From March to May: A Q & A

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Seattle based duo March To May has just released their first EP The Water’s Edge, a continental-sounding folk project that blends the sounds of Celtic harp, Spanish guitar, soft percussion, and haunting strings with the lilting harmonies of the voices of Darren Guyaz and Beth Wesche.  The result is an understated but passionate journey through the halls of musical awakening, essence, and love.  There is fresh

CD Review: Donna Lynn Caskey–Nameless Heart

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Donna Lynn Caskey’s new album Nameless Heart certainly won’t leave her as a nameless entity in the folk world.  Her old time banjo accompaniments are the perfect backdrop for her artfully written lyrics, traditional in nature and uplifting in message.  Track one, confident in its delicacy, seems to be a theme for the album as a whole.  She encourages the listener to, “Take off your watch/Hide all the clocks/Today we’ll tell time by the sun and the sky/Rest you head a while/Close your eyes/May

Inside the Music and the Making of The Gloaming

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I have been a devoted fan of Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, the phenomenal fiddle/guitar duo who have pushed the boundaries of traditional Irish music to create a uniquely beautiful sound that is stunningly hypnotic and other-worldly.  I first discovered them in 1998 at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Scotland where they put on a performance that held captive every open

CD Review: Thomas Hine–Forgive My Future

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Colorado singer/songwriter Thomas Hine’s latest CD Forgive My Future (2013) is a modern folk album with that which is reminiscent of the sixties.  The new film LLewyn Davis comes to mind.  I can picture Hine in a smoky folk club rendering these songs to a captive audience.  The lyrics overall are thought provoking, at times a little hard to follow, but overall insightful.  The recording has a homespun sound to it, but that is not a bad thing.  The production is not overdone.  It’s more a raw project with all kinds of

CD and Live Show Review: We Banjo 3

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I have a special nook in my heart for Celtic folk music, born of my childhood adventures visiting the UK while living in West Germany, and then my actual residence in the UK from 1995-2000.  The annual festival Celtic Connections in Glasgow, loaded with fiercely talented musicians and bands, sealed the deal for me as an avid fan of the genre, and so when I hear of a good band touring in my neck of the woods, I like to take

CD Review: Jefferson Ross–Isles of Hope

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You will be taken on a journey through the rural and suburban Deep South in Jefferson Ross’s latest album Isles of Hopean acoustic collection of songs featuring  tales of, “murderers, shoplifters, car thieves, hypochondriacs, a voodoo witch doctor, a legendary blind blues singer, winos, a dustbowl farmer, Noah, a pothead Tupperware selling mom and a pair of Siamese twins,” as Ross puts it in his notes on the making of the album.  His vocal style and guitar playing are reminiscent of Delta blues, but his lyrics have a conversational quality that invites the listener to kick

CD Review: Joy Kills Sorrow—Wide Awake

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Boston-based folk group Joy Kills Sorrow’s newest EP Wide Awake promises just what its title states.  It awakens yours senses, your capability to dream though music, and keeps you awake till the last drone of the bass fades.  The driving rhythms conjure travel in my mind.  From the first electrified chords of mandolin on track one, an energetic piece titled “Was It You,” I find myself transported to the passenger car of an old train, racing down the tracks as Emma Beaton’s flawless voice soars above the rumble, “Wide awake and

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