Mary Ann Kennedy: An Dàn – Gaelic Songs for a Modern World

Just as construction cranes on a city landscape signal renewal, so do new songs indicate the vitality of a language. Mary Ann Kennedy, an architect of the Scottish Gaelic Renaissance, builds toward the heavens not with stone and steel but with words and music. Daughter of a musical dynasty from the Isle of Skye, she grew up … More Mary Ann Kennedy: An Dàn – Gaelic Songs for a Modern World

Coope Boyes & Simpson: In Flanders Fields

World War I hostilities began in Europe on August 4, 1914—and 976 days later the United States joined the conflict. On August 4, 2014, the English a cappella trio Coope Boyes and Simpson released a sweeping 50-track homage to the songs of the war and the British soldiers and civilians who sang them. Now, some 976 days after the album’s launch, a review from an American music blog seems belatedly on time. In Flanders Fields is a landmark … More Coope Boyes & Simpson: In Flanders Fields

Claire Hastings: Between River and Railway

No single album can capture the entire arc of Scotland’s musical culture, but there is a breathtaking sweep to what Claire Hastings accomplishes in the 10 tracks of her debut album. She gambols across time and space (from 17th-century hillside to 20th-century factory); weaves between joy and heartbreak; blends traditional songs with her own masterful lyrics and music; contributes a new melody to a poem by her Dumfries townsman … More Claire Hastings: Between River and Railway

The Full English

The English Folk Dance and Song Society commissioned the singer-scholar Fay Hield to gather a ensemble of musicians to explore the society’s newly launched web archive in 2013 and produce a concert of some of the collection’s songs. From the thousands items—broadside ballads and music hall songs, dance tunes and sea chanteys—emerged one of the great folk albums of all time. The songs are traditional (mostly early 20th century) but Hield’s team was free to provide a new lyric … More The Full English

Ghazalaw

Transcendental Orchestration…
Gwyneth Glyn sings and writes Welsh folk music. Tauseef Akhtar is a singer-composer from Mumbai and master of Indian ghazal, a traditional form of love poetry. Neither is the sort to compromise cultural integrity; nonetheless, they are clearly passionate about the affinities they discovered in their music. The extraordinary result is Ghazalaw—10 tracks, nine of which pair songs with parallel song-themes of unattainable and lost love. Akhtar sings in Urdu … More Ghazalaw