Well good, but I have to warn you that my music tastes are not very diverse. Celtic and more Celtic I like. Celtic influenced as well.
Here are some general celtic music links:
Concerts in Ontario
East Coast Tourdates
Canadian Folk Festivals
Toronto Celtic Music Page
Kitchener Celtic Connections
Canadian Celtic Music On-line
Celtic Guitar Page by Glenn Weiser
Cairde - Friends of the Irish Culture
Every Celtic Thing on the Web (Canadian)
The Digital Traditions Folksong Database Search Page
[REC.MUSIC.CELTIC] - Frequently Asked Questions
Northern Journey Online: Canadian Folk Artist Websites
If you're just looking at this page and want to see the section of this site devoted to my two favourite bands, just visit my Great Big Sea page and my Punters page.
An up-and-coming, young band from Cape Breton, Slainte Mhath, pronounced Slawncha Va (that's how it's pronounced, trust me), is worth seeing live. They have great Highland Bagpipes and Scottish Small Pipes, and all but one of them step dance (hey, someone needs to play the music for the dancing!). Let me send you to their website maintained by piper Bruce MacPhee, and their new fan site maintained by my friend Melissa.
Now to a group from the prairies called Scrüj MacDuhk. They are a 5-member band and they are quite young as well. They have a website run by yours truly. To keep track of where they are playing, go to their tourdates page. Here is Paquin Entertainment Online, their record company. They were nominated for a Juno in 2000, beside such notables as Great Big Sea, Barachois, La Bottine Souriante and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
There is not only good, celtic music in Canada, but in the States as well. Seven Nations is an American band, from South Carolina. There are five members, all male, and they have been across the Atlantic a few times to Scotland. They seem to come to Canada only once a year, to the Fergus Highland Games. Well, here is their website. There is a fan forum for them as well.
Ashley MacIsaac is a Cape Breton fiddler from the town of Creignish, Inverness County. He started to learn the fiddle at the age of 9. To learn more about him go to the Ashley MacIsaac site. If you want to see him live, here are his tourdates.
A celtic-music band from Ontario, Leahy, is taking the country by storm. This 8-to-10-member band of siblings has won a Juno for Best New Group and is spending a lot of time touring in the States. Here is their new website with tourdates here.
Another incredible Cape-Breton fiddler, Natalie MacMaster, is in high demand all over the globe. Her concerts have a very-high-energy level and a good interaction with the audience. Here is her site because I know you want to see her live.
A well-established Newfoundland band, The Irish Descendants, has been popular for a while now. They have appeared in NeedFire, a celtic show in Toronto at The Princess of Wales theatre. This is the only time I have been privileged enough to see them live. Anyway, here is the Irish Descendants site.
Another great band from Nova Scotia is Kilt. Their place on the web is here. There are five members in the band though; two from mainland Nova Scotia and three from Cape Breton Island. Here are their tourdates.
The Paperboys, hailing from Vancouver, is another good band. They won a Juno recently, in 1998, in the Best Roots/Traditional Band category, beating the likes of Great Big Sea. Well, here is their website.
We now leave this continent and move to Ireland. Anuna is a vocal ensemble consisting of around 12 people. They sing haunting, vocal pieces in the Irish tradition, sometimes dating back 6, or 7 centuries. You might know them as the vocal group in Riverdance. Here is the Anuna website. The only time I have seen them live was in Riverdance.
Another one of my favourite fiddlers is Alasdair Fraser. He is a Scottish fiddler living in California. He has been in demand across the continent for scottish country dances for a while now. Anyway, here is some information on him.
Back we go to Ireland and visit the group Clannad. I can't tell you too much about them. I know nothing about them except for their music. I prefer their older music though. Anyway, I'll just have to send you to the Clannad website for more information.
An interesting singer, Enya, I quite enjoy listening to. She originated with the Irish group Clannad, I believe. She's Irish obviously. I find that her music is good to study to. Quite soothing. Well, here is her webpage. I've never seen her live. Have fun.
Another Newfoundland-based band, Rawlins Cross, is great. I know next to nothing about them, except two members have helped out various other bands with the recording of albums. Anyway, let me take you to their site and if you are interested in seeing them live, here are their tourdates. Unfortunately, they are on the verge of a breakup.
I know just about as much, if not less, about the Scotland band Runrig. Cape Breton singer Bruce Guthro has just joined this band as their lead singer. Anyway, their music is also growing on me. I have been unable to find an official site for them.
Yet another Newfoundland group with whom I have fallen in love is Celtic Connection. They play mostly traditional, East-coast tunes. This five-member band has appeared at the Great Big Picnic in Newfoundland. There's not much else I can say about them, so, here's the website, and here's their tourdates page. By chance, when I was in St. John's, they happened to be closing the George Street Festival, which I was attending.
One of the founding groups, in my opinion, of Cape Breton music is The Barra MacNeils. They are a four-member band of siblings. Quite an amazing stage presence they have. Check them out next time they're in your neck of the woods. To help you with this, here is their website and here are their tourdates.
Here is a man who plays a interesting mix of celtic and world music. Martyn Bennett is originally from Newfoundland, but has lived most of his life in Scotland. I have only recently been introduced to his music, but I began to like it very quickly. He has a very unique sense of humour too. Anyway, here is his website, Martyn's Marvels.
Capercaillie is a Scottish band which I have very recently discovered. They play a lot of gaelic songs. Well, there's not much else I can say, seeing as I've just discovered them, so here's their website and here's their tourdates.
So, are you a fan of traditional Irish music? Well Altan do it better than many. I can't do anything other than send you to their website and their tourdates page.
The father's of Irish music are The Chieftains. They have been around for about 36 years or so, and they're still at it. Traditional Irish music, mostly instrumental, with a bit of vocals thrown in for good measure. Visit their online home here with their tourdates being here.
Now, you remember the movie Titanic? Well, the band who played that music on the boat was none other than Gaelic Storm. I know nothing about them, other than the music on their album, so here is their website and tourdates.
A very fun and interesting band based in Toronto is Enter The Haggis. They are a 5-member band who play original and Scottish tunes to a rock beat. Check out their home and where they are playing.
Another celtic band based in Toronto is Pagan Mary. They are a 4- or 5-member band, depending on which night you see them. They play original, and celtic songs from all celtic traditions. Visit them here.
The only non-celtic band to make it onto this list, is a band from Boston, named Guster. I put it on this page, because they deserve to be somewhere and this is the only place I have. They are a three-piece pop band that mixes guitars with bongos to make a very unique sound. I've fallen in love with their sound and have been lucky to have seen them many times in a short period of time. What can I say? They've been touring with Great Big Sea. Anyway, check out their zany, wacky, cracked website and their tourdates.
Well, that's my musical world. Interesting, eh? Not everyone's cup of tea, but I like it. I say it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I also say don't knock it until you've tried it.
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