"Anyone who says that he finds no pleasure in sounds and melodies and music is either a liar and a hypocrite or he is not in his right senses, and is outside of the category of men and beasts"

- Hujwiri - patron saint of Lahore, Pakistan - from the album notes of the CD "African Magic" by Abdullah Ibrahim

Here you will ultimately find a list of highly recommended records and CDs, perhaps an occasional concert review and recommendations for upcoming concerts. I probably won't comment on the big events at the Empire. Chris Mallette seems to be doing fine as the PR department for that venue.

recommended Christmas CDs   It's about time I updated this page so have a look.

Green Linnet - I see the Last Call sale has gone but the good news is that Green Linnet seem to have instituted a permanent clearance section on their website with CDs at only $4 US each. This is a great opportunity for anyone just newly familiar with their music. They have many excellent CDs. The CDs on sale are the same quality as the rest. I can now also recommend the House Band as well worth a listen. Although several of their albums seem to have sold out, there were 1 or 2 still there when I last looked. And now there is a new Téada CD out plus another by their fiddling leader Oisin Mac Diarmada. They should be worth checking out. And at the moment the St. Patrick's buy 2 get 1 free sale is on and applies to all regular priced CDs.
 . Visit their site at and give a listen to the great albums by
The Bothy Band  - album GLCD 3016  "After Hours"  Highly Recommended
Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick  
"Life and Limb" Highly Recommended I've always regretted my generosity on that one. When I heard Martin and Dave in person at the church in Stirling I bought that album but had them autograph it for my brother. Now I can get a copy for me.
Sharon Shannon GLCD 3127 "Spellbound: The Best of Sharon Shannon"  Highly Recommended
Silly Wizard - album GLCD 3036/37 "Live Wizardry: The Best of Silly Wizard in Concert"
 Highly Recommended
Dolores Keane and John Faulkner - album GLCD 3004 " Broken Hearted I'll Wander Highly Recommended
Dolores Keane is my very favourite Irish female singer. John Faulkner is also great. He sings in a manner reminiscent of Ewan McColl.
You also can't go wrong with GLCD 1093 "The Big Squeeze" an accordion collection by different artists or some of the other sampler collections.

and I've just discovered The House Band. They sound good to me. Check them out too. Note: on some of the tracks Real audio links don't seem to be connected. But if you click on the "Listen to the whole album" link that seems to work.

REVIEW:Téada : at the Irish Hall Belleville on Friday 13 February 2004
The QICS concert series is almost becoming a victim of its own success. Due to the huge demand for the Téada concert some people had to be turned away. Maybe it was partly because it was a Friday night; maybe because it was the eve of Valentine's Day. I would like to think it is because of  an increasingly culturally aware public. I feel sorry for those who had to miss the show. However it was a bit dangerous from my vantage point at the front of the hall - feet and bodies were flying about.
Téada are an enormously accomplished group of musicians considering their age. Their already diverse complement of instruments has only been enhanced by the addition of the Paul Finn on the accordion. It was a thoroughly enjoyable concert and Belleville had the distinct honour of being the first stop on their current North American tour. The band show a respect for the traditional musicians they have learned from as well as a respect for their gaelic heritage. It is heartening to see that a purely acoustic group can  command such enthusiastic response in this age where electronics and gimmicks often masquerade for musical talent. I would have preferred that the band had not encouraged quite so much boisterous participation as they well deserve one's undivided attention. Once the QICS crowd starts clapping and stomping their feet it is hard to leash them in for a quiet jig.
While it is difficult and a bit unfair to single out one number, many of us were blown away by Tristan Rosenstock's  solo tour de force on the bodran. And as I got the CD I  have the opportunity to appreciate the band's virtuosity under less distracting conditions at home. JRM

Another real coup for Patrick OBK and the folks at the Quinte Irish Canadian Society! Watch their site for coming events.
 Quinte Irish Canadian Society
And you can sample Téada's Music at Green Linnet's website.

