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November 6th – 10th, 2008

The 15th annual Ennis Trad Festival gets underway on the 6th of November and promises to deliver a highly enjoyable weekend’s music in its ever innovative and always exciting way..

This year’s event takes place between the 6th to 10th November in almost every venue in the town of Ennis. It is a non-stop intensive programme of free day and night sessions along with a varied and comprehensive menu of afternoon, evening and night-time concerts, recitals, singing sessions, workshops, presentations, CD launches and of course the ever popular highly enjoyable Trad disco.

The festival will be launched on Thursday 6th November at 6.30pm in Glor Music Centre with an informal session and reception copled with an art exhibition of new tunes composed by well known musicians inspired by art works and vice versa! The Turloughmore Ceili Band will release their latest CD “The Green Road” with special guest Sean O Se, also in Glor, on the same evening . Sessions will take place in 10 venues on a pub trail with every style exposed. The headline festival concert later on the 6th will feature Dundalk fiddler Gerry O’Connor, Donal O Connor, Martin Quinn and Gilles le Bigot. And all that is just the first evening of this mammoth festival. Stamina has long been a requirement for this much loved weekend.

Permalink - Posted: October 29, 2008 at 1:25 pm


If you were to be a fly on the wall, you’d have been a very entertained fly on the wall of the Compass Records Recording Studio this past summer as Karan Casey and John Doyle are making an album together. The pair were one-time members of Seamus Egan’s band Solas and this is their first collaboration since A Decade of Solas, the reunion album from that band.

Alison Brown of Compass records is excited about the recordings and has said, “It’s an album that is sure to thrill music fans as these two Solas alumni join together with multi-instrumentalist, Dirk Powell (banjo, bass, piano)”.

Permalink - Posted: October 29, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Enya’s new album, And Winter Came, was up on the internet to order from Amazon three weeks prior to its availability in record shops; a clever ploy to get the customers to pay for distribution. This album contains twelve tracks - ten brand new songs plus a newly recorded choral rendering of Oíche Chiúin (Silent Night) and we are informed a stunning version of the traditional Christmas hymn O come, O come Emmanuel.

There have been rumours circulating, both in the regular and Rock press in Ireland, that the reclusive Enya may be set to appear live in 2009. We understand that this, if it happens, is likely to be out of the country. The Kiliney-based singer has rarely performed live and does not tour her technologically very complex work.

Permalink - Posted: October 29, 2008 at 1:23 pm


Glasgow Thursday 15th January - Sunday 1st February
Sponsored by ScottishPower

The 16th festival, and the 3rd to be sponsored by Scottish Power, features approximately 1500 artists performing in over 300 events taking place over 18 days across 14 venues in Glasgow. Celtic Connections will launch the national  Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations with a salute to Robert Burns on the 250th anniversary of his birth

The Celtic Connections Education Programme enters into its 11th year in 2009. Over 15,000 children will enjoy 8 free schools concerts in January, with a further 2000 children benefiting from free in-school workshops. Celtic Connections attracts a wealth of home-grown and international talent to Glasgow every January. This year, acclaimed acts such as New Orleans legends, Dr. John and Allen Toussaint, New York blues master, Eric Bibb and Michael Nyman (composer of the The Piano soundtrack) feature on the bill alongside folk favourites Judy Collins, Kate Rusby, Kathy Mattea, Michael Marra, Lúnasa, Dervish, Shooglenifty, The Sharon Shannon Big Band, Julie Fowlis, Blazin’ Fiddles, Karine Polwart, Rachel Unthank and The Winterset and Drever, McCusker, Woomble.

Permalink - Posted: October 29, 2008 at 1:22 pm


Mary Bergin will be one of many special guests at the 10th annual Jimmy McHugh Festival on Glasgow Scotland on January 10th. The event, held in commemoration of the late fiddler, Jimmy McHugh is one of the best little Irish festivals in the UK, very intimate, with top class traditional music and a great family atmosphere.

This year the main concert moves to the Woodside Halls, Glenfarg St. Glasgow. Invited musicians include; Le Chéile (Group) London, Paddy Ryan (Accordion) Co. Tipperary, Frank Kelly(Fiddle) Co. Donegal, Paul McGlinchey (Flute) Co.Tyrone, Len Graham (Singer) Co. Antrim and Jennifer Minogue (Piano) Co Tipperary.

For all enquiries Tickets, Accommodation contact: or Brendan Mc Hugh on 0141 569 35.

Permalink - Posted: October 29, 2008 at 1:18 pm


Danú will be touring Canada this winter with a special Irish Christmas programme. This 20 day extensive tour will take in East Coast, Ontario and Western Canada.
The Playhouse Fredericton, New Brunswick
4 Saint John, New Brunswick
5 Showplace Performance Theatre Peterborough, Ontario
6 Port Dover, Ontario
7 United Trinity Church Smith Falls, Ontario
10 St Brigid’s Church Ottawa, Ontario
13 Festival Place Sherwood Park,Alberta
15 Athabasca Hall Peace River, Alberta
16 North Peace Cultural Centre Fort St. John, British Columbia
18 Kamloops Alliance Church Kamloops, British Columbia

Irish based fans can catch the lads live in Dungarvan in February before they head out on a St.Patrick’s month long tour of the USA. Danú have announced a special concert as part of a great concert series in Donnchadh Gough’s Pub in Dungarvan. The pub is called The Local and is situated in the heart of the old Town in Co.Waterford. The concert will take place on Tuesday 10th February 2009.

Permalink - Posted: October 29, 2008 at 1:17 pm



“There are four ingredients that make a great gig - a great artiste, a great audience, great technicians and a great venue. It’s time now to salute those venues that care about the artistes, technicians and audiences” said Keith Donald, Chairman of the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) while presiding over the IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards in the RDS, Dublin. The President’s Suite at the RDS was filled to capacity with venue owners, managers and music industry professionals from across Ireland, who gathered together to hear the results of the inaugural awards, established by IMRO in recognition of Irish venues that provide the very highest standards in live music entertainment.

Permalink - Posted: October 29, 2008 at 1:15 pm

On the 2nd of October, Culture Ireland announced its latest support for over sixty international projects and events, featuring Irish artists across all disciplines of theatre, dance, music, film, visual arts and literature, on four continents.

Permalink - Posted: October 29, 2008 at 1:13 pm


On October 15th Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, introduced the toughest budget of the past twenty years. It was not without controversy but it appears that the Arts Sector has fared reasonably well. Arts are just one of three legs of the stool in the budget which falls to the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. Arts Minister, Martin Cullen, saw it as “consolidating investment in arts, tourism and sports sectors for 2009″.

Some €551 million has been allocated to the Department in the budget for 2009. This sum includes €405m for current spending by the Department and the agencies under its remit, and €146m for capital projects. The area which directly affects music and performance is under the heading of Arts, Culture and Film and this will take some €185m of the total (33%). Sport will be given 37% and Tourism 30% to allow the continuation of the existing level of frontline international marketing activities and programmes in 2009.

Permalink - Posted: October 29, 2008 at 12:45 pm


‘Home on time for Christmas’

Don Stiffe, Sharon Shannon & friends

Renowned Singer Song Writer Don Stiffe joins forces with internationally acclaimed accordion player Sharon Shannon to bring you a heart-warming Christmas single.
‘Home on time for Christmas’, written by Don, and sang in his own unique, distinctive style is a magical, foot-stomping, sing-along Christmas ballad.

Permalink - Posted: October 23, 2008 at 2:16 pm
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