Celtic Spring

Celtic Spring

Has any one here heard of the band Celtic Spring? It is a band of eight family members Greg,Mary, Elizabeth,Deirdre,Sean,Patrick,Maire and Aidan Wood. They are an amazing family.They have Two CD’s[ At the Source] and they just released there second [Cornerstone.] I have both of them and they are great. You can visit there site at www.celticspringband.com.

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They were on "America’s Got Talent" last season….good stuff, but they didn’t win…too small a market, I guess.

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Nope, sorry, classically trained, miles from the tradition, the attempt at rolls is painful. It’s just a horrid parody.

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it’s funny how the classical thing jars horribly - but only for some, most people on the planet wouldn’t have a clue what you meant llig, they’d probably think tommy peoples sounded much worse. And I mean MUCH.

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Technically they’re better than I’ll ever be but there is no soul in their high speed delivery. Are they human or clockwork? Not my kettle of bananas.

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nor my cup of mangoes really. something about it - not the speed, something, i mean it’s good and all, just something …

I dunno, is it ‘taste’, is it education, is it experience? And is taste really just a combination of the latter two? 30 years ago I didn’t really get Tommy P and I’d have loved them there celtic spring people.

I think ‘not my container of (insert the fruit/fish or foul of your choice)’ or ‘i’ll drink of this till my cows return to their accomodation’ will have to do. The whys and wherefores can only lead to trouble!

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I don’t think we need to judge them harshly. I listened to the sound clip and it’s on par with some of the local groups who play in this area, but certainly not the best. They’re youngsters playing what they understand to be Irish folk music… and they’re not bad. Give em a few years, maybe have them spend some time in Ireland… you never know. But I wouldn’t even begin to compare them to any major touring bands or ITM legends. Not yet anyway.

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Hi it’s crazy4music again. I guess everybody has there say in music but my all time favourite band is Leahy and after them comes Celtic Spring. But I do have to say that the first Cd needed alittle more background. You can hear a song from theat CD on there site. But there new CD is much better. Talk to ya.

Christine

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just checked out ‘sets and the city’ - (i’m bored, it’s saturday night and i’m stuck child-minding at home) - sounds great, like it. Name’s funny too …

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Thanks pavlf. At first I thought you said it was boring to you, hahaha… but then realized you were talking about why you looked at it in the first place. We have fun playing the music here, but no big aspirations or anything really. The folks in Celtic Spring seem like nice folks and we would welcome them at any of our sessions.

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I don’t mind them being rubbish, it doesn’t matter. And the problem doesn’t even arise really when someone who reckons themselves to be crazy for music thinks that they a great. I’m not really bothered by self delusion. And I don’t even mind the self deluded bigging the stuff up.

But what I do mind, is when someone who clearly doesn’t know what they are listening to, tells me it’s simply a matter of taste.

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hahaha … nononono … not boring at all, I’m still listening actually, so seeing as my attention span is often very limited, that’s quite a compliment.

With Celtic Spring, yeah, I think that’s about it - they need to be welcomed (as long as they’re not up themselves and I guess they aren’t - they’re too young!!!!). Like you pointed out they’re kids - not that that should make any difference, nor I assume would it - and as I was trying to point out it’s all a question of taste and how you acquire ‘taste’ … I’m sure hanging around in some of your sessions would help anyone. I like your attitude actually - I think it’s a very productive one, and that’s surely something much needed in these times?

It can get to be a ‘funny’ scene in trad music sometimes - ‘welcome’ is probably a very good word to be using.

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oh yeah? I don’t know what I’m listening to? Is that directed at me? And isn’t it? A matter of taste that is.

I think I know exactly what I’m listening to. You obviously do too ๐Ÿ˜‰

You seem certain mr llig!

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fair enough … you’re welcome to them.

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There are "kids" all over Ireland who play with much more depth and feeling in their music. The "kids" apology doesn’t wash with me. Michael is 100% correct here. It is not merely a matter of taste. That is Tesco’s Irish Trad.

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thank you for being such a munificent and generous benefactor llig. Welcome to what? To who? You reckon I’m off out to buy their CDs in the morning? No, not me. But I’m not averse to wondering why I don’t like them. Nor less to considering that just because I don’t like them now it might not mean that I’ll never like them - they might get better? Unless of course people just slag them.

