October 2010 Archives

On the program for Saturday October 30, 2010

Posted by Glenn Meisner

A concert from Ireland's Niamh Ni Charra recorded at the 2010 Celtic Colours International Festival - and - A feature on Ryan Cook and his new release 'Peaks and Valleys'
Niamh & Ryan.jpg

Niamh Ní Charra hails from Killarney, County Kerry in the south west of Ireland.
Equally talented on fiddle and concertina, she has won numerous awards, including Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Oireachtas, and Slógadh Náisiúnta. Somewhat of a child prodigy, she had represented Ireland at folk festivals in Britain and France and had support gigs for The Chieftains, and Noel Hill under her belt before she reached her teens. Mainly in North America, Niamh toured full time with Riverdance from 1998 until December 2005, performing in over 2500 shows. From Mexico to Vancouver, and Los Angeles to Broadway, New York, Niamh has delighted audiences with her fiery fiddling, fancy footwork and dazzling smiles. She shared her talents in Riverdance's Irish and Far East productions performing in her native capital as well as the more exotic locations of Tokyo and Taipei among others before retiring from Riverdance to concentrate on a solo career. She released her debut album "Ón Dá Thaobh / From Both Sides" in 2007 to much critical acclaim. It was the only Irish album to make MOJO's Top Ten Folk Albums for 2007. She was also presented with the "Best Trad Music Act 2008" award by The Irish World, the largest newspaper for the Irish community in Britain, and "Best Fiddle 2008" at the inaugural awards of The Irish Music Association, USA in 2009. Along with performing regularly as a solo artist, and with her own band, Niamh also tours extensively as a member of the Carlos Núñez band.

Niamh Ni Charra concert audio

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On Ryan Cook's sophomore album Peaks and Valleys, stories are born somewhere between small towns and big cities, and packed with sudden bursts of romance and tragedy. An award-winning singer-songwriter from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Ryan's sound is a smooth ensemble of Country/Western, Roots, Folk and Jazz music. In 2009, while performing in Nashville, TN during the CMA Music Festival, Ryan caught the attention of John Walker from WSM Radio. The two developed a partnership to assemble a killer cast of performers and record his upcoming album at the legendary Quad Studios. The result, Peaks and Valleys, features some of Nashville's most prolific players past and present including Lloyd Green, Andy Leftwich, Guthrie Trapp, Bruce Bouton and multiple Grammy-award winner Alison Brown. Staying true to Ryan's old timey influences, Peaks and Valleys resonates with the vintage sounds of steel guitar, clarinet, banjo and fiddle. His songs celebrate colourful characters forged between fantasy and fiction, en route to their highest peaks and often deeper valleys.

Ryan Cook feature - 'Peaks and Valleys'

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On the program for Saturday October 23, 2010

Posted by Glenn Meisner

A concert from Mollie O'Brien recorded at the 2010 Celtic Colours International Festival - and - A feature on Halifax based pop trio Dance Movie
mollie & dance movie.jpg
Mollie O'Brien loves to sing. Jazz, R&B, blues, gospel, southern mountain traditional -- you name it. And she approaches each with an ease that makes you think she was steeped in the style since the first time a note left her throat. Growing up in Wheeling, West Virginia, one of five children, Mollie was exposed to music of every stripe, from performances by the Wheeling Symphony to concerts by Count Basie, Ray Charles, and the Beatles. She listened to singers -- Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins, Bonnie Raitt and Dinah Washington, Streisand, Sinatra, and Betty Carter -- and took voice lessons. Later, with her brother, Tim, she performed in church and at coffeehouses. All the while she dreamed of heading to New York to sing and act on Broadway and make a big splash in show business. After her sophomore year of college, she set out for the Big Apple, but the auditions were discouraging and gigs were few. She stuck it out for four years -- long enough to discover the irresistible pull of swing music and the stylistic stretches required for jazz. Eventually she moved to Colorado, where brother Tim O'Brien had already staked out territory in the booming music scene. So there's the story -- at least the first part. Mollie moved to Boulder in 1980, worked as a duo with Tim, and formed her own R&B band. Now, a couple of decades later, she's married with two teen-aged daughters and a firmly established singing career. She has been called one of roots music's best interpreters and singers, and her voice described as "smooth," "smoky," "powerful," and "bright and bold as sheet lightning." Once you've heard it, you're hooked.

The Halifax based pop trio Dance Movie is made up of Songwriter Tara Thorne, violinist Kinley Dowling and drummer Craig Jennex. . "The name comes from the film genre," says singer/guitarist Thorne. "I didn't want to perform under my own name, and Kinley and I both love dance movies. The godmother is of course Dirty Dancing, stretching through the Step Up series. "Dance Movie is a bit of a throwback. It's angst and heart ache married to rising pop choruses and melodies," says Curran. "I'm a big fan of shoegazing stuff; I'll never graduate from the early '90s -- Dance Movie reminds me of that era, only there's euphoric musical simplicity there. Each song is a mood swing; you're bound to be okay in the end."

Mollie O'Brien

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Dance Movie

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On the program for Saturday October 16, 2010

Posted by Glenn Meisner

Two features - Kim Wempe and her recent release 'Painting With Tides' - Keith Mullins and his recent release 'Locomotive Farm'


With the release of her new full-length album painting With Tides Wempe channels that passion into a powerful collection of contemporary Canadian roots music. The album comes on the heels of her 2010 East Coast Music Award for Rising Star of the Year. Born in a small Saskatchewan farming town, Kim lived for a period in Alberta before heading to Canada's East Coast in 2007. After only three months in Nova Scotia, Kim realized that what once seemed a daunting and unplanned move was actually put in her path for a reason. The change of scenery and people provided the theme of Painting With Tides and nurtured a fresh view on life, home, self, and music.

Music has been a life-long passion for Keith Mullins. His roots are in Cape Breton Island, where a family and culture of music fostered his passion and ability. At the age of 14, he started entertaining bar crowds with fellow band-mate, Steven MacDougall (Slow-coaster). After completing a music degree and self-directed studies in Cuba and Africa, Mullins turned his passion into his profession. In addition to touring, Mullins developed and facilitated some highly successful workshops, including a drumming workshop, a salsa workshop (with an eight-piece Latin band partly from Cuba with salsa dancing) and a songwriting workshop with good friend Steven Bowers. He has delivered these workshops to groups of all ages; in schools, at special events, and at festivals across the country. He was recently nominated in Music Nova Scotia's 2010 Educator of the Year category.

On the program for Saturday October 09, 2010

Posted by Glenn Meisner

A concert from the 2010 Halifax Jazz Festival - Chris Church and Freinds - Return To The Coast


Although Chris Church's foundation is in classical music, after university he found himself drifting away from classical performance as his interest in improvisation increased. Along with a strong classical music presence, Halifax is also home to a variety of other musical styles which Chris was drawn to. He got into jazz, pop and rock along with more avant garde improvisation with a range of talented musicians. Around the time Chris moved to Toronto, he started playing with guitarist Jesse Cook. It was at this point in his career that he started really listening to and playing styles from all over the world. Chris has always had an affinity for world sounds, playing at various world music festivals he could perform with and learn from other musicians. The musicians he toured with and met on the road truly opened the doors of world music.

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