Recommended radio listening: Catch Snap, Crackle and Pop January 1st, 2004 from 6:00 AM to 8:30 am on CBC Radio One with Roy Forbes (a.k.a. Bim as they used to say) and Paul Grant. See the wonderfully eclectic list of  vinyl and shellac to be expected. This seems to be an ongoing series on CBC. But as it seems to have a schedule of only one show a year, you had better not miss it. With all the crap they have on CBC it is amazing that they cannot have this show a little more frequently. I'm sorry I missed the Saturday Night Blues program with Roy's old Christmas Blues 78's.

And just to prove that I am not a complete pop music klutz I want you to know I recently discovered the Ketchup Song (no not the Stompin' Tom one). It sure is catchy and anything that bumps Eminem from top has something going for it. For the story go to this CBS site .

recommended Christmas CDs  Now on a separate page.

For a fantastic folk music database and lots of other good things check out 

Maeve Donnelly (fiddle) and Steve Baughman (guitar) 
Wednesday, October 28th, 2003 at 8:00 PM
Irish Hall, Belleville

review soon

I was familiar with Maeve Donnelly's work as part of the the marvelous Irish Band Moving Cloud. I can strongly recommend both Green Linnet Albums but alas I see the first album is now only available on cassette - but what a bargain.
With that group Maeve plays violin and viola. I look forward to hearing her with guitar. Steve Baughman is new to me but I see from the web that he is a well respected player and teacher. It should be another great concert.
Maeve Donnelly      Steve Baughman    Moving Cloud    Quinte Irish Canadian Society
You will note that I could not find official home pages for Steve Baughman and Moving Cloud but it looks like the discovery of the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society and Ibiblio sites made it all worthwhile.
These should be worth many, many hours of happy browsing!

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill
 Friday, October 17th, 2003 at 8:00 PM 
Irish Hall, Belleville

review soon 

The Green Linnet album GLCD1127 " Martin Hayes" is a truly beautiful album.
Being a big celtic music fan I have listened to dozens of fiddlers but Martin is definitely one of the best, especially at bringing out the musicality and intensity of the traditional slow airs.
Don't want to buy a pig in the poke? Then check him out on the Green Linnet website. This is a great independent record company. They provide lots of legal downloads in Real Audio and MP3 format so you can hear if this is the music for you. They are not chintzy with the samples either. Some whole CDs are available in Real Audio.
The official Martin Hayes/ Dennis Cahill website.

Mike Stevens
        I'm sorry I already missed the duo of Mike Stevens (bluegrass harmonica) and Raymond McLain . They appeared at the Mount Tabor Playhouse on October 9th. Mike is really something to see and hear; his "Orange Blossom Special" will blow you away. This incredible musician brings more energy and power to the diatonic harmonica than anyone I have ever seen. (Perhaps a guy by the name of Madcat Ruth that appeared at Ontario Place with Dave Brubeck many years ago came close). Besides being a great musician who has played hundreds of times at the Grand Old Opry he is a wonderful person who started a one man crusade to save Inuit youth from gasoline sniffing and suicide by introducing music into their lives - Canada's own "Music Man". This has since blossomed into the the Artscan Circle . Mike has personally distributed hundreds of harmonicas to the youth of our northern communities. Now he has other supporters collecting all kinds of musical instruments, volunteering their time etc. I had the pleasure of catching Mike Stevens at the Stirling Public School in the spring . That program, all organized by the students to raise money and collect instruments for the Artscan Circle, was a perfect example of the kind of event that the QCC could put on - a real community event; a combination of professional talent, school choirs and bands etc. The other facilities of such a centre would be ideal for workshops etc. Mike comes from Bright's Grove Ontario. In fact he is not the only famous Mike from there. Perhaps they should change the name to Mikesville! In case you are not a golf fan or just got back from the far side of the moon you may not know that I refer to Mike Weir , 2003 Masters Champion.

Watch for lots more music when I can get it organized. JRM
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Revised Nov 11, 2008  by  John R. Meale
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