I wonder if you spend much time questioning your taste? And how you acquired it? Is it innate, your superior understanding and appreciation? Or was it gained through experience and education?

Well, you know, could go on all night with this,

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Tesco’s Irish … hehehehehe. Oh s h i t, it’s mass culture, it’s going to ruin everything.

I agree really - as is surely clear from what I’ve said already - but they aren’t tesco really. I advocate throwing stones at tesco, but with these people it won’t do any good, they aren’t the real adversary, they are only the messenger. Better to get them to stop delivering messages eh? You won’t do that by throwing bricks at them.

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I think we are a little over the top. I just wan’t to know who new of them and that was all. We do not need to go on all night.

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I also see no need to compare them to the brilliant young artists in Ireland either. I’m not saying it’s impossible to be young and brilliant if you’re not from Ireland, it’s just more likely with the advantages you have growing up there. But these folks in Celtic Spring can’t be expected to sound like the lucky few in Ireland that we talk about in these forums. Give them time… if their enthusiasm for the music endures and they pursue it… who knows. Meanwhile, theyโ€™re just having fun and doing something as a family.

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"Meanwhile, theyโ€™re just having fun and doing something as a family."

I’d say that might be the salient point? It’s hilarious, all the crap with which the world is awash and some people doing whatever in the depths of california get people’s goat.

a note 4 crazy, I’d never heard of them. I’m not crazy about them either, but I can hear how they might get to be OK. I’d probably also suggest that they all get away from their family - but once again, that’s a matter of my own personal preferences and ideological peccadilloes ๐Ÿ™‚

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I was classicly trained on the bodhran and I find it a great help………….

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You don’t have to grow up in Ireland to be lucky in this music. The Egan’s of Philadelphia are a good example of the tradition blossoming on this side of the pond. And lots of other US-born "kids" like Joanie Madden, Mary Rafferty, Liz Carroll, Brian Conway, Elliot Grasso, Pat Mangan, Jim Eagan, Chris Bains, etc., who grew up stateside playing high quality "authentic" Irish trad.

What matters is not which side of the planet you’re born on, but whether you have first-hand access to great players immersed in the tradition. For nearly a century now, this has been (and in some cases still is) as likely in some neighborhoods of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Chicago as it is in Galway, Dublin, or Cork.

I first heard the Wood family a couple years ago—they’re clearly enjoying the music, and it’s great to see kids interested in the tunes. No doubt they would enjoy and benefit from access to the tradition—in Ireland, or from any of the well-immersed players and sessions in the States.

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OK then. There are (possibly) "kids" all over New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Chicago who play with much more depth and feeling in their music.

Well, they’ve been to fiddle camps with Mulvihill and McMaster, etc.

Maybe that one sample wasn’t enough, but I felt it was just glitzy and showbiz. It’s the thought of them becoming a trad version of the Osmonds or the Jacksons that I find strange - at odds with the whole ethos of this music.
Ach, to be honest I don’t really care. Good luck to them. I’ve actually nothing against people making a living out of the music. But if they come to London I won’t be queueing up to buy tickets.

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I listened to this out of curiosity and I have to say I really, really didn’t like it. They are technically very able but there is something about the playing which is ‘wrong’. It’s hard to define, but it reminds me in an odd way of those French people who speak English so perfectly it is ‘too right’ and so is jarring. You know it is not their native language, In the same way these people seem to play the music ‘with an accent’. You know immediately that their music had not come from a living tradition. I do not know why this is as there are so many American players who do play perfectly, with all the right nuances, and you feel it is in their dรบchas. Liz Carroll is the best example

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Where does this supposition come from that anyone who’s ever played classical music isn’t able to play traditionally?

James Scott-Skinner?


(I haven’t actually heard the clip, my internet connections a bit slow for that kind of thing, so I can’t comment on Celtic Spring.)

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That’s a shame, Andy, cos you can’t delete comments here once you’ve posted …and after you’ve listened - unless you speak to Jeremy ๐Ÿ™‚

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The name should have been a giveaway but I had a look. True shi*e of the gaelic storm / paddywackery ilk. There is no debate here, a bunch of chancers end of.

