Jennifer Licko is an artist and performer from North Carolina. Her music embody the perfect compromise between new world and old world folk, blending in elements as diverse as Americana, bluegrass, country and Celtic.
I've always been passionate about music genres that grow and evolve based on so many different factors. European folk music traveled a long, long way across the vast and cold Atlantic Ocean to reach the shores of America. People brought their own songs, their own stories and their own memories in the form of their favourite tunes, but the music kept changing and acquiring new meanings; one generation after the other. Eventually, instruments and melodies of European music blended in with sounds that traveled all the way from Africa, originating exciting genres such as blues and rock. When I listen to the songs featured within "A thousand curses upon love", the latest studio work by Jennifer Licko, I am reminded of this beautiful story of sound - this story of evolution and emotion embedded deeply in the heart of those who sing and those who listen.
As a world traveler and multi-instrumentalist, Jennifer develops a truly kaleidoscopic attitude to musical composition, making for exciting and personal performances with a credible and spontaneous energy: it's all about bridging the gaps between culture and emotion! Culture is actually such an important part in Jennifer's life that she set out to collaborate on many school programs focused on the importance of cultural diversity.
"A thousand curses upon love" is not only the portrait of a talented performer, but also a fantastic journey through many musical and cultural traditions and more importantly…a collection of heartwarming and beautiful songs. And that earns it not only a 5 star review from Celtic Radio, but our selection of the 2014 Celtic Radio Album of the year!
Find out more and let the music tell you the rest of this story:
1. Turning Away 2. The Moon Going Home 3. Mile Marbhphaisg Air A'Ghaol 4. Fickle Breezes 5. Nollaig na mBan 6. The Song of the Singing Horseman 7. Siuthadaibh bhalachaibh 8. Hard Times Come Again No More 9. The Sea 10. Clare to Here
Since Richie Blackmore and Candice Night joined forces as Blackmore’s Night, they have been almost single-handedly responsible for the newfound mainstream popularity of traditional folk music. The band, however, didn’t only limit their output to interpreting and performing music the way it used to be performed (even paying particularly attention to reproducing the sound and feel of antique instruments), but they set out to adapt their influences to their own sensibility, creating a unique blend of sonic aesthetics that have become more and more consolidating record after record.
The former Deep Purple and Rainbow member seems to have found his right home within this prolific project, now reaching the important milestone of its 10th studio album!
While, the title track introduces the album set list with some truly hypnotic vibes, slightly reminiscent of Balkan folk, following number "Allan Yn N Fan" echo the sounds of Irish / Celtic music with some modern updates, as electric guitar lines add an extra bit of contrast. One of the album's pivotal moment is definitely the band's rendition of Mike Oldfield's classic single, "Moonlight Shadow". Candice Night truly owns the lyrics and set out to make the vocals her own with a stunning and ethereal performance.
One of the most impressive qualities of the album is definitely the sheer variety of the arrangements and the beautiful sonic aesthetics associated with the composition and performance of these songs. The diverse backdrop of instruments as well as Candice Night’s very distinctive vocal performances have been a part of Blackmore’s Nights trademark sound since day one, but the band feels more and more confident in their performances, as if Blackmore & co became more and more aware of their means, as well as of the perks of their unique sound, record after record. On All Our Yesterdays, the kaleidoscopic approach to music of this band is definitely explored as an exciting possibility, whether the group is performing stunning originals or heartfelt cover versions.
The album stands out as an excellent effort, showcasing how Blackmore’s Night seamlessly continues to establish themselves as a unique act with their one-of-a-kind blend of folk songs, antique instrumentation and hints of contemporary rock. 5 Stars from Celtic Radio.
All Our Yesterdays
1. All Our Yesterdays 2. Allan Yn N Fan 3. Darker Shade of Black 4. Long Long Time 5. Moonlight Shadow 6. I Got You Babe 7. The Other Side 8. Queen's Lament 9. Where Are We Going From Here 10. Will O' the Wisp 11. Earth Wind and Sky 12. Coming Home
From their humble beginnings as a cover band, to developing their unique blend of genres, SYR set out to gather inspiration from Celtic Folk, Irish drinking songs, Scottish folk numbers and Gaelic Ballads, blending these timeless genres with a contemporary twist coming in the form of their rock music background. On their recent self-titled album, the band alternates personal lyricism to storytelling inspired by Celtic Myths and old folk tales, going for a very personal and relatable approach.
Hailing from Columbia, SC, the combo blends in different sounds and ideas, from guitar-oriented numbers to the beautiful colors of the fiddle leads. The band consists of brothers Jacob and Josh McCleery (drums and guitar), Emily Bracey (fiddle), Timothy Strevens (bass), and siblings, Kyle and Laurel MacCallum, (lead guitar/vocals and backup vocals).
One of the band’s most distinctive traits is definitely their ability to swing from upbeat numbers such as "Defiance" to touching and personal ballads the likes of Funeral Pyre, showcasing the band's most intimate side.
"I drove my father to drink" is a great example of the band's vivid and descriptive blend of storytelling: a lyrical approach with an almost autobiographical power that blends in really well with the tone of folk music and rock grit.
This young folk rock combo sounds mature and accomplished, as testified by diverse and emotionally powerful recordings where upbeat songs, folk ballads and rock stompers coexist. Roots run deep in South Carolina and so does musical talent earning a 5 star review from Celtic Radio!
