News and events

Ceol FM Player

Use the Ceol FM player for the best listening experience.

Listen
New music on Ceol FM from Frankie Simon – Ireland West Guitar

New music on Ceol FM from Frankie Simon – Ireland West Guitar

We get a lot of music sent to Ceol FM and every single album is uploaded within days when time allows. We were delighted to receive the latest album from Frankie Simon this morning called Ireland West Guitar.

This album is packed with 26 fantastic tracks where the guitar is the main melody instrument.
You will hear this on Ceol FM right now but we suggest that you support Frankie Simon by Buying the Ireland West Guitar album from his website.

The press release for this album follows.

Ireland West Guitar – New Irish Music Guitar Album

Frankie Simon, comes from Boyle, Co Roscommon in the Northwest of Ireland. He is a self-taught guitarist and composer, with wide ranging musical influences and tastes. While his main instrument is the guitar, he composes quite a lot at the piano. He spent many years in London playing all types of music on the West End Club scene. For a number of years he was the lead acoustic guitarist with the “Bully Wee Band”, with whom he recorded two albums of Irish and Scottish music. While in London, he composed music for the documentary film “Jack Charlton’s Angling Ireland”, which was shown on Channel 4 and RTE Television.

Frankie eventually returned home to Ireland, where he immersed himself in the demanding art of playing traditional Irish Music on the guitar. He attributes his style to the influence of the fiddle and flute players from the West of Ireland.

At the annual Summer School in Tubbercurry Co Sligo, Frankie taught classes in Trad guitar (melody-playing) for several years. He has also taught classes at Ceolaras Coleman, a Centre for excellence in Traditional Irish Music, which was built in Gurteen, Co. Sligo, in memory of the great Sligo fiddle player Michael Coleman. In parallel with teaching and performing came the recording of Frankie’s much acclaimed acoustic guitar album “Slipstream” …… twelve tracks of blazing reels, jigs, and hornpipes, in his own highly developed style.
Following a break from recording of more than 20 years , Frankie decided to make up for lost time and the result is his second instrumental album “Ireland West Guitar” which will initially be available as a 26-track online download . A CD will eventually follow.

His Father who was a fiddle player, was a major early influence. Frankie takes up the story. “When we played together, he would sometimes tap my guitar with his bow, letting me know he wanted me to play the melody rather than the accompaniment. The daily musical menu in our house consisted of the recordings of Michael Coleman, Paddy Killoran and John McKenna among others. In general however, my guitar style was and is mostly influenced by the Northwest of Ireland flute players. Their ornamentation very much appeals to me and I still find getting around those rolls quite a challenge , though an enjoyable one ! I hope you will find listening to these tunes equally enjoyable”

The album features guest appearances on some tracks by the following masterful musicians: Matt McGranaghan (Fiddle), Paul Gurney (Piano and Accordion), Keith Connolly (percussion) and Paudraic McGovern (Uillean Pipes). The album was recorded at Paul Gurney’s Real World Studios in Longford, where Paul proved to be a great source of humour, ideas and encouragement.

Frankie’s Guitar album “Ireland West Guitar” is available to download on his website here.

Ceol FM – Officially broadcasting Gig’n the Bann festival.

We are really delighted that the organizers of the Gig’n the Bann festival have asked Ceol FM to help publicize and promote this years festival in Portglenone in Antrim. There’s a great lineup of events and performers this weekend so this is a great opportunity for our listeners to hear some really amazing musicians and groups as well as immersive sessions between now and Sunday the 17th of September. Please tune in to Ceol FM during the weekend or better yet, come to the festival and participate in what is going to be a brilliant weekend of Ceol.

Ceol FM will be broadcasting regularly from Friday to Sunday and will cover the following events.

Friday:
Throughout the day:

  • Listen to this lovely singing session recorded in The Crosskeys Inn. We will play recordings of this session regularly. We will also post clips to Facebook, audioboom and Sound cloud.
  • Live Concert. Venue: The wild duck inn. Time: 8:00PM.

Performers include Whistlin’ Donkeys and Séis.

Please tune in live to Ceol FM to listen to this live.