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i was particularly taken with the outfits.

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I thought I was being specific earlier, alas, I’ll try again …

The problem is NOT musicians thinking they are something they are not.

The problem is NOT punters bigging up musicians thinking they are something they are not, because said punters don’t know the difference.

The problem IS … people who don’t know the difference taking advice from other people who don’t know the difference.


And in answer to the question earlier, my taste is my own. However, my understanding and appreciation is gained through experience and education.

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That bad, eh?? Oh well, probably best I can’t hear them then ๐Ÿ˜€

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You know Michael, this is the kind of thread that makes me understand your point when you chide people on this board.

The "attitude" of that mp3 is all wrong. You can almost hear the music stands in front of them. Maybe this is too abstract, but it has what I think of as that prudish "music teacher mentality" about it that drives most kids away from learning any kind of music at all.

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which people are giving advice and which are taking it? Who are the people who ‘know’ the difference?

I - probably foolishly, I’m coming to think now - began commenting in this thread in agreement with llig. I agree that their music isn’t at all to my ‘taste’ either. But what do I know?

I think I’ll go back and hang out with the punks, they’re more chilled ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Reminds me of last night’s symphony concert here, where the local orchestra played a bunch of Gershwin. Most of it sounded like an American trying to sound like some other culture. Exacerbated by being played by musicians who’ve never played for dancing in their lives. Hard to put the groove into Latin rhythms when you’re following a baton….

So silver bow, how do they compare to the noise we make every Thursday…? ๐Ÿ™‚

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cripes. there is no basis of comparison. we’re awful too, just in a different way.

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by the way cheshire, I have Belfast Hornpipe down solid on the accordion now! Life is all downhill from here.

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"which people are giving advice and which are taking it? Who are the people who ‘know’ the difference?"

I posted a thread a few weeks ago asking this very question. It went something along the lines of, "The problem with this site is that there are people giving advice who know nothing. And if you know nothing yourself, how can you tell what advice is good or bad?"

Jeremy deleted it.

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Seems innocuous enough? I don’t see why that should’ve been deleted. However, I wouldn’t say that such a situation as you outline above applies specifically and uniquely to this site and this site alone: I’d say that was more a problem to do with human beings in general? All areas of human activity are beset with the same problems.

My original point - if I had one at all - was that a large section of the world’s population would prefer the sound of the Cspring family to Tommy Peoples because it will sound more familiar to them. Unless you’ve spent years immersed in trad music (or possibly any music) it is incredibly difficult to appreciate. How many places I’ve played where I’ve been told I’m just playing the same tune over and over. In general people can’t distinguish between a jig and a reel, and worse they can barely distinguish between the parts of a tune. In such circumstances the ersatz sound of a semi-classical band of osmonds pretending to be irish will get the popular vote every time.

This used to bother me intensely, but I hardly care now. The truth is that ‘real’ trad is always going to be a minority taste because people are not equipped with the tools to appreciate it. Even in Ireland there are huge sections of the population who don’t have a clue what the music is all about.

Beyond the actual music referred to above, I’m more worried by the sociological implications to be honest … if you know what I mean ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Many moons ago in a former life I was playing a gig back in Tigh Hanlai’s in Lettermore on a Friday night. A family band from Canada was playing on the Late, Late Show doing all thier fiddling and step dancing shtick which was on the telly in the side bar. The locals were glued to the thing and after the routine had finished there was loud applause from the attendees. Turning around to one of the auld lads I asked, "what was that all about ?" He replied, "the best comedy we’ve seen on TV all year".

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Michael, A pessimist might view much of the discussion on this site as the "blind leading the blind." An optimist might say that the Soctratic method, where everyone chimes in and discusses, and makes their points, and gets corrected by others, is a great way to learn. When I have posted something where I am in over my head without realizing it, I am soon corrected, and learn something new. And the person posing the question sees the correction as well.
The glass is half full……………

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Granting that, in this case, the questions are posed by the students, not the teacher, so Socratic method may not have been the best analogy…..

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gill when did you ever listen or give advice.

Seamus Creagh started with classicial music and he s not bad at the trad.

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Something about this reminds me of Sean Keane in the Chieftains’ DVD "Water from the Well".

