I have played many guitars over the last 30 plus years, and have been fortunate to have some really amazing instruments. My first real guitar was a Santa Cruz Guitar Company Koa Dreadnought. I played it for 10 years and its gorgeous combination of deep bass and bright treble thrilled my ear in concert and on recordings. There is a wonderful photo of this instrument on my CD Celtic Crossing.
As I moved to more finger style playing, I wanted a smaller body for comfort and found that in a guitar by Jeff Traugott, another instrument that I played on for almost 10 years. Jeff’s Model R had the most complex and multi-dimensional sound of any guitar I had played before. Photo on the cover of my CD The Road Home.
I then returned to SCGC for a Brazilian Rosewood OM, and then a Brazilian Rosewood OMG, both gorgeous instruments and thanks to Richard Hoover and the folks at SCGC for supporting me with these fine instruments.
With so many amazing guitar makers in the world and particularly in California, I was fortunate to meet Mike Baranik. I had been teaching at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, and one of my students, Steve Osborn, was kind enough to let me play his Baranik. I fell in love with it. A few months later I met the maker himself, played for him in his shop in Paso Robles. His depth of knowledge of guitar design and construction was impressive, and the instruments he had for me to try were unique. So he and I designed the guitar I have now: a Brazilian Rosewood Custom Meridian (pictured above). I love the sound, and the playability, and the fan fret, and the sound ports, and the adjustable neck, and, well, it just feels right to my ear and in my hands.
A deep thanks and true appreciation to all the guitar makers that I have known and who have given me the gift of wonderful instruments!
Celtic Journey is a symphonic presentation of traditional Irish music, story, song, and dance. Taking a journey through time, the program features time-honored Irish marches, reels, jigs, and ballads with arrangements especially created to showcase the sound of the orchestra. A company of Irish musicians, dancers, and storyteller join with the orchestra to offer audiences a lively and stirring performance of beloved music and dance from Celtic culture.
Photos from the 2016 premier of Celtic Journey with the Omaha Symphony. All photos by Missy Ragatz
Independent Release – May 2014
One Lane Bridge, guitarist William Coulter, cellist Aria DiSalvio, and fiddler John Weed will mesmerize and delight with their unique, artful arrangements of traditional and contemporary tunes. Fusing folk styles from Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and Spain with modern influences results in something both ancient and cutting edge — a rhythmically vibrant, melodically engaging chamber-folk music at home in the concert hall or on the dance floor.
- Humours Of Lisheen / The New Mown Meadow
- Costa De Galicia
- Lurka’s / Marga’s Moment
- Prelude from Cello Suite #1
- The Abbey Reel
- The French Polka / Maids Of Mt Kisco
- Remember Blake
- Gusty’s Frolics / Broken Pledge / The Hare’s Pane
- Last Of The Starrs
- Sara Davis / Humours Of Andytown
- Long Dance
Fire & Grace & Kennedy is an eclectic collaboration between American guitarist William Coulter, Canadian violinist Edwin Huizinga, and Irish singer Éilís Kennedy. This unique trio explores the musical elements of classical, traditional and contemporary music and songs. The repertoire is vast, ranging from Bach to Vivaldi, sean nos songs in Irish to original songs in English, tango to trad, Bulgarian to American fiddle tunes and waltzes, all played and sung with a sense of discovery and commitment to the elements of passion and virtuosity found in these diverse traditions. In October of 2017 Fire & Grace & Kennedy performed in Ireland at venues including the Dingle Folk Festival, The Seamus Ennis Arts Center, St John’s Art Center in Listowel, and Campbell’s Tavern in Cloughanover
Eilís Kennedy was born and raised in the heart of West Kerry, to parents who passed on a lifelong and committed interest in the poetry and songs of that region. She has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to listen to many of the finest exponents of song in her locality. The emotion and stories associated with Gaelic singing thus informed her love of song. Éilís plays whistle and Irish flute and is a fluent Gaelic speaker. Her three solo albums have featured William Coulter on guitar and they have worked together on music projects and tours, most recently with violinist Edwin Huizinga. Her latest solo album Westward was released to critical acclaim in December 2016 and led to Eílís being awarded Live Ireland’s Female Vocalist of the Year 2018.
In 2007, she was part of Béal Tuinne, a song cycle, based on her own father Caoimhín Ó Cinnéide’s poems and set to original music by Shaun Davey. This experience was a pivotal one for Eilís, leading to many opportunities working with world-renowned musicians and singers. The common thread was a sense of place, and a pride in the undeniable magic of the music and singing in West Kerry.