1. Mo Gradh (moi rah) 2. Defiance 3. Albion 4. Funeral Pyre 5. Who Are You 6. Home 7. In The End 8. I Drove My Father To Drink
When anyone mentions witches, outside of Halloween, one place will usually come to the minds of most people - Salem. For some reason; perhaps because of the major publicity it has received over the years - through books, movies, and tourism, or perhaps because people need to remember what horror was brought about through sheer hysteria and gossip; Salem is the most talked about of all the worldwide witch trials.
In the summer of 1692 terror reigned in Salem, Massachusetts, USA. On the word of several young girls in the village, who were exhibiting strange behaviour that they said was brought on by witchcraft, many of the townsfolk were brought to the prison and tried on the charge of witchcraft. There was no-one exempt from the adolescents’ accusing fingers. Popular people, professional people, men, women and even children were brought before the court and interrogated.
First to be accused was Tituba, the Carib Indian slave belonging to Reverend Samuel Parris. Along with Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne were also arrested. Of these, only Tituba confessed to witchcraft - and remarkably, of the three, she was the only one to survive!
The youngest of the accused was four years old. Imagine the horror that little girl, Dorcas Good - daughter of Sarah Good, must have felt to be CHAINED to the wall of the rat-infested prison for almost 10 months before she was found not guilty - but not before she watched her mother convicted and taken to the gallows to be hung. In the period that her mother was imprisoned, her sibling also died - a child that Sarah was still nursing was taken to the prison with her but died before Sarah was hung.
In total 19 of those accused of witchcraft were hanged on Gallows Hill. 13 of the convicted were women, and 6 of them men. Giles Corey, also died as a result of the trials - he was pressed to death when refusing to plead guilty or otherwise. His wife was hanged for witchcraft 3 days after his death. Although prison records offer conflicting information, it is thought that as many as 13 other accused people died in prison during the witch trials. Between 100 and 200 people were arrested on charges of witchcraft - and two dogs executed.
Who was to blame for this gross miscarriage of justice, created by ignorance and fear? Perhaps it was the physician who could not identify what illness Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams (aged 9 and 11 respectively) had which caused them to have convulsions, trance-like states and other strange behaviour. His diagnosis was therefore to suggest that they were under Satan’s influence. Perhaps it was Tituba who created the “witch cake” that was made up of rye meal and urine from the sick girls and given to a dog to eat in the hope that the witch who had inflicted the girls would be identified. It was also Tituba who confessed to witchcraft and then gave evidence against Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and others. Perhaps it was the young girls themselves - not only Abigail and Elizabeth, but also Ann Putnum, Elizabeth Hubbard, Susannah Sheldon, Mercy Lewis and Mary Warren - who were guilty of mischievously accusing anyone who had crossed them? Perhaps it was the townspeople who allowed hysteria to override commonsense and set one neighbour up to accuse his/her neighbour of witchcraft because they did not conform to normal social standards or because the butter turned sour after one of the accused had visited . Perhaps it was the court that allowed hearsay and malicious gossip convict and kill innocent people. Perhaps it was the laws that covered the court and said the trials were “legal”. Whoever or whatever was to blame, the outcome was the same. Many innocent people were condemned to death - and their sentences carried out - whilst many others spent months in prison needlessly and never recovered from their experience.
In 1697 Samual Sewall, one of the judges in the witch trials publicly confessed to the wrong doing he had helped to escalate, and offered an apology to the relatives of those who had died. The matter has never been allowed to die however. In 1706 Ann Putnam apologised for her actions during the summer of 1692. In 1711, a bill was passed through the legislature that restored the names of those accused, and gave £600 in restitution to their heirs - this included money for those like Dorcas Good who never recovered from her ordeal and required to be looked after for the rest of her life. In 1957 the State of Massachusetts formally apologised, and in 1992, a memorial to the witch trials was dedicated in Salem - now renamed “Danvers”.
Those who died needlessly have not died quietly. Their memory lives on, not only in the minds of their generations of relatives that followed them, but also those who strive to prevent such an atrocity happening again.
“I am no witch. I am innocent. I know nothing of it.” Bridget Bishop, first of Salem’s accused to be hanged on June 10th 1692.
Reely Jiggered , 02 ABC Winners of the SoundWave Music Competition 2014, are bursting with talent, alive with creativity and live to perform. They are inspired by Celtic Folk music, intrigued by World beats and melodies and drawn to an interesting and unique fusion of funk, rock, pop and jazz taking folk music to new heights.
If you could cherry pick a keyword to define Reely Jiggered's blend of sound, I'd chose contamination. Their eclectic approach to Celtic Folk Music takes a detour to explore wildly diverse genres, including funk, rock, pop, jazz and world - going for a truly explosive and infectious feast of rhythms.
This is not merely "folk music", but an exciting sonic journey throughout the world's most popular folk tradition, showcasing them in all their diversity, while highlighting what they commonly share - the glue that keeps it all together.
Reely Jiggered's aptly titled studio effort, Kaleidoscope, is a colorful release were notes, melodies and textures are free to fly in the air like confetti and ribbons: picture a bunch of drunken Celts storming a Brazilian Carnival!
The band's song are complex, yet extremely direct, fun and relatable. 5 stars from Celtic Radio!
1. Warrior 2. Parting Glass 3. Diablo In Kilarrow 4. Cuban Brenda Cutting the Bracken 5. La Llorona 6. Folk Police 7. Kaleidoscope 8. John Anderson 9. Scarborough Fair 10. Clumsy Lover 11. La Llorona Carnival (Bonus Track)