Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Music Week: Two for one Celtic music

Today's musical offering is coming from the Celt/Folk genre. As an added bonus, today and today only you get two musicians for the price of one! Well, there's a good reason for that. John McCusker and Kate Rusby were married for several years, and John has produced and played on almost all of Kate's albums while she has often added vocals on his albums. Thusly, for me at least, their music is strongly tied together.

For those of you unfamiliar with the work of these two, I'll give you a small introduction. John McCusker is a Scotsman, virtuoso fiddler, and manages to play cittern, whistles, and piano skillfully. He spent a decade playing with The Battlefield Band before striking out on his own, paying homage to traditional songs as well as composing original music for his albums. He's produced a spate of successful and highly praised folk albums in the last few years. This year he is touring with Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits fame). Oh, and he sports a spiky mohawk - how many virtuoso fiddlers can pull that off?

Here's a YouTube clip of John McCusker playing with Michael McGoldrick (himself a renowned Celtic musician) and a few others (not sure the song). The beautiful sounds are more than worth listening to, and you can simply lose yourself in music for hours.

Kate Rusby is an English folk singer whose voice and music have won her great acclaim. Her voice is not perfect, yet it is those slight imperfections which make it all the more enthralling. She has raised folk music back into the spotlight in the UK. Playing fiddle, guitar, and piano as well as vocal, she is a one-woman band; but she commonly has a group of excellent musicians who collaborate with her. With 10 albums (solo and with others) and numerous guest appearances, she has been quite busy the last decade.

Here is a clip of her singing "Sir Eglamore" from her first solo album, Hourglass. Look behind her and you'll see the spiky mohawk of John McCusker playing fiddle. Again, simply beautiful music.

Today's musicians may be considered a bit bucolic; well, most of their music is definitely at a slower pace than what many people like to listen. I'll be correcting that tomorrow with a group that is perhaps best described as "rowdy" or "raucous". Tune in for Thursday's music!

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Chaotic Hammer said...

Enjoyed these very much.

Waiting eagerly to hear the rowdy, raucous side of Euphrony...

euphrony said...

C-Ham, Maybe you've found your cup of tea?

~Erin said...

OOOh, I love this music. Thanks so much for the info, I'm looking up Kate Rusby on itunes tonight!

euphrony said...

Erin, glad you enjoyed them. I know you're on a spending fast, so I'll bring you a couple of CD's at church.

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