections. And it was a spirited set throughout with songs spanning the 20 years since …

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BLUE ROSE CODE, Celtic Connections, The Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow 29/1/16.

    Blue Rose Code have cracked it ­– though long-term followers of man-behind-the-music, Ross Wilson, could have shared this news ages ago, and not just in the aftermath of this truly superb Celtic Connections’ headlining performance. There is an enthralling and charming dignity behind his songs, older ones and those fresh out of the …

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KIMMIE RHODES, Celtic Connections, Strathclyde Suite, Glasgow, January 25, 2016.

  If there is a law against songwriting whilst driving in the State of Texas, then we were in the company at this gig of someone who has broken it, confessing all the while she had run off the road a couple of times as she engaged in this creative, if somewhat dangerous practice. But …

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