Celtic Connections just sent me their latest news. Each year I promise myself to go but never made it. This is a wonderful annual festival in Glasgow, Scotland, during January that just gets bigger and bigger each year. The list of artists performing this year is the most incredible. There is a huge focus on fusion by grouping Scottish and Irish singers and musicians of tradition with popular overseas folks of world music.
The most exciting events for me are the fusion of Senegal singer Yassou n’Dour with the Old Blind Dogs, Irish singer Gráinne Duffy backed by Californian boogie and blues band Little Feat who have been a long time closet favourite of Paddie Malloney of the Chieftains. Also interesting are Richard Thompson presenting 1000 years of Popular Music and squeeze box whizz Norman Chalmers providing a spoons playing workshop.
I am surprised at the lack of harpists. No Wendy Stewart, Natalie Macmaster or Patsy Seddon. The excellent Rachel Hair will be there, though.
I am also surprised at no appearances by Capercaillie or its members like Karen Matheson and Manus Lunny considering Donald Shaw of Capercaillie is the festival director. He may feel he has provided preferential treatment for too many years. If so, its humble thinking as I am sure nobody complains about having Capercaillie or its members present.
I am also intrigued by Island of Eigg (pronounced Egg) band, “The Treacherous Orchestra” who are listed as being potentially popular with fans of Peatbog Faeries from the Isle Of Skye, which I am. Judging by the line-up of “The Treacherous Orchestra” it looks like it involves most of the population of the Isle of Eigg.
Well, it all looks exciting and when I am back in Ireland will check to see if I have any spare loot to book a ticket or two. Anyway, Celtic Connections is worth checking out by anybody.