Sunday, 29 November 2015

Eirecana Podcast: Episode V - November 2015

Bringing you the best of americana, alt-country and folk from Ireland and internationally.

So a quick update to tell you the latest episode of Eirecana podcast is live.

You can download the episode via iTunes here and all other great podcast download services. The playlist is below.

To Be Young (is to be sad, to be high)
Front Seat
Simple Machines
Take the Train To Jackson
The Mail EP
Lucky Rabbit Foot
Songs of Love and Fate
Slow Buring Feeling
Eagle Fort Rumble
Tell Me Why
After The Goldrush
Shut Your Mouth And Get Your Add on That Place
Dirty South
No Depression
No Depression
A Tale From The Hills
By The Time I get to Wilmot
The Second Estate
Everything I lost
All The Times
Far From daylight
Me n Annie
Hi Honey
Subscribe here

Wanna Know More?

If this is the first time you are coming into contact with the Eirecana podcast, let me give you a little history and the who, what, when, where of the podcast.

I already host a radio show on Flirt FM but have always had the desire for a podcast. It gives you a bit more freedom to play what you want and talk more freely about life, the industry and whatever else comes into my head. So in summary, the podcast will feature a few things: it will be (i) a monthly show  (ii) it will feature the best music of the month (from what I've listened to) and (iii) it will be a lot more relaxed and personal than the radio show.

The best way to be sure that you will catch the latest episode is to subscribe here on iTunes. If you have an android phone, use an app like Podcast Republic to listen to the show.

If you have music that you would like to submit to the show, get in contact with me: ron [at] eirecana [dot] com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Album Review: Gavin Glass - Sunday Songs

Back to the album reviews with this week's post as I catch up on a multitude of releases that I haven't got round to reviewing on the blog as of yet. Usually when I introduce artists I mention their music and their current releases. So often the premise of the blog posts here means that I don't do many album reviews for artist unless its a subsequent album. I really should get on it though as I have a backlog going back to late last year of releases that I have to review. I'll kick off with one of the highlights of the year.

"Sunday Songs" came about surprisingly (well, for me). The album has been in the shadows for a number of years with hints that tracks were recorded. The first inkling of the album that was about to surface was the release of "Sunday Songs", the tile track in late 2014. "Sunday Songs" sets out what one should expect from the album; mature, reflective, warm, embracing, nostalgic americana."Sunday Songs" in a way feels like an announcement of what to expect from these eight songs. It's an album that reaches the realisation that it feels it shouldn't compete with the noise of a Saturday night record and it benefits from it. Maybe I'm reading too much into this metaphor but this collection of melodies are a mix of moods I am sure that many of us associate with Sundays'; loss, regret, sadness. Not that it's all negative, there is just as much positivity with hints of contentment and acceptance throughout.

The album itself was launched in May of this year. Glass's fourth, the album artwork suggests a natural setting. It does feel like the arrangements are kept as simplistic as possible. Often keys and vocals are the make-up of tracks like "New Lovers Arms" and "Silhouettes". The melodies are very warm. It's like been invited into a neighbours house on a winters evening.

I have mentioned on this blog before that Gavin could easily be regards as the Godfather of modern Irish Americana. He has produced a lot of the records of this genre. He himself seems happy with the genre tag of Eirecana. What is eirecana? Well it's that perfect amalgamation between the sentimentalities of the genre but taken on from a difference angle.

The second single from the album; "Better Off Alone" comes close to epitomising this. With a pop-americana melody the steel guitar glides over, once the song bursts into life with the chorus you're hooked.

It is a beautiful record, full of atmosphere, at one time melancholic, at one time reassuringly positive, it does what all great records do; get under your skin.

You can purchase the album through Bandcamp. Find out more of the latest from Gavin Glass at his Facebook page.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Peco/Valentine Black - A Talented Singer-Songwriter with stories to tell

Back to the bread and butter of the blog this afternoon with some new music for you. I was looking at my list of albums I have and I really do need to get a move on some album reviews that are long overdue. But as the main aim of this blog is to bring you the best in americana, alt-country, folk from Ireland, I'll stick with that objective for this week. Expect a few album reviews in the next few weeks though. I have a mighty backlog to get through. Anyway enough about that, let's talk about some new music.

What a great name. Peco is Peco McLoughlin. He was born and raised in Kildare but is now living in Dublin. Peco has a long career in music. Before his current moniker, he was the main songwriter and singer for indie band Valentine Black. I have to admit that I had never heard of Valentine Black before.

 Listening back to some of the bands tracks from the début album "Desire Lines", Valentine Black has a clear indie-americana vibe. The songs Peco's voice has a lovely MOR feel about it. I mean that in the best way possible. It's reminiscent of Colin Meloy of The Decemberists. It's amenable and feels like the average man talking to you. "In The Dead of the Night" is my favourite so far. Kicking off with just vocals and drums, the song lures you in. Your involved with the song beofre you realise the darkness of the lyrics of the story of one man's desires.

Peco and the rest of Valentine Black continued to tour after the release of album in 2012. Towards the end of 2014, Peco decided for Valentine Black to take a break and concentrate on solo stuff. As he says himself, the reason for this was the loss of a number of members of Valentine Black to emigration. Using the material that he had written, he decided to utilise what he had around him and shape his music for a more acoustic driven approach.

Peco is obviously a talented songwriter; he has reached the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Contest twice. The acoustic stripped back approach allows his words to shine. "Harbour Master" is a great example of this. Bursting into life with a real sold sea-shanty feel to it, the tune builds into a fearsome chorus. Not bad for one man and his guitar.

