Saturday, July 22, 2006

altan, summer festivals, and the hills of donegal

"in the city of Chicago, as the evening shadows fall
there are people dreaming
of the hills of Donegal..."

I am listening to Luka Bloom sing this (courtesy of Live Ireland) as I'm looking out over the hills of northern Florida, and missing those Donegal hills myself. Yes, we do have hills here, up in the very north of the sunshine state. As the very hot afernoon draws on, they are looking blue in the distance, bluer than Donegal sometimes does, and more forested, but hills with similar profiles, nonetheless.

Should you be looking to hear some very fine Donegal music, I'd recommed Altan. There's also a good new band called Clan Ranald, with Martin Tourish and Luke Ward which you should check out if you've an interest in Donegal fiddling. And yes, Martin is family to Ciaran Tourish, of Altan. Weaving on that theme Ciaran has a solo disc out as well, called Down the Line, an interesting mix of Americana and Celtic song and tune.

It is a season for Irish festivals in America, now through the end of August. Cleveland is going on now, Dublin Ohio, Milwaukee, (with a lot of Cape Breton visitors this year I hear), Montana, all sorts of festivals, and one coming up in Donegal itself, featuring Scottish artists including Eddi Reader and Julie Fowlis. If you'd like, add a comment and let me know your favorite festival.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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