Saturday:
Throughout the day:

  • Throughout Saturday we will regularly broadcast a session recorded on Friday night in The Wild Duck inn. Like all recordings, This will be available on Facebook, Audioboom and Sound cloud. We will also add all of the recordings to a special Gig’n the Bann podcast.
  • Regular live clips of Pipe’n the Bann. This will be held out side in Bank Square. From 1:30PM to 5PM.

Performers include McNeillstown, Broughshane & District, Kilrea and Ballydonaghy.

This event could be moved in side if the weather is wet. Alternative venue is the Riverside Suite at the Wild Duck Inn.

  • Live CD Launch of Strung. This will be held in the Church of Ireland so it’s going to sound brilliant. It will start at 2:00PM.
  • Live Festival concert. Venue: Wild Duck Riverside Suite. Time: 8:30PM.

Performers include Tim Edey, Mike McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle. Tune in to Ceol FM for this live broadcast. This is one you really won’t want to miss!

Sunday:
Throughout the day

  • Recordings from the Session in The Wild Duck. These will be played regularly during Sunday along with other recordings from Saturday such as the session in the GAA Social Club and other clips of formal performances. Sunday on Ceol FM will also include recordings that were published from Thursday and Friday as well.

This is the first time that Ceol FM has undertaken this type of coverage. During the Fleadh in Ennis we published every day to social media and our website but this is a great new opportunity. We thank the committee of the Gig’n the Bann festival as we know you are going to really enjoy this weekend’s programming.

Useful links:

Luke Kelly – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 31

Luke Kelly – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 31

Thank you for reading our month of featured musicians and groups.

Today is the last day of August which means our features are at an end. I have decided to end on a good note with a singer who was not only a great singer but a musician and actor to boot. I am finishing today with none other than the late great Luke Kelly. Luke was born in the heart of Dublin not fife minutes from O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main thoroughfare. His father worked in Jacobs’s biscuit factory and passed on his love of football to Luke and his brother Paddy who both played Gaelic football in their youth. Luke’s grandmother who was a MacDonald from Scotland lived with the Kelly family until her death in 1953, and it was from her that Luke learned many of the songs from Scotland that he recorded such as Tibie Dunbar and Mormond Braes. Luke left school at 13 and went to England in 1958 to work. It was while in England he attended sessions and after taking up the banjo began busking. On a trip home he went to Fleadh Cheoil in Milltown Malbay in county Clare. Luke’s banjo playing was greatly influenced by musicians such as Pete Seeger and Tommy Makem.

When Luke returned home from England in 1968 and went to sessions in places such as Donoghue’s pub and was soon singing with Ronnie Drew and Barney McKenna. Luke was one of the founding members of The Dubliner’s and it was Kelly who gave the group the name. From reading James Joyce’s book of short stories entitled the Dubliner.

In June 1980 while performing at the Cork Opera House Luke Kelly Collapsed on stage and was later diagnosed with a brain tumour. Luke continued to tour with the Dubliner’s even though he had to leave some shows and spend a lot of time in hospital. In December 1983 he was taken in to hospital and on 30th January 1984 Luke Kelly passed away.

His legacy still lives on in songs and in the many documentaries that were made about him. The Ballyboughal Bridge in Dublin City was renamed the Luke Kelly bridge. Christmas 2005 saw the release of Luke Kelly The Performer documentary which outsold U2 that festive season.

I could go on and on and write about Luke Kelly and his life but there is so much. One story about Luke Kelly that sticks in my mind is one that a close personal friend who used to be in the same school as Kelly told me not long before he died was that Kelly was the kind of person who would stand up to bullies who were bullying this friend and other children in the school. He was an iconic figure in Irish folk music and his grave stone in Glasnevin cemetery which I have visited many times reads Luke Kelly Dubliner.

Unfortunately Luke does not have a website but you can avail of his music from iTunes and Google Play Store.

To finish out our features this month I have chosen the song Scorn Not His Simplicity written by Phil Coulter about his autistic son. Kelly had such respect for the song that he only ever performed it live once since recording it. Even though Raglan Road was one of Kelly’s more popular songs this one is possibly one of my favourite songs of all time.

We hope you have enjoyed our featured artist/groups this month.