In the band Lumiere, Eilís, with Pauline Scanlon, toured Ireland, Australia, the USA and Europe, including performances at Dublin’s National Concert Hall, London’s, Barbican, Melbourne Recital Hall and the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York.
A fresh faced, wide horizoned beauty” – The Irish Times –
“A singer completely at home with her material and environment .. a subtle gem” – fRoots UK –
Here’s a cut, Pé in Eirinn Í, from Eílís’s latest album, Westward:
A compilation album of mostly Gourd Music Artists.
from the website:
Some of today’s leading Celtic performers have contributed to this exciting collection of instrumental music from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Wales. This 15-track release, which features 6 new tracks and nine previously recorded compositions covers centuries of Gaelic history and scores of musical styles.
The musical mix includes the fiddling magic of such renowned artists as Alasdair Fraser, Martin Hayes, and Deby Benton Grosjean. Also featured are such noted musicians as Seamus Egan, Paul Machlis, and Kevin Burke as well as Gourd Music recording artists William Coulter, Barry and Shelley Phillips, Danny Carnahan and Robin Petrie, Martin Simpson, Kim Robertson, Orison, and Neal Hellman.
Celtic Voyage features exquisite airs such as Cití na gCumman, All Through the Night, Between Deighre and Breo, and The Quiet Land of Erin alongside such uptempo dance pieces as The Rose in the Heather/Tom Billy’s Jig, The Flowing Tide/The Gypsies/The Roaring Hornpipe, Sliabh Russel/Come West along the Road, St. Patrick’s Day/Over the Moor to Maggie, and Breton Dances. Also featured are a number of compositions by legendary harper Turlough O’Carolan, including The Faerie Queene, Separation of Body and Soul, and The Lament for Owen Roe O’Neil. Along with many longstanding favorites, Celtic Voyage delivers some rarely heard gems, among them, Chanter’s Tune, Rowing from Isla to Uist, and The Butterfly.
- Cití Na GCumman – William Coulter
- Breton Dances- Danny Carnahan & Robin Petrie
- All Through the Night- Kim Robertson
- Rose in the Heather/Tom Billy’s Jig- William Coulter
- The Faerie Queene – Shelly Phillips & Friends
- Rowing from Isla to Uist – Barry Phillips
- The Flowing Tide/The Gypsies/The Roaring Hornpipe – Deby Benton Grosjean
- Between Deighre and Breo – Barry Phillips, Martin Simpson & Shelly Phillips
- Quiet Land of Erin – Kim Robertson
- Sliabh Russel/Come West Along the Road – William Coulter
- Lament for Owen Roe O’Neil/Foggy Dew- Neal Hellman & Friends
- St. Patrick’s Day/Over the Moor to Maggie – William Coulter
- The Butterfly – Orison
- Separation of Body and Soul – Barry Phillips, Neal Hellman & Shelly Phillips
- Chanter’s Tune – Shelly Phillips & Friends
Available from the Gourd Music site where it says this about that:
Jefferson’s Fiddle is a delightful collection of modern arrangements and readings of classical and traditional repertoire that showcase Thomas Jefferson’s extensive music library. This new recording features the talents of William Coulter on acoustic guitar and Deby Benton Grosjean on fiddle.
Selections include Scottish tunes such as “Robin Adair,” “The Last Time I Came O’er the Moor,” and “Money Musk.” Three compositions composed for Jefferson by Anglo-Italian musician and painter Maria Cosway are included—“Tacite Ombre,” “Ogni Dolce Aura,” and “Sospiri del Mio Cor.” Also featured is traditional music of America and Ireland, as well as “Sarabande and Gigue” by the Italian composer Archangelo Corelli (1653–1713).
Joining William and Deby on Jefferson’s Fiddle are Barry Phillips, cello; Shelley Phillips, English horn and oboe; Lars Johannesson, flute; Jennifer Cass, pedal harp; Linda Burman-Hall, harpsichord; and Neal Hellman, mountain dulcimer.
Jefferson’s Fiddle – Song List
- Jefferson and Liberty
- Aileen Aroon
- George Washington’s Favorite Cotillion/Corn Riggs Are Bonny
- The Last Time I Came O’er the Moor
- Ogni Dolce Aura
- Rustic Reel/Off She Goes
- Thugamar Féin an Samhradh Linn
- Tacite Ombre
- Money Musk Stathspey and Reel
- Robin Adair
- Sospiri del Mio Cor
Listen on SoundCloud:
My latest recording (July 1, 2019) with Edwin Huizinga and Ashley Broder, can be found over at Gourd Music