Happy St. Patrick’s day to all of ye out there.
Although I can’t claim Irish heritage myself, I have had the good luck of being part of Irish culture before being Irish was cool. (A shout out to my cousins John, Liz and Marie and aunt Kitty at the Ardan Academy of Irish Dance who introduced me to Irish dancing and music so many years ago – waaayyyy before Riverdance).
You don’t have to be Irish to love the music of the fair isle. Many of my favorite artists have a Celtic flavor to them – thought I’d share a few with ye on this fine day.
Ashley MacIsaac – Hi How Are You Today?
This is my favorite cd from the brilliant fiddler and bad boy of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Anyone who can take a traditional song such as “Sleepy Maggie”, add Gaelic lyrics and layer over it with a modern a beat so that it sounds like a completely new song is pretty darned talented in my book. He also has quite a sense of humor with songs such as “What An Idiot He Is”. Ashley MacIsaac is lots of fun.
Loreena McKennitt – The Book of Secrets
Canadian born McKennitt searched for her Irish roots and shows them off well in this beautiful CD of haunting music. “The Mummer’s Dance” and “The Highwayman” are two of my favs.
The Corrs – Home
My BFF Julie, knowing that I would love this CD, made a copy of it for my birthday one year and I’ve never stopped playing it. I love traditional music and this group has mastered the art of remixing folk music and making it sound modern. Wish I could make “My Lagan Love” my ringtone.
U2 – October
Many years ago, back before Bono decided to become a philanthropist and lecture the rest of us regarding how we live, U2 was one of my very favorite bands. I used to watch MTV for hours (literally) and U2’s earliest music videos were some of the best. I love the CD “October” because they seemed so young when they recorded it and the lyrics make me think that they were trying to make sense of their new found fame. They must have also been struggling with religion at the time since some of the songs, especially “Gloria” and “October”, have a spiritual undertone. That was back in 1981 and, to this day, it appears that they still haven’t found what they’re looking for.
Anuna – Omnis
If you’re looking for something really different, try a CD from this Irish group. They are the masters of remixing ancient Celtic music and turning those songs into something truly beautiful.