Darragh here. I want to add a little to what Jade has said about Luke Kelly. The music that we hear has the power to put us in a great mood, to make us feel sad or to remind us of something important. The Night visiting song is important to my family as it reminds us of my grand mother on my fathers side. I’d therefore like to put a link to it here. If there is a song or artist that is important to you, please let us know. Although our month of featured artists is now at an end, we will continue to regularly highlight the amazing musicians and groups that we are privlidged to play on Ceol FM.

There is a beautiful video for Luke Kelly available on Youtube where some very well known Irish musicians pay tribute to him. It ends with a song called The Minstrel Boy that was written in his memory.

FullSet – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 30

FullSet – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 30

We’re nearing the end of our month of featured artists so we are ending on a high.

FullSet are one of my favourite bands. I really love the combination of instruments, their arrangements and the way the songs are as compelling to someone who loves tunes as the rest of the tracks on their albums. That’s without doubt because their singers are exceptional and the arrangements are stunning.

This is a group of incredibly talented musicians who jell really well but each album ensures that each musician has a moment to shine.

Fullset have released three albums.

  • Notes Between the Lines
  • Notes At Liberty
  • Notes After Dark

The group started with the singer Teresa Hogan who was very nicely succeeded by Marianne Knightt who has gone on to put her stamp on the vocals while building on the already high-quality sound that fans of FullSet have enjoyed. Teresa needs a mention though as some of her songs such as Ned Of the Hill and Bonnie Airlie stop me in my tracks still years later every time I hear them. Of course, Marianne does a great job with these as well. The Album that these songs can be heard on Notes After Dark was reviewed on the site the Living Tradition.

FullSet have featured on some of the top international and local festivals such as the Milwaukee Irish Festival, Copenhagen Irish Festival, Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Germany’s Irish Folk Festival Tour, Guinness Christmas Austria Tour, Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, Dublin Irish Festival, Kansas City Irish Fest and North Texas Irish Festival to name just a few. They have also entertained alongside top class international musicians and groups like Moya Brennan, Declan O’Rourke, Lúnasa, Carlos Núnez, Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny and Beoga.

We are very proud of all of the musicians and groups that you will find when you listen to Ceol FM. We hope that the month of features has given you a glimpse of what Ceol FM has to offer.

You can buy FullSet’s music on iTunes or on CD Baby.

We’d love to find more on YouTube to highlight why we love FullSet but we couldn’t quite find what we were looking for. Here’s a few tunes called the Lost and Found jigs but their really nicely done official promo video is here.

We Banjo 3 – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 29

We Banjo 3 – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 29

We all need more PIPERS in this world. You can look high or low but there’s no places to go, we all need more PIPERS in this world. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Sorry. I’m only messing. But it brings me onto one of our last featured groups of August.

It’s Tuesday and you’re getting stuck into another week so today I thought I would feature a group with a difference to brighten up your Tuesday. href=”http://www.webanjo3.com/”>We Banjo 3 are a group that mix traditional Irish music with old time and blue grass music they like to call Celt Grass. The group was formed in county Galway in the west of Ireland and is made up of two sets of brothers Fergal and Enda Scahill and David and Martin Howley. Each member of the band is a multi-instrumentalist with all except Fergal being a banjo player. The group began its musical journey in 2011 and have taken the traditional music world by storm. Since 2011 the band have recorded 3 studio albums and one live album from Galway. Their first album Roots of the Banjo Tree was named traditional album of the year by the Irish Times. The Wall Street Journal has described the groups playing as “a freshness and finesse bordering on the magical”. Their latest album String Theory released in 2016 debuted at number one on the billboard world charts.

Fiddle Player for the group Fergal Scahill in January of this year began his tune a day for a year and manages to fit in a tune each day while touring with the group. This summer saw the band embark on their Light in the Western Sky tour and they also performed at the Milwaukee Irish Festival.

Ceol FM’s Darragh was lucky enough to see the group perform live at an intimate gig in the Set Theatre Kilkenny in May. He was blown away by their energy and musicality.

For more information on We Banjo 3 visit the We Banjo 3 website.

Their music is available on iTunes and Google Play Store.

To brighten up your Monday here’s a song from We Banjo 3 called The Fox.

