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The leprechauns made me do it

by Becky C | Mar 17, 2017
It's no secret that I love holidays and Saint Patrick's Day is no exception.  In fact, given that spring typically follows right on its heels, friendly shenanigans are the order of the day, and Irish music is literally in the air, it's currently at the top of my list!

Looking for music recommendations to carry your Saint Patrick's Day celebrations past March 17?  ACPL has a solid collection to choose from.  I've included links to cds in our collection but there's more!  Your ACPL card also gives you free access to streaming music via Freegal and Hoopla.

Come Dance With Me In Ireland: Classic Irish Dance Music. This cd offers 12 tracks culled from the Claddagh music label's vast collection.  AllMusic notes that "Among other gems, there's a great set of hornpipes played with an almost polka verve by Phil, John, and Pip Murphy, an exquisite rendition of "The Ace and Deuce of Pipering" by uilleann piper Gay McKeon, and a very fine jig set played on flute and pipes by Ronan Brown and Peter O'Loughlin. This is traditional Irish music of the relatively hardcore variety -- no synthesizers, no multi-tracked vocals, no electric basses. Highly recommended."

The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk. Tracks by traditional stalwarts like the Bothy Band, Altan, and the Dubliners appear alongside more pop-oriented acts like Lou McMahon and the Screaming Orphans.  A solid introduction to both classic Irish folk music and some of genre's better contemporary artists.

The Rough Guide to Irish Music (2013). Highlights of this album are the handful of tunes sung in Irish Gaelic.  A bonus cd, Six Days In Down, offers two cutting-edge talents on the Irish music scene, the masterful uilleann piper John McSherry and fiddle virtuoso Dónal O Connor.

The Best of Thistle and Shamrock Thistle and Shamrock is a weekly radio program on NPR that explores celtic music.  This cd offers 54 minutes of lovely music by artists like the Battlefield Band, Altan, Davy Spillane, and Clannad.

The Chieftains.  The name may be familiar to you; this Grammy winning group formed in 1962, gained popularity in the States in the 70s, and are still touring today.  *In 2010, Paddy's whistle and Matt's flute travelled to the International Space Station with NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman.

The Clancy Brothers.  This family of Irish expatriates got their musical start in New York in the mid-1950s.  Forgoing sentimental Irish ballads in favor of lusty party songs, traditional American and Irish folk songs, and even protest tunes, the Clancys soon became popular folk performers.  Tom Deignan states that they ". . . infused traditional Irish songs of rebellion and revelry with strands of fast-paced American folk, the improvisational feel of jazz and even the banter of cutting-edge beat poets and comedians.  The result was something familiar, yet very different." 

One of the newer "traditional" bands playing today, Dervish formed in 1989. Look to this band for virtuosic instrumentation, high-energy arrangements, and ultra-sweet vocals "Fiery musicianship balanced with Cathy Jordan's delicate vocals give something that holds onto yesterday while stepping into tomorrow." --Chris Nickson.

Gaelic Storm.  Titanic's third class party scene brought Gaelic Storm to everyone's attention.  I've been lucky enough to see this band in person but enjoy listening to them on cd as well (they are always part of my Saint Patrick's Day celebrations, one way or another).  Energetic, playful, and brash -- this is a fun band with plenty of jigs, reels, and drinking songs to offer. 

There's much more to choose from!  Which solo artists, groups, or albums do you recommend?

Oh . . . and before I forget . . .


Becky's previous Ireland-related posts:

Let our collection take you on a tour of Ireland:  A selection of titles highlighting Ireland's rich folklore, literature, art and music.  Posted March 11, 2016.

Riverdance Flash Mob: Irish step dancing!  Posted March 17, 2015.

Don't kiss me, I'm not Irish: Celebrate the day with Grumpy Cat, quizzes, and trivia. Posted March 16, 2014.

What's your Leprechaun name?:  As long as your first name doesn't begin with an E and your last name doesn't begin with an M, this helpful chart will make you smile. Posted March 17, 2013.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona dhuit/dhaoibh or Lá le Pádraig dhuit/dhaoibh:  My first blog post about Saint Patrick's Day.  I was all about the facts then!  Posted March 17, 2012.

Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
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