Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Eirecana Radio - 30th July 2014

I was just about getting back into the habit of radio broadcasting again and now its the summer break. Flirt FM will be taking a break from FM transmission for the month of August. Fingers crossed I will be back on the radio come September. This weeks show, the fifteenth episode of Eirecana radio features a host of music, old and new, domestic and foreign. So enjoy it. And don't forget to listen back to previous shows on Mixcloud over the rest of the summer if you get lonely for some quality americana radio!

Eirecana radio is on every second Wednesday at 4pm.

You can stream the show through Mixcloud. The playlist is below. I now have the shows on Soundcloud too and this one should be up this week.

Artist (with Link)
Carnival Station

Golden Margins
Golden Margins
Old Country
Push On
Living in the Light
Living in The Light
When Love Grew Wild
When Love Grew Wild
Damn This Town
Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns
Man of Habit
Tall Tales EP
January in Louisana
Ashes & Angels

Pale Disguise
The White Ghost Has Blood on Its Hands Again

Carswell EP
Johnny’s Sorry Tale
A Hunger
Bad Way to Go
Indestructible Machine

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, 27 July 2014

Carswell & Hope

Seeing as these guys are in the middle of a Irish Tour having emailed me a while ago, I thought I would do something timely and blog about this Irish-led American outfit; Carswell & Hope.

Carswell & Hope are a band based out of Lawerence, Kansas. You might wonder why a band based in the mid-west of the United States is being written about on a Irish music blog on americana. Well simply put the band are a Irish-Americana outfit with members from both sides of the water and a style that encompasses these different backgrounds. The group is led by Irish man Nick Carswell. The story of Carswell & Hope and their journey back to Ireland is one that cements your awe at both the extent of where the Irish diaspora reaches and the how persistence and determination make up a large part of being a independent artist today.

Nick Carswell hails from Limerick. He seems a man of many talents, both audio and visual and on both sides of the sounddesk. He was part of a few groups in Ireland, the Brad Pitt Light Orchestra and The Elective Orchestra. Between college courses and after, Nick maintained a career as a full-time musician. Brought to America through his wife's work, Nick is currently the Assistant Director of the InterUrban ArtHouse in Overland Park near Kansas city, having come to the role through getting an internship with the Arts Council of Kansas City. You can read more about Nick's journey to and from Kansas is a very interesting article he wrote for the Irish Times.

Having formed two years ago, Carswell & Hope have steadily built up a collection of original material leading to the debut album 'A Hunger' released in May. Made up of members Dan Hines (bass), Jason Slote (drums), Austin Quick (keys) and the aforementioned Nick Carswell (guitar & vocals). The sound of Carswell & Hope is a shimmering mix of folk, alternative rock, jazz and other genres with the output threading the boarders of a number of genres. As the band have stated themselves, the music is very much American in tone, yet the composition and lyrics are evidently of a style relatable to here. As good a introduction to the band is the lovely 'Drinking at Crossroads'. A pop-folk melody, the song gently soars like a relaxed summer breeze that has you quickly enjoying its company.

A group that Carswell & Hope do remind me of is Assembly of Dust. Like Assembly of Dust, the band have developed a style that caters for the melody to feature in the songs as much as the lyrics. In essence large portions of songs on this album feature no words, there is no haste to get from the verse to the chorus or vice versa. Songs are give plenty of space to saturate your aural senses and that is a joy to experience. 'Johnny's Sorry Lot' being a good example.

In ways the music of Carswell & Hope has to be experienced to be appreciated. Maybe that is a failure on my part. The closing 'The Long Goodbye of the Profiteer' gives a great sense of Carswell & Hope. With those piano licks dispersed throughout, the soaring backing vocals, and a slow build towards the climax, it suggests what Sigor Ros might have sounded like had they come from Kansas via Ireland.

Through Fundraising and grants, the band have raised enough money to get over to Ireland for this current tour. If you like what you hear, catch them live around Ireland over the next few days. They are playing Galway tonight in Kellys with dates in Cork, Kerry and Clare still to come. Get the full details here. You can stream and download 'A Hunger' on Bandcamp.