Eileen Ivers – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 28

Eileen Ivers – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 28

We love music and musicians that respect the Irish traditions and who carefully push the boundaries. Today’s featured musician is Eileen Ivers and few have done this as distinctly as she has. Reared by Irish parents in the Bronx, Eileen’s style is very obviously influenced by the diverse cultures in that area but it’s also clear that her routes are firmly in the Irish traditions. Even as a young child Eileen Ivers was winning awards. At age eight she won her first all-Ireland title and went on to win 8 more shortly afterward.

From beautiful laments to energetic and playful dance music, Eileen’s style is stunning. If you love listening to fiddle players, please remember that Ceol FM has a Fiddle only stream. Click Play on our Fiddle stream on the listen page.

Paraphrasing from the official Eileen Ivers website:

Eileen Ivers was nominated for a Grammy award, nominated for an Emmy award, she has played with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, Sting, Hall and Oates, The Chieftains, ‘Fiddlers 3’ with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Regina Carter, Patti Smith, she has guest starred with over 40 other orchestras, is the original Musical Star of River dance and of course, Eileen Ivers is a Nine Time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion!

It’s great when a musician has the freedom to push the boundaries but I think it’s even nicer when although she or he has pushed those boundaries that they are aware of where the music came from. Therefore, it’s great to acknowledge that Eileen Ivers still begins and ends each performance with Irish music. Although she bridges various musical styles such as jazz, blues and rock, she always comes back to her roots.

You can read more about Eileen Ivers at her website.

You can find music from Eileen Ivers on both iTunes and on Google Play.

Listen to a wonderful arrangement of Pachelbel’s Frolics on YouTube.

Stockton’s Wing – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 27

Stockton’s Wing – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 27

The beauty of Ceol FM is that there are sure to be plenty of musicians and groups that you have not yet heard of before. We hope Stockton’s wing isn’t one of those groups!

Stockton’s Wing are an exciting group brimming with energy and life that helped redefine the sound of Irish Traditional music when they started in the 70’s.

The group was formed back in 1977 by four All Ireland Champion musicians, Maurice Lennon – featured yesterday on fiddle, Paul Roche on flute and whistle, Tommy Hayes on bodhran and Kieran Hanrahan on banjo and mandolin. Kieran presents RTÉ’s Ceili House. They were joined by Tony Callinan on guitar and vocals. The group who were formed in Ennis in county Clare took its name from a line in a Bruce Springsteen song Backstreets. They recorded their first album in 1978 and in 1985 they released their first live album Stockton’s Wing Take One which was recorded in Dublin and Galway. Stockton’s Wing have several titles under their belt and this year they are celebrating 40 years of music. They performed at Fleadh Cheoil this year in Ennis and they are celebrating 40 years with a series of summer shows.

With six hit releases to their name, Stockton’s wing have been sharing stages with other incredible musicians and groups such as Michael Jackson at his concerts in Cork in 1988 and in 1989 they made a guest appearance on stage with Sammy Davis Junior on his tour with Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli in Dublin. They also featured in the film production of John B Kean’s The Field.

Irish Music Magazine has described the group as being eclectic and energetic. They also describe them as the definitive voice of traditional music.

To learn more about Stockton’s Wing you can visit their website.

Stockton’s Wing music is available on iTunes and Google Play Store.

Listen to a set of tunes called Skidoo to hear why some said that Stockton’s Wing were ahead of their time.

We are coming to the end of our month of featured artists and groups. Are there any you would like us to include?

Maurice Lennon – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 26

Maurice Lennon – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 26

A name that will be recognised by many in the world of Irish traditional music, Maurice Lennon is an incredibly talented fiddle player and a gifted composer. With first-hand experience of his ability to compose stunning tunes during a regular Tuesday afternoon, I am in awe of todays featured artist.

The Lennon name is synonymous with great Irish traditional music in the Leitrim area as Maurice’s uncle Ben and his father Charlie are both exceptional fiddle players. Charlie Lennon received a lifetime achievement award at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil awards in 2011.

In the late 1970’s, Maurice was one of the founding members of the super group Stockton’s Wing. This group had six hit tracks and helped to reshape the Irish Traditional Music we play today.

Maurice Lennon has also shared stages around the world with Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., Stephan Grapelli, Michael Jackson, as well as performing and appearing in the superb Irish film, “The Field.

