Eliza Carthy - in conversation with Trevor Buck

Eliza Carthy - in conversation with Trevor Buck

I called Eliza at her home outside Fylingdales near Scarborough in the middle of a busy day.

“You know what it’s like when you’ve got to pack for a flight the next day; your mind won’t rest. Well, my brain has been racing all night.  I was up at 5am. I’m driving to Edinburgh this afternoon to pick the others up (including Karine Polwart, Mary Macmaster and Jenn Butterworth) for an intensive week of rehearsing and recording up on Eigg, an island in the Hebrides.”

It’s about songs on Eigg. Are you taking instruments?

John McCusker - 25 Years and still excited by music!

John McCusker - 25 Years and still excited by music!

I met with John in a cafe near his home in Innerleithen, in the gorgeous Tweed valley in the Scottish Borders, and we reminisced about our prior interview in 2002 and the cover of FiddleOn featuring his Mohican haircut. Despite being a member of Mark Knopfler’s band, performing for 20 nights at the Albert Hall and on a double bill with Bob Dylan at the Hollywood Bowl, he hadn’t changed at all.

Edel Fox - From Clare to Here

One of the rising stars of the traditional Irish music scene is concertina player Edel Fox, now resident in Waterford but originally from Miltown Malbay in County Clare, the home of the Willie Clancy Summer School and the town regarded by many as the Mecca of traditional Irish music.  In this article, Edel tells her musical story to The Living Tradition's Simon Haines.

John Kirkpatrick ...In conversation with Keith Kendrick...

Now then, it wouldn’t take a clever person to perceive that the most challenging part of producing an article on the mighty John Kirkpatrick would be finding something to say about him that hasn’t already been said by greater mortals than I. However, I am ready to accept the challenge with both humility and enthusiasm for John Kirkpatrick is, and has always been, one of my greatest inspirations as an English folksinger/musician.

Jimmy Crowley - Songs From The Beautiful City

In the preface to Jimmy Crowley’s new book, Songs From The Beautiful City: The Cork Urban Ballads, Mick Moloney describes him thus: “Jimmy hails from the most distinctive city of Cork on the banks of the fabled River Lee.  I don’t think Jimmy would mind being called ‘The Bard of Cork’.  Certainly no other Cork singer would or could possibly object to that title.  His commitment to the rich song tradition of his native city has been unwavering over the past four decades.

20 Years of Danu

Back in 2005, Issue 63 of The Living Tradition boasted a very fresh faced looking young band by the name of Danú.  Despite their youthful appearance, the band had already been on the road for almost ten years and had released six CDs to great critical acclaim.  In the accompanying article, Steve McGrail told the story of the band’s origins and how it came to be known as “a top-flight Irish traditional music band”.  As the article drew to a close, Steve reported that changes were afoot and that Danú planned to take a bit of a break due to changes in their personal circumstances.

Si’s matters! Si Barron – philosopher and punk purist!

Si Barron’s recent debut solo release, Sweet Billy Caution, is garnering plaudits aplenty. A “genially undersold yet distinctly magical CD” according to David Kidman’s review in LT104, and our editor admits to having “nearly worn the CD out listening to it – it is one of the best I have heard in a while”. Time for some investigation…

Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar - A Road Well Travelled

The Living Tradition has never been one to laud the latest young musician as being the future of folk music.  Such predictions rarely live up to expectations and first albums, whilst benefitting from an element of freshness, when viewed over time often lack a depth that comes with experience.Currently on the crest of a wave, Greg Russell and Ciarán Algar display a maturity in their performance which belies their youth.  Fast developers or early starters?  Probably a bit of both, but my guess would be that it was the early start that gave them their edge.

Josie Nugent & Brian Stafford - the space between the notes…

“It’s powerful altogether to see musicianers rooting and plundering in the old (and new) collections like weans with new toys.  It is also powerful to hear dacent tunes one doesn’t know, instead of the nearly standardised menu that has gone the rounds too often.”  So says Rev Gary Hastings, the renowned flute player from Belfast, in the sleevenotes for Josie Nugent and Brian Stafford’s debut album, The Caves Of Cong.

Colum Sands - Turn The Corner

Colum Sands, from County Down, is well known to most lovers of folk music.  A musician, songwriter, radio broadcaster, album producer as well as a collaborative artist and member of the celebrated Sands Family, Colum has many years in the folk music business under his belt.