Keep up to date with the social media output of the band through Facebook.Find out more about Nick himself on his own website.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Album Review: Marc O'Reilly - Human Herdings

Back to the grindstone this week and what better way to acknowledge that than some music that seems fit for working at a grindstone, the moody blues of Marc O'Reilly. It's time to celebrate the place of  the blues in Ireland and one of its finest exponents.

I haven't heard music with such energy as this in a while. Marc was a unknown to me until I came across some previews for this album. I have Unbeknownst to myself Marc has already one lp release under his arm. His first record "My Friend Marx" (which I have discussed more on this blog before) contained all the elements that would form a foundation for his next release "Human Herdings". The album here is a divergent mix of what you can do in the blues genre without settling on any one methos or style within that genre. Moving from full force blues to some soaring arpeggio arrangements, over nine tracks this record has it all.

The first single to be released off the album certainly makes up sit up and listen. Building from the opening riff, the melody is brightened up with bursts of guitar met with a mellow breakdown only to return to infectious aggressive melody again.

The second single off the album and as near as the album gets to a title track, 'The Wayward Shepard' is a rumbling, meditative fusion of guitar licks and a heavy rhythm section. Setting the scene gently, almost approaching you quietly, the song quickly escalates into a addictive, rolling melody. The live version recorded for Press Record TV is even more compelling that the album version and demonstrates that this record is full of songs that are not in need of any superfluous additions, just guitars and drums.

What is appealing about the album is that you never know what is around the corner next. The album skilfully moves from aggressive blues to the more sedate acoustic led numbers where Marc's voice takes on a more hushed tone and his skills with a guitar shine. Of these songs, 'Bleed' is probably my favourite and the stand-out. With its perfectly placed trickle of piano keys, the song is given plenty of space to manoeuvre and breathe. This space makes the words more affecting as you gently settle into the rhythm. You can listen to that track and the finger-picking led 'Lighthouse' here. here.

What is great about this album is that it doesn't hang around. This is nine tracks of brevity yes, yet full of intensity. It's just when the final seconds fade on the closing track 'Fallen' that you feel you can catch your breath. A superb record, demonstrating the skill of a master writer and performer, 'Human Herdings' is a record that grasps you from the beginning and doesn't let go until the harmonious end.

You can download the album through iTunes. Check out his official website for more information and the like.Or for socail media types, check out his Facebook.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Eirecana Radio - July 16th 2014

So back into the regular habit of radio again. This weeks show, the fourteenth episode of Eirecana radio features principally new music. I look back on some of the best albums over the past six months, a look forward to the Knockanstockan festival with a small preview and some new releases coming in the next few months.

Eirecana radio is on every second Wednesday at 4pm.

As always you can stream the show through Mixcloud. The playlist is below. I now have the shows on Soundcloud too and this one should be up this week.

Eirecana Radio July 16th 2014 by Eirecana on Mixcloud

Artist (with links)



Scott H Biram

Slow & Easy

Nothin’ But Blood

Drunken Prayer

Heigh Ho Nobody Knows

House of Morgan

Hans Chew

Queens of the Damned Blues

Tennessee & Other Stories​

Anna Mitchell

Let’s Run Away


Afghan Whigs


Do to The Beast

The Lost Parade


People Like Us

The Delines

Won’t Slip Up


The Eskies



The Hot Sprockets

Comin’ On

Brother Nature

The Magpies

Burning Rain

The WoodY House

The Handsome Family

Far From Any Road

Singing Bones

The Ragmen



Jenny Lewis

The Voyager

The Voyager

Whitetrash and the Spearheaded Sparrowhawks

Running Down the Mountain



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!

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Dublin City Rounders

Just another day in the world of Eirecana. Of all the music I cover, probably the least common on Eirecana is rockabilly. Admittedly I am not a huge fan pf the genre myself. But there is some artists that are doing it well. One on the Irish scene is The Dublin City Rounders.

The Dublin City Rounders are made up of members brothers Rohan and Alex Healy. Both brothers had separate careers in the music industry before forming the Dublin City Rounders. Both Rohan and Alex were involved in bands or as a solo artist in Rohan's case in the rockabilly genre before beginning to work together. So moving into this genre was not a huge leap for the lads.

With Rohan on tenor vocals and guitar and Alex on bass vocals and bass, the two lads have, it has to be said make a great amount of enjoyable noise for a two member group.

