Best Celtic Music of 2009

  1. Matt and Shannon Heaton – Lovers’ Well – songs and tunes which invite you to reflect on love as both fleeting and eternal
  2. Tommy Sands with Fionan and Moya Sands – Let the Circle Be Wide – justice, history, landscape, and family ties from top poet and singer from County Down, with his son and daughter
  3. Liz Carroll and John Doyle – Double Play – fiddle and guitar in good conversation
  4. Cherish the Ladies –  Star in the East – sparkling new holiday offering from this well seasoned and always worth listening to band
  5. Denis Carey – Moving On – very fine piano based instrumentals which may well become classics of the tradition fromTipperary composer.
  6. Stephanie Makem and Tiarnan O Duinchinn – Ceol Is Píob – elegant uillean pipes from O Duinchinn, fine singing from Makem, who is, yes, part of that well known musical family from Armagh
  7. The Unwanted – Music from the Atlantic Fringe – Ireland and America meet in music in well chosen set of tunes and songs
  8. Pride of New York – Pride of New York – trad with a New York edge from Joanie Madden, Brendan Dolan, and friends
  9. Bua – An Spealadoir – high energy and spot on playing from Irish American quintet from the US midwest
  10. The Green Fields of America – The Green Fields of America – Athena Tergis, Mick Moloney, John Doyle — those are just three of the fine and unique talents who trade tunes and songs. melody lines and harmony, on this recording

Bonus Albums
You may have seen Hanneke Cassel or Sara Milonovich backing up top Irish musicians out on the road, or heard them on studio recordings by artists ranging from Cathie Ryan to Pete Seeger. Each has a new solo album out now, well worth your consideration. Milonovich’s recording, Daisycutter, tends toward Americana and showcases her strengths as a singer. Cassel’s latest disc features her always adventurous and fiery take on fiddle tunes, be they her own, ones from Scottish tradition, and on this album one she learned on her travels to China. The recording is called For Reasons Unseen.

Kerry Dexter writes about the arts at Music Road. and is an independent writer, editor, and photographer in the US and Ireland. She’s music editor at, long time contributing writer to world music magazine Dirty Linen, and former folk music editor at VH1. Her work has appeared in Strings, Ireland and the Americas, Symphony, Songwriters Market, and The Dictionary of American History, among other publications.

Author: Kerry

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