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miscellaniac on 03/15/2013 at 11:00AM

Patrick, You're A Saint

Image courtesy of bollesbiggestfan1/flickr

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I present a mix made up of artists who currently reside in Ireland, have Irish roots, or simply a pronounced Irish influence. As you'll discover, not all Irish music sounds like what you would hear at a parade or a sports pub (aka. a spub, like a spud - Irish!). For more overtly Irish-sounding tunes, I recommend this Magically Delicious Mix featuring "Irish Hearts" by Fred van Eps.

Patrick J. Touhey “Drowsy Maggie” - OK, this is one of the few exceptions to my preface, but this is such a gorgeous traditional folk song. Irish-American Touhey played the Uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes) and this recording is from 1919.

Dublin Duck Dispensary "Irish Rebel Song" - Now I really am starting to look like a hypocrite. But, Bobby Aherne's lo-fi solo act is one of my faves and he happens to be from Dublin and to also have produced this dreamy song that sounds like it could have emanated from the recent crop of Northern New Jersey bands like Big Troubles, Ducktails, and Julian Lynch.

Nora O'Connor "Two Way Action" - O'Connor is a first-generation Irish-American (and native Chicagoan), performs with Andrew Bird and The Blacks, has toured with everyone from Mavis Staples to New Pornographers, and also happens to be a renowned bartender, doula, and ordained reverend. (Yeah, what have YOU done today?) The eclectic warmth of all of these endeavors melts through in this track.

Sláinte "Julia Delaney" - Another one to slip past my preamble, Sláinte is a legit Irish band from Tacoma. Pronounced "slawn-cha" it is Gaelic for "cheers" or "good health." This is definitely one you can get jiggy with (sorry). Combines the good parts of a jam band with stunning traditional instrumentation that would kick the crud out of an Irish Spring commercial.

Solvents "Yr. Ghostwriter" - Bandmembers Emily Madden and Jarrod Bramson met when Bramson played rhythm guitar in Madden's father's traditional Irish folk band. The spark that crackled into Solvents lays its melodic residue all over rich violin and vocals.


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katya-oddio on 11/07/2010 at 12:00PM

A Case for Free Music Sharing

The Free Music Archive is now host to two CDs and a collection of bonus material by Sláinte, a group who are important in the history of online music sharing.

Sláinte (slawn-cha), Gaelic for "cheers" or "good health", was a Celtic band based out of Tacoma, Washington in the USA. The band serves as an early case study for the benefits of making music available for free online. Sláinte were one of the most downloaded artists on the original, which was then a major site for free and legal music downloads. Their self-titled first album was available at both for free and for sale, and they sold hundreds in a time when most did not yet trust online sales transactions.

Acoustic Guitar magazine writer Jeffery Pepper Rodgers interviewed Sláinte member Jean Huskamp in his cover story article "The World Wide Open Mic: A player's guide to the world of online music," in which he asks, "So how did this happen to a good but not highly unusual Celtic band that does no national touring?" To which Huskamp replied:

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slainte, celtic, irish, ireland

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Patrick, You're A Saint