This new approach appears to be working for Peco. He recently signed a management deal with Live Loud Music and has had his music featured on U.S. TV earlier this year. It's all leading up to the release of his début EP, 'And so I arrived at the start' due out in early 2016. With the talented penmanship and a melodies that you cant help but bob along to, Peco is an artist to keep your eyes on.

For more on Peco, check out his website, his Facebook page and his Soundcloud page. You can check out his work with Valentine Black here and the Valentine Black facebook page.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Live Preview: Rocktoberfest at Monroes

Quite the line-up for this event happening this weekend in Galway. It's not often that live of this calibre comes to Galway and we should be grateful its here. With tickets for only €8 per night or €25 for weekend passes, the line-up is quite impressive.

It kicks off on Thursday night with Eirecana favourites The Eskies along with Ivy Nations, D-Day, Orchid Collective,Fallen Lights and more. The Eskies gyspy-folk is well worth catching live while Orchid Collective are new to me and one I would like to check out.

On Friday night, the big draw for me are Crow Black Chicken. I've caught fellow artists The Hot Sprockets and Fox Jaw before live. Based on the experience of their live album, Crow Black Chicken live should be fun. It's quite a collective line-up but with a blues streak throughout.

Saturday night sees a very eclectic line-up including Ivy Nations, Vann Music, The Geddes and Aine Cahill.

                                                                                               Finally Sunday features a number of bands mixing rock, pop, alt-folk and more. Ones to check out include Gypsy Rebel Rabble and The Mighty Stef.  

Four nights of mighty music. I'll be seeing you there. Find out more at the Rocktoberfest page. See you there.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Eirecana Radio - 22nd April 2015

Still getting through the Eirecana radio back catalogue. We are almost there. This show is features a lot of new Irish music, a preview of the Kilkenny Roots Festival and a mention of Record Store Day. Check it out below.

Don't forget to listen back to previous shows on Mixcloud if you want some quality americana radio! Eirecana radio is on every second Wednesday at 2pm. Catch up with previous shows on Mixcloud. Any requests, send them my way too. You can stream the show through Mixcloud. The playlist is below.

Artist (with Link)
Release Me
Lostman EP
Can You Get to That
Run For Cover
Falling From the Sky
Edge of Sun
In The Pines
Hey, Hey, Hey
Jesus, Don’t leave Me
After The Sherry Went Round
Rhythm of Dawn
Untie the Noose

Beer Run

Beer in Heaven
The Matt Woods Manifesto
Liquor Beer & Wine
Liquor in The Front
I Would Die For U

The Revolution
Better Left Alone
Sunday Songs

Submit Music If you want to submit music for the show (even your own), you never know I might play it! Please feel free to contact me at the email address: ron [at] So have a listen. If you like the show, check the back catalogue on Mixcloud. If you really like the show, tell someone!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sunday School Sessions - A folk/eirecana collective exploring the genre

It's a wet and clod day here on the west coast of Ireland. It's confined me indoors. So what better time than to explore some new music. This week I feature, what I think is probably Ireland's first americana supergroup: Sunday Sessions.

Sunday Sessions was formed by engineer and producer Ian McNulty. Ian spearheaded the formation of the group. The group came together based around sessions between 2011 and 2013. The members consisting of Tim V. Smyth and Carol Anne McGowan from folk duo Hidden Highways; Marc Gallagher who usually drums with The Ambience Affair; then there is George Guilfoyle who plays bass with The Crayon Set and Ger Gormley who plays with Master & Dog as well as contributions from Christophe Capewell of 'Harry Bird & the Rubber Wellies' and Aisling O'Connor of 'Henrietta Game'. You can see why you might be tempted to call them a supergroup of Irish americana and folk.

The name came about as the collective saw the Sunday Sessions as a "kind of like an extra curricular activity to our other bands." as Tim Smyth explains. Recording and touring for the outfit happened between working with their regular bands. The band dtnamic was to record songs in the traditional flok style found in the U.S. as Smyth and McGowan's Hidden Highways do. In an interview with, Smyth stressed the influence of the likes of the Carter Family and the Louvin Brothers but also the Irish aspect of it. It's nice to hear eirecana being used as a description and I think it does fir nicely in with what the Sunday Sessions are doing.

The group have a democratic process in writing with each of the members contributing to the songs on the eventual album that came out of the sessions. "We tried to write session by session with each of us writing one song per session,". It's a very collective approach and one to be admired. The self-titled album was launched in Whelans last November. It is as the members suggest a nod to earliest popular folk of Amierican radio. While the harmonies follow that line, the melodies on some of the tracks take a more modern route. "Being Strangers Never Suited Us" is a great example of this sublime combination.

The group do a lovely cover of my favourite Echo & The Bunnymen song: The Killing Moon. Turning what is a song that epitomises the post-punk era into what feels like a traditional murder ballad, led by the affecting fiddle licks and the atmospheric harmonies the song manages to develop a paranoia in its listener.

The songs are warm, homely and, without sounding too sentimental about it, feel like they come out of a period of enjoyment. I can imagine that being in a collective like this can be a great release, where there might not be the same pressure to create as there might be in the group members regular bands. These sons feel like they were created for the pure enjoyment of it and that goal should be applauded.

You can find the collectives song's to but on BandCamp or on iTunes. The group are still going and you should check out their Facebook page for more on what they are at.