Rolling Waves CD

Happy New Year friends near and far. I am very excited to let you know about my latest release on Gourd Music, The Rolling Waves. I have been working on this recording for close to two years. I started recording at my home in Bonny Doon CA in early 2020, just before Covid. And then the pandemic happened, and the fires happened, and moving house a few times happened. But through it all I managed to get recording and editing in here and there, and, I have to say I am really proud of this recording. The tunes come from various sources, some are brand new to me, some are from my ancient past. I love all of these melodies dearly, and I hope that my arrangements support them and bring them to life and help the tunes find a way into your ears.

Here’s the title cut:

1. The Rolling Waves (Trad. Irish)
2. Sliabh na mBan (Trad. Irish) / Waterloo Hornpipe (Trad. Scottish)
3. What A Wonderful World (George David Weiss and Bob Thiele)
4. Mother Anne’s Song (Trad. Shaker)
5. Polska efter Nylandspojkarna (Trad. Swedish) / Hamborgar Walking Tune (Trad. Norwegian)
6. The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter (William Ackerman)
7. Aisling Gheal (Trad. Irish)
8. Slängpolska Från Vrigstad (Trad. Swedish)
9. Lliw’r lili ymysg y drain (Trad. Welsh) / Lament for Roe Owen O’Neill (Carolan)
10. Pie Jesu (Gabriel Fauré)
11. New Morning Rain (William Coulter)
12. Jag Unnar Dig Ändå Allt Gott (Trad. Swedish)
13. Konvulsionslåten (Anders Norudde)
14. An Daingean (William Coulter)

Fire & Grace: Alma

The new album with Edwin. See us over at Fire & Grace

Alma album cover

1. Libertango (Astor Piazolla)
2. Asturias (Isaac Albeniz)
L’Estate – Summer (Antonio Vivaldi)
3. Allegro non molto
4. Adagio e piano
5. Presto
Suite Español
6. Prelude (JS Bach)
7. Mendiokerra (Traditional Basque)
8. Allemande (JS Bach)
9. Ay Linda Amiga
(Traditional Spanish 16th Century Madrigal)
10. Courante (JS Bach)
11. Nana
(Traditional Spanish / Manuel De Falla)
12. Sarabande (JS Bach)
13. Malagueña (Traditional Spanish)
14. Menuet 1 and 2 (JS Bach)
15. Muñeira de Chantada (Traditional Galician)
16. Gigue (JS Bach)
17. Cancro Crú (Anxo Pintos)
18. Tanya’s Tune (Roger Talroth)

Celtic Knots

This “pandemic project” happened remotely in 2021. Tomáseen and I had been wanting to get to it for years so maybe it’s a silver lining to the lockdown. Such a joy to put this together with Tomáseen Foley and Brian Bigley and Eimear Arkins. Find more over at Tomáseen Foley’s website.

Of all the world’s shimmering love stories, few have the transcendent quality of the love between Irish poet/Nobel laureate W. B. Yeats, and the beautiful English aristocrat who was to become a militant Irish nationalist, suffragette, feminist and prisoner, Maud Gonne.
The first time he saw her he said she was “luminous as apple blossoms through which the light shines”. The poems he wrote to her and about her will stand as long as the English language stands.
With their latest album, Celtic Knots: An Irish Love Story, renowned native Irish writer and storyteller, Tomáseen Foley; traditional Irish musician, Brian Bigley, and Grammy Award-winning Celtic guitarist, William Coulter, like tapestry, they weave this radiant love story around the immortal poems of W.B. Yeats.

My Guitars

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 – Video

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.

One Lane Bridge – recording

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.

Track List:

  1. Humours Of Lisheen / The New Mown Meadow
  2. Costa De Galicia
  3. Lurka’s / Marga’s Moment
  4. Prelude from Cello Suite #1
  5. The Abbey Reel
  6. The French Polka / Maids Of Mt Kisco
  7. Remember Blake
  8. Gusty’s Frolics / Broken Pledge / The Hare’s Pane
  9. Last Of The Starrs
  10. Sara Davis / Humours Of Andytown
  11. Long Dance

Fire & Grace & Kennedy

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: