accordion · bagpipes · banjo · bouzouki · Celtic · female singer · fiddle · flute · Scottish · singer-songwriter · traditional · whistle · world

Capercaillie: At the Heart of It All

The capercaillie is a big, beautiful bird that looks like a mix of a turkey, a grouse, and a raven. It requires a habitat of old coniferous forests. In Scotland, the population has declined greatly since the 1960s because of deer fencing, predation and lack of suitable habitat. There are believed to be fewer than… Continue reading Capercaillie: At the Heart of It All

acoustic · classical · fiddle · nyckelharpa · Scandinavian · traditional · viola · world

Väsen: Mindset

I’ve gushed about Väsen before. Forgive me for doing it again, but this trio of Swedish tallboys keeps getting better and better, if that’s possible. Their new record is called Mindset (NorthSide NSD6097). Superlatives seem inadeqaute to describe the music of Väsen. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen them live, swaying and sawing and smiling as… Continue reading Väsen: Mindset

Celtic · female singer · flute · Irish · mandolin · Scottish · world

Nuala Kennedy: Noble Stranger (MP3)

Nuala Kennedy‘s third solo record came out last month, titled Noble Stranger (Compass Records). With a deep background in traditional Irish and Scottish music, and a youthful sense of adventure and fun, she has produced a wonderful mashup of old and new on her latest release. Her playful flute and crisp vocals tumble out of… Continue reading Nuala Kennedy: Noble Stranger (MP3)

acoustic · bagpipes · banjo · blues · Canadian · Celtic · female singer · fiddle · Irish · male singer · mandolin · old-time · traditional · world

New Release from The Family Carr (MP3)

Kevin Carr and partner Josie Mendelsohn are well-established (and well-loved) figures in West Coast traditional folk music circles, for good reason. From trad Irish and old-time American music to Quebecois and Asturian and Galician traditions, they have spread their passion for folk music far and wide. The couple just released a new record with their son… Continue reading New Release from The Family Carr (MP3)

acoustic · banjo · female singer · fiddle · old-time · singer-songwriter · traditional · world

Evie Ladin Band (MP3)

The new release from Evie Ladin Band is a perfect example of what Fiddlefreak likes to call oldternative bluegrass: music that springs from old-timey roots but branches out in exciting new directions. On banjo, fiddle, guitar, bass fiddle, and body percussion, the quartet covers traditional, contemporary, and original material with vivacity and verve. This compelling record and… Continue reading Evie Ladin Band (MP3)

accordion · acoustic · bouzouki · Celtic · female singer · fiddle · flute · Irish · traditional · world

Altan: Gleann Nimhe – The Poison Glen (MP3)

For almost 30 years, Irish supergroup Altan has been wowing the world with their trademark combo of red-hot tune sets and mesmerizing songs from the Donegal region. The group originated in 1981, when teachers Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (fiddle and vocals) and the late Frankie Kennedy (flute) began performing as the duo that would later become… Continue reading Altan: Gleann Nimhe – The Poison Glen (MP3)

accordion · acoustic · bouzouki · Celtic · dobro · female singer · fiddle · flute · Irish · male singer · Scottish · singer-songwriter · whistle · world

Litha: Dancing of the Light (MP3)

Is this the first time in almost four years of Fiddlefreak reviews that I’ve let an entire month pass without a post? Gack! So here we go with the first review of 2012, and by God it was worth the wait. Scotland’s Aaron Jones and his partner Claire Mann make up half of a brillant… Continue reading Litha: Dancing of the Light (MP3)