He’s talking about his family life. His father was in construction (or some other blue-collar occupation) and his mother was a homemaker. For fun they would fiddle, both of them, the whole family.

Sean said (chuckling the whole time) "If me Da knew I was making money playing the fiddle instead of working a real job like house painting he’d roll over in his grave!"

I saw this photo and thought "Gee, what a lovely family. How nice they all treasure their heritage and play music for fun."

http://www.celticspringband.com/feb06-82.jpg

"But what’s up with all the rock star stuff?"

That’s the thing with us over here in America. We can’t understand the concept of just playing music together as a family and celebrating our heritage without having to be rock stars. Bigger, louder, faster, blah blah blah, look at me, I can do this, etc.
Not that families shouldn’t be proud, however there’s a magical line/middle ground between the American "ooo-ooo lookie at me!!!" and the Irish "oh no, we’re not doing anything special at all here" attitudes.

It’s as if they simply can’t be an Irish American family that treasures their heritage and celebrates it with music. Oh no. That will never do. We need to be STARS baby!

We in America could use more constructive Irish-style slagging to keep our heads from getting too big.

…and y’all back there could use some smoke machines and disco lights, and would it kill ya to put on some sequins for crying out loud? (I’m teasing)

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I think if you played the Celtic Spring family CD back to back with the Mulcahy Family one the difference would be self explanitory. It might be a fair comparison in that both involve daughters playing the music, all though there’s no comparison between the CS dad’s bodhran playing and Mick Mulcahy’s excellent box playing. Also, it’s not a fair comparison if you take into consideration the circumstances and location of these families, but I don’t know of a family outside of Ireland whose playing is on par with the Mucahy’s.

The closest perhaps that I do know of is here in CA. The father (Michael Lucey) is a very good box player from Kerry and he plays with his two daughters on fiddles. I haven’t heard him since he started playing with the girls, but I’ve heard they’re very good. I know of no CD so the comparison ends there.

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SWFL Fiddler, spot on, particularly when you take into account that the Woods are based in southern California, home of the Over-Inflated American Ego and Celebrity Factory, er, I mean Hollywood. Unfortunately, the American-Idol mindset has spread across the continent, but not everyone’s infected. Mike and Mary Rafferty (NJ) manage to keep the focus on the music and are very down-to-earth, humble people. Same with Donna Long and her son (MD), Joanie Madden and her dad (NY), and the Egan’s (PA). Funny—it seems the farther you get from southern CA, the smaller the egos and the better the music….

(Excepting, of course, the likes of Eliot J and Michael Erskin and other wonderful keepers of the trad flame in the LA-San Diego exurbs.)

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"Funny—it seems the farther you get from southern CA, the smaller the egos and the better the music…."
Ehhh…Patrick D’arcy????
My Lord.

Where are you from Will? If it’s not South California Is it the hot bed of Irish music?
Please don’t make this an American thing…it’s an interesting thread.

Seamus Egan is really doing great things to Irish music at the moment. All those from "PA" should be proud.

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Oh I’m a Yank, Hugo (I went to high school about 20 minutes west of the Egan’s home in Philly). We certainly are star struck here in the States, and unfortunately exporting celebrity worship around the globe.

My point is that there are lots of brilliant musicians inside and outside of Ireland who play with heart and authenticity (whatever we mean by that) and humility who don’t pose themselves as rock stars. There is no single hot bed of Irish music—the diaspora took care of that. But there are plenty of thriving nodes scattered around the planet, some of them nomadic even.

No one, with perhaps the exception of Seamus’ parents (because it’s part of the job description), in PA or elsewhere has any "reason to be proud" of Seamus Egan’s music. The thing is, we can all enjoy it without idolizing the man. It’s not his ability that’s important, but what he does with it to re-create the tunes each time that counts.

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"Funny—it seems the farther you get from southern CA, the smaller the egos and the better the music…." and then hastily trying to save himself with (Excepting, of course, the likes of Eliot J and Michael Erskin and other wonderful keepers of the trad flame in the LA-San Diego exurbs.)

