Compendium of Articles on Music from Ireland and Scotland

by Kerry Dexter /
Kerry Dexter's picture
Apr 26, 2010 / 0 comments

I'd like to share our Music Editor Kerry Dexter's Top Articles on Music and Musicians from Ireland and Scotland. Let's take a look!



Music Runs Deep in Ireland and Scotland

Music runs deep in Ireland and Scotland, in the landscape, the history,
the legends, the stories, and the lives of the people.  Though each is a
small country, geographically, they both have sent, and continue to
send, mighty amounts of music out into the world. Here are three
recordings which offer very different gateways into Ireland and


Harps, Exiles, & Hope: Three Irish Music CDs

John Doyle and Karan Casey tell quite a few of the old stories on Exiles Return; Grainne Hambly and William Jackson each play the harp. She’s from Mayo in Ireland, he hails from Glasgow in Scotland. No surprise then that their all instrumental album is called Music from Ireland and Scotland; The title of Tommy Sands’ recording Let the Circle Be Wide  reflects both his musical vision and his interests in peace. Living in County Down on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, he has over the years seen the troubles there close at hand, and has often sought to bring in music to help heal things.



Music - a Great Holiday Gift List

Emily Smith is also a storyteller, a Scottish one. Lately she and Jamie McClennan have been working on an album of Robert Burns songs, called Adoon Winding Nith, which’d make a lovely gift for the Burns fans on your list. Smith is also a fine writer herself, which she shows on the album Too Long Away.



Evergreens: Five Holiday Recordings

Silent Night is a classic Fiona J. Mackenzie chose to include in her two disc set Duan Nollaig -- A Gaelic Christmas, as well. She sings in it Scottish Gaelic though, so it is called Ciuin an Oidche. Mackenzie is an award winning singer and Scottish Gaelic educator from the Highlands.



Keeping Tradition Contemporary: Enoch Kent and Dale Ann Bradley

Enoch Kent loves playing music live -- so much so, that he took a nearly four decade break from recording to do that. Then, turning 70, the Glasgow native and longtime Canada resident decided it was time to take care of that and put out five albums in as many years. One More Round, his most recent and first on the Borealis label, maintains his trademark mix of vintage humor, originals that sound like traditional folk songs, and traditional songs that sound like he learned them at the source.



Cherish These Ladies: another aspect of Celtic women's music

Those who’ve seen Cherish will no doubt agree. Those who’ve seen the band, and the recent work of Winifred Horan, Eileen Ivers, Aoife Clancy, Cathie Ryan, and Heidi Talbot will also know that the currently popular Celtic Women stage show is only just the slightest glimpse of the breadth, depth, and grace of the music Irish women are making.



A Celebration of Scottish Music and Musicians

If you sang Auld Lang Syne at your New year celebrations, you were paying tribute to the talent of Scottish poet Robert Burns. It’s a talent which has touched people across the world for two hundred and fifty years. That’s one of the things the people of Scotland invite the world to celebrate with them during this year of Homecoming Scotland.



Family Ties: The Mother Album

Robin Spielberg, Susan McKeown, and Cathie Ryan had both the complications and the directness in mind when the got together to record the album Mother: songs celebrating mothers and motherhood.

Spielberg is a classically trained pianist who has worked with music as a healing art and is a gifted composer. McKeown, a native of Dublin, has lived long in New York and is a singer who often integrates African, Latin, and other styles into her work; Ryan, a first generation Irish American, is a singer and songwriter who has been recognized as the Irish voice of the decade and whose writing draws on both her background in Irish myth and legend and her American experience.



Celtic at Christmas: Music

December in Ireland and Scotland is time of short days, long nights, rain, wind, snow, sleet, and the occasional clear day with sparlikng sun or frosty night filled with an extravagance of stars. It’s a time for connecting, reconnecting, repentance, renewal, faith, and celebration. Here’s music to consider along with these ideas, and which arises from them.

Kerry Dexter is the Music Editor for Wandering Educators.

Kerry's credits include VH1, CMT, the folk music magazine Dirty Linen,
Strings, and The Encyclopedia of Irela nd and the Americas. She also
writes about the arts and creative practice at - Music Road. You
may reach her at music at wanderingeducators dot com.