Forming in late 2013, The Dublin City Rounders aims to incorporate ragtime, swing and blues into their sound. The lads are obviously very aware of musical heritage. They are keen to incorporate the timbre of Vaudvillian and Tin Pan Alley output from the early 20th century including performing at 432Hz pitch to achieve the warmer, richer sound that was more common then. So far the band have released two albums 'On Track' and 'Dis Am The Dublin City Rounders' and have even managed to release a live album in that short space of time: “BootLeggings”. The band's two studio releases so far have consisted of mainly traditional tunes, of which the band have built up a great repertoire. I'm not an expert on the genre but 'Got the Milwakee Blues' grabbed my attention as a great interpretation and a song that highlights Rohan's distinctive singing style.
Another that caught my attention is the dark, gothic 'Come Out Dinah'. A slower pace than a lot of the rest of the bands output, the song's dark gothic edge stays with you throughout the melody with both vocals and the bass helping to create that dark atmosphere.

The band are a prolific live group performing, it seems they play fairly regularly in the capital. Incidentally Rohan's keeps his own blog and has some interesting posts on the life of a club professional musician. You can read that here. It's an curious read.

The lads are due to release their first fully original album “Decent Folk” towards the end of this year. You should check out some of the videos of the band on Youtube to get an idea of what the group is like live. You can catch up on on group through their Facebook page. All their previous output is available to stream and buy on Bandcamp. The band are on iTunes too.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Whitetrash & The Spear Headed Sparraw Hawks

Well continuing my odyssey of exploring my email back catalogue, I came across another artist that struck up some interest on my behalf if, for nothing else, one of the best band names in Irish Americana. That being White Trash and The Spear Headed Sparrow Hawks.

It’s hard to know what you would call the sounds of White Trash and the Spear Headed Sparrow Hawks (hereafter referred to as WTSHSH). The group refer to themselves as occupying a place where blues, country, folk bluegrass and jazz meet. If you can imagine such a place, (I personally picture it to be a very lively dingy bar) and feel at home there, well then the sounds of WTSHSH are for you.

The group have a number of demos recorded that are available to listen to on their Soundcloud page. It’s great stuff. As ‘Whitetrash’ howls the lyrics, the melody is kept lively by the Sparrow Hawks mixing organ, banjo and electric guitar into a melodic mash-up of multiple genres. ‘One Whiskey More’ being a perfect example.

There is very little information out there on who White Trash and the Sparrowhawks are, their background, how they came together. But sometimes trying to understand a band’s origins and development takes some of the mystery away. Sometimes its best to let artists with a moniker like White Trash and Sparrowhawks appear on your consciousness, enjoy the music and let them disappear into the night again. Enjoy the music for what it is.

The slower melodies of the group give a better understanding of the style the band are developing. Both ‘Preacher Says’ and ‘Running Down the Mountain’ create an atmosphere that is both eerie created by the raspy vocals and the room the accompanying instruments are given to create this atmosphere.

I look forward to some official releases from the band. They are a group that sound like improvisation is a big part of their style. They could go anywhere with their sound in the future and it would be interesting to hear what would happen with the sound polished and produced. It’s an exciting thought.

The band are playing the odd gig around Ireland. You can find more information about them on Facebook. You can also listen to and download a good proportion of their tracks on Soundcloud too.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Eirecana Radio - 2nd July 2014

And we're back. The thirteenth episode of Eirecana radio. I didn't realise either it was my thirteenth episode. If I had known that, I would have been better prepared for the few glitches. Anyway its good to be back in the hotseat once again. This week’s episode is basically a round-up of some new releases that have come my way since I have been on the radio last. A lot of these are still waiting to be released.
The show will feature regularly for the next few weeks on every second Wednesday at 4pm on
As always you can stream the show through Mixcloud. The playlist is below. I now have the shows on Soundcloud too and this one should be up this week.

Turtles All The Way Down
Metamodern Sounds...
Silver Lining
Stay Gold
Good Luck Charm
Good Luck Charm
Let’s Start Again
Let’s Start Again
One Journey Left
These Stories
The Wayward Shepherd
Human Herdings
Rumble Shake
Rumble Shake
Company Man
God in A Tree
Stories of Ruin
Pauline Hawkins
English Oceans
All Around The Town
Rise Up EP
Image on My Retina
Forgotten Books
Amtrak Cresent

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!