It’s surprising but Maurice Lennon has only one solo album to his name titled the Little ones. We’ll get to that in a second because although not a solo album, an album that he produced and stamped his identity on was the Brian Boru project back in 2008. This album gives us great tracks like ‘Tree of sorrows’ and the lovely song ‘My Reign Is Over’.

Coming back to his solo album titled The Little Ones, this is a beautiful arrangement from the beginning to the end and is the perfect illustration of Maurice’s playing. It’s not rushed, there’s great attention to detail and the production of everything on each track allows the lead instruments to have the room needed to really let the melody out. There is no over playing here. It’s obvious that this is a master playing at ease.

Unfortunately, Maurice Lennon’s website is off line but you can read a more detailed biog here.

You can buy the album The Little ones from iTunes here or if you’d like it on your android phone, or you’d like a physical CD, you can buy it from CD Baby here.

I’ve mentioned the track Tree of sorrows. You can hear it on YouTube here.

Paul Brady – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 25

Paul Brady – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 25

Today we feature an artist who’s songs are still as popular today as they were when released twenty+ years ago. The one and only Paul Brady, born in Belfast and raised in Strabane county Tyrone is one of Ireland’s most popular artists across many genres. Paul was born in 1947 and being a child of the fifties was greatly influenced by music from the fifties and sixties. With family influences, Irish traditional music was also in the mix. Paul’s father played and taught the flute and from a young age Paul began to learn the piano mainly by ear, trial and error. By the age of 11 he began to learn the guitar spending his time learning from such artists as The Shadows and The Ventures. Chuck Berry was also an influence in Brady’s music. Paul started performing by playing the piano in a hotel in Bundoran county Donegal.

Before he began his solo career Paul Brady collaborated and performed with artists such as Planxty and the Johnstons at a time when Irish music was making a comeback in Dublin. He Moved to New York with the Johnstons in 1972 and returned to Dublin in 1974 where he joined the group Planxty. Paul joined musicians such as Andy Irvine, Matt Malloy and Fiddle player Tommy Peoples and later recorded his first solo album Welcome Here Kind Stranger which was his only album of traditional songs before he explored the rock and pop scenes where he recorded several albums. Audiences today are still requesting old favourites like the Lakes of Pontchartrain and Arthur McBride which he brought to life during his time singing and performing traditional music. Recently he has collaborated with singers such as Cara Dillon. As well as having 15 albums where he has contributed music, he also has had songs featured in films.

in 2009 Paul received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Ulster in recognition of his services to Irish traditional music and song writing. .

For further information on Paul you can visit his website.

You can buy music from Paul on iTunes and Google Play Store.

Here’s Paul Brady singing The Lakes of Pontchartrain.

Mary Bergin – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 24

Mary Bergin – Ceol FM Featured Artist/Group of the Day 24

Ceol FM provides the highest quality Irish Traditional and Folk Music and Mary Bergin is a perfect demonstration of this. She is a whistle player of exceptional quality. Born in Shankhill in Dublin to parents who were musicians themselves, Mary began learning the tin whistle from the age of nine and in 1970 she won the All Ireland tin whistle championship. Mary plays in both the traditional and baroque style and her two solo albums Fedora Stáin and Feadóga stain 2 were widely acclaimed. Mary’s influences came from the flute playing of Packie Duignan and the whistle playing of Willie Clancy. In the 1970s Mary moved to Galway to play with up and coming stars in Irish traditional music. She has played with groups such as De Danann and Ceoltóri Laighin. Mary has toured extensively entertaining crowds with her music and has taught students not only here in Ireland but in Europe and the U.S. Mary has released her own whistle tutorial which comes in three volumes covering beginner to professional and can be purchased through her website.With her profound skill and technique on the whistle Mary is widely acknowledged as a master of the whistle. Mary currently plays with the group Dordán who have recorded four albums. She continues to teach and play around the country and abroad. The Irish Times in an interview referred to Mary as

just about the best tin whistle player this century, and you only have to hear Mary play to know that she brings her own flare to whatever tune she is playing.

Music from Mary Bergin is available on iTunes and Google Play Store.

Listen to Mary play here in this video taken in Cologne in Germany.