You better put you bike in back-pedal mode and start peddling with all your might. You’ll have to make acceptions for a whole host of musicians now like Cait Reed, Dale Russ, etc., etc… hahaha

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No worries Jack, Cait and I have talked about all this before. She’s exactly the sort I mean as a wonderful keeper of the flame, and she knows it.

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I know full well you are Will…..

I agree with your point, it’s only that in my short trip through the states, and the many times I’ve been there, those in Southern California seemed to be the most relaxed session’s and not so anal.

I was being sarcastic about Seamus!
Ah well

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Precisely "Hugo." There’s a lovely crowd of sessioners in CA who don’t sell cds of themselves pretening to be trad.

I had to wonder about your Seamus comment, but the Egan family really is class. I wouldn’t begrudge him earning a living at music—at least he has the chops to back it up.

Philly still has a thriving session scene with loads of brillinat players just playing tunes over pints. But then so does Vancouver BC, and Milwaukee WI, and a corner of the Bronx, and Helena MT, and Melbourne, and Fort Collins, and….

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I’ve talked with Cait about it too, but I think there are a lot of people that would take exception to your East vs. West musical/cultural divide. Maybe there’s a higher concentration on the Eastern side, but there are brilliant and not so brilliant players on both sides and mixed around at points in between. It’s too big and diverse a country to make such a sweeping generalization like that IMHO.

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Then don’t take it so seriously, Jack. I wasn’t.

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Geez, I can’t pass up the opportunity to invite Hugo Chavez to visit Montana next time he’s in the States, and sit in on our little session. Bet this gets me a dosier at the FBI.

I can see it now—a top secret file folder with block lettering at the top "CHESHIRE PUDDY TAT/HUGO CHAVEZ."

๐Ÿ˜€

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Lovely stuff KML. Judicious use of the dreaded left-hand bass as well. That was a recent and dangerous thread too, wasn’t it?

So…where can we buy this lad’s CD? Where do I purchase tickets to see him on tour? When will he be on TV next? Can we buy T shirts? [/sarcasm]

P.S. Thx Puddy Tat (Paddy Tat?) - Be careful of geographically isolating the American-slagging. We all could use a little. It’s good for the soul.

P.P.S. …now about those smoke machines and laser lights…

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Is he still in the band called Cushtie? That’s all I know. Great player though.

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Problem with us Yanks is that we tend to believe our own publicity.

And if we can’t slag ourselves, where does that leave us?

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I was quite enjoying that fiddle and box playing (though the electronic doubling on the fiddle was a bit annoying) until that bloody stupid whaling

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Wailing, Michael. Let’s not slander Kane and Christian. They haven’t broken any international Whaling conventions.

Yeah, my feeling is they are good enough musicians without all thon electronical stuff, but that’s the sound they want for their band, so it’s their t’ing.

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Yes i have heard of Celtic Spring, and i have seen them live many times!!! They are amazing fiddlers and step dancers. I have both of their albums, and Cornerstone is one of my favorite albums of all time. For all of you criticizing Celtic Spring, they are not claiming to be trad. Irish. They have improved so much since their first album, which is now over 5 years old. It was quite a good album for a bunch of little kids. Their new album,Cornerstone, showcases their tight fiddling and beautiful harmonies. Give the new album a listen before continuing to complain. They perform at all the top venues for Celtic musicians. They have the same agent as Danu, Grada, Teada, Fairport Convention, and the Old Blind Dogs; just to name a few. They have performed at many major Irish festivals across the USA including the two largest ones: the Milwaukee Irish Fest and the North Texas Irish Fest. At both these festivals they performed on the main stages. Just check out their website for all the facts. http://www.celticspringband.com

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I met the band once (this summer) at a fiddle camp. They’re amazing players and really nice people. They welcomed a neophyte Celtic music player like me into their circle, and I learned a lot from them. Hearing them play live is just absolutely much better than even their newest recording. Just so you know, it’s not really the best idea to rely on people’s recordings to judge for their best work. I’ve learned from them (as well as talking to the Leahys) that it’s a totally different atmosphere in the studio. Try hearing them live and tell us what you think! ๐Ÿ™‚

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RIght on jeffery!! Its kinda like I LOVE danu in concert but i don’t really like listening to there cds.
The Woods (aka celtic spring) are AMAZING!!! (and some of the best ppl i know)