the word, ‘celtic’
i keep seeing and hearing rants about how awful the concept of ‘celtic music’ is, and i need to comment. i came up in a town with a very strong irtrad session scene, for a little place in the midwest US, and there is probably the normal amount of purist zeal to be found. i love irish, which is the bulk of my repertoire. but i love scots music too. and i’m nuts for music of the maritimes, which has all sorts of stuff in it. so when people ask me what i play, i say ‘celtic’. or i say irish. and scottish. and northumbrian and maritime, and quebecois and breton and, well you get the picture. you can guess that i don’t have much of any regional style. you will tell me that scottish music and irish music have different styles, come from different histories — but donegal sounds more like western highlands than kerry, no? you will say that the repertoires are different, and i will show you a list as long as your arm of crossover tunes. they crossed over with the people, who move continually between those places. i have a friend who despises scots music, but plays ‘tarbolton lodge’ to raise the dead (i’m afraid to tell her!). these genres are not identical, but they vary wildly within themselves, and have so much in common with each other that if they aren’t identical, they are surely immediate family. there, i’ve said my piece. come and get me, suckas. i play celtic music.