Music Monday: Celtic Punk

It is a grand American tradition to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by pretending to be Irish.  My heritage runs Scottish and English (to my knowledge), but what red-blooded American ever let that stop them?  And what better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a little Celtic punk from a band out the U.S. and a band out of England?

The two songs, by the way, were prominently featured in the two greatest TV series ever made.

Continue reading “Music Monday: Celtic Punk”

Music Monday: The Carolina Chocolate Drops

Last week I featured some traditional Scottish music.  Old-time music or old-time string band music is a form of roots music.  In contrast with its cousin bluegrass, old-time is deeply concerned with preserving, reviving, and building on the traditional music brought to America from Scotland, England, and Africa.

I’ve always strongly preferred old-time string bands over a bluegrass act.  I say always, but I’ve only known the term “old-time” for about a decade.  Before that, I just knew it as the music I grew up hearing at events around my small, southern Appalachian town, played by an old man with a fiddle or a mandolin.  That, though, was music that was literally dying with the old men who played it.  Early in the group’s history, the Carolina Chocolate Drops spent much of their time to Mebane, North Carolina to learn from a 90-year-old African-American fiddler named Joe Thompson.  They weren’t just learning to make music, they were engaging in cultural anthropology and historical preservation.

Continue reading “Music Monday: The Carolina Chocolate Drops”

Music Monday: Ghosts of Culloden by Clann an Drumma

Jim over at Frontier Partisans, a bad influence if ever I met one, has had me listening to Scottish music all weekend.  Specifically, Clann an Drumma’s album Order of the Stag.  This will make for a nice bridge, though, because I was just thinking that it is high time I talk about old-time music, which reaches back to the Scottish, English, and African roots of North American traditional music.

Culloden battlefied (not my pic)

Continue reading “Music Monday: Ghosts of Culloden by Clann an Drumma”