Posted by: mdmusingsie | January 28, 2017

Temple Bar Trad Fest 2017 – cuid a haon

There was so much great music at this year’s Temple Bar Trad Fest, the hardest part was choosing which concerts to attend.  Sadly, too many were on the same day at the same time and choices had to be made. I mostly stuck with the tried and true, but with a twist and a splash into the wonderful unknown.

My first concert was with Crannua or New Root in English, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.  It was the creation of a new root from existing well-established musical trees.

Dubliner John Doyle and Ashley Davis, who hails from across the pond in the Midwestern State of Kansas, have been co-writing songs for quite some time. Moya Brennan and Cormac DeBarra have recorded several CDs and performed around the world.  Bring them together, along with Cormac’s brother Éamonn DeBarra and they created a fusion of powerhouses.

John Doyle is a veritable magician on the guitar and it was hard to believe, as Cormac pointed out, that this was John’s first Trad Fest performance!

There are a lot of similarities between Irish traditional music and American folk, so the blending of the two had a very natural feel.  With all that talent on stage, the expectations were high and they didn’t disappoint.

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A trio called Vishtèn that hailed from Prince Edward and Magdalen Islands off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, brought a bouncing blend of Acadian and Celtic influences that fit in perfectly with the festival. It was toe tapping tunes in abundance, and it wasn’t just the audience tapping their feet.

Vishtèn introduced me to a new musical form called foot percussion.  One tune had sisters Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc using just their feet to tap out the notes.  Somewhat similar to Irish dance but in a seated position.

The other member of the trio was a fiery French Canadian fiddle player called Pascal Miousse.  All three contributed to vocals with Pastelle alternating between accordion, piano and mandolin while Emmanuelle played whistles, bodhrán, mandolin and jaw harp. Despite their lyrics being primarily in French Canadian, which I know even less of than I do Irish, I’m looking forward to revisiting their bright and bouncy music from my purchase of their most recent CD.

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  1. […] out an alternate rhythm with your feet, that’s quite an accomplishment.  Maith Thú to her and Emmanuelle Le Blanc.  This makes walking and chewing gum look like child’s […]

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