Lori Gordon

Bletherings From a Music Obsessed Mind

Danny Kyle Favorites, week 2

The final week of the Danny Kyle Open Stage (as well as Celtic Connections itself) has passed and there were a few more stunning gems performing their hearts out. I recommend checking them all out – I think they all have fantastic careers ahead of them!

Fiona Driver – fantastic fiddler from Orkney who is also a very prolific composer.

Enez Trio [Tristan Le Govic] – Centered around Tristan’s harp playing, they have a full, rich sound.

Seonaid Aitkin – Amazing fiddler who spends most of her time as a classical violinist.

Rachel Sermanni – Really delightful singer/songwriter who performed with a couple of friends.

Parsec – These lads have mad skills! All hail from the University of Limerick.

Kilairum – This group came to my attention early last year. Their music is a blend of trad & jazz.

Lurach – Great trad group that performs Gaelic song & music.

Kirsty and Katie Lawrence – Incredible trad musicians from the Isle of Man. I found their stage presence refreshing and funny.

All of their performances can be found over on Celtic Music Radio in their “Listen Again” section.

January 31, 2010 Posted by | Celtic, Folk, Jazz, Singer-Songwriter, Traditional | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Danny Kyle Open Stage, week 1

The first full week of Celtic Connections has come and gone and with it, the first week of the Danny Kyle Open Stage. The wonderful folks at Celtic Music Radio provide the live broadcast each day (5pm BST/11am CST), which I’ve made an effort to listen to, as well as a recording of each act’s set in their ‘Listen Again’ archive.

In the first week, I’ve heard 8 acts that have totally blown me away. I think they’re all fabulously talented and I’m excited to watch their careers grow. They all have MySpace pages, where you can hear some samples, or head over to Celtic Music Radio to hear their live gigs.


The Helen Currie Band – singer/songwriter whose songs have an understated intensity about them

Elaine Davidson – singer/songwriter with a gorgeous alto voice. Accompanied on the live gig by Danny Hart

Eilidh Patterson – another singer/songwriter who is altogether lovely

The Bevvy Sisters – Fantastic swing/gospel vocals!

Tyde – great trad music trio

Sporran Again – funky, electric ceilidh band that is wild fun!

Stushie – very talented group of youngsters. Mostly trad but some contemporary.

4 Square – folk band with great vocals and spot-on playing


January 23, 2010 Posted by | Celtic, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Traditional | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kim Edgar – “butterflies and broken glass”

kim edgar

On butterflies and broken glass, Kim Edgar has moved into very different territory from her previous releases. Gone is the jazzy lounge sound, replaced by more contemporary pop/folk stylings. This is definitely a more mature album and readily establishes Kim as a force to be reckoned with on the Scottish singer/songwriter scene

butterflies also sees a shift in Kim’s songwriting style. Her lyrics are still well-crafted and moving, but they aren’t quite as intimate as earlier songs, as though the perspective is from a step back instead of right there in the grit with her. In general, her songwriting skills have become much tighter, due, I think, to her experiences in 2006’s Burnsong Songhouse project. There she worked side-by-side with the likes of Karine Polwart, Emma Pollock, King Creosote, MC Soom T and others. Three of the ten tracks were co-written with members of that group

The thing that has impressed me the most about butterflies is the music. Kim has composed some exceptional pieces that really form the fabric of each song. One feels the utter intensity of the situation in “Scissors, Paper, Stone,” a dramatic piece about domestic violence, as well as the lighter nostalgia that imbues “Red”. This album is full of depth and texture and excellently showcases her skills as a composer. Additionally, she is backed by a stellar cast of musicians, most of whom happen to be Karine Polwart’s band, including Karine herself. Their musical abilities and professionalism truly help set this recording apart.

Kim has a gorgeous, melodious voice and she displays a greater range than on her earlier works. My only wish here is that her voice carried a bit more of the emotion often heard in her live performances. However, this is a minor thing, as the quality throughout is outstanding. My favorite tracks are “Just Outside Your Door,” the aforementioned “Scissors, Paper, Stone,” and “House on the Hill,” co-written with Emma Pollock.

Overall, butterflies and broken glass is a brilliant recording and I’m keenly awaiting future projects.

To learn more about Kim and her music, visit her MySpace page or her official website.

To read a review of Kim Edgar’s “Wee Dote”, click here.

May 26, 2009 Posted by | Album Reviews, Folk, Singer-Songwriter | , , , | 2 Comments