It’s a Celtic Christmas jam session with Abbots Cross today as we spread Christmas Cheer.
It's Celtic Christmas Podcast #62. Subscribe at CelticChristmasPodcast.com.
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I am Marc Gunn. I am a Celtic musician and I love Christmas music. This podcast is funded by people just like you on Patreon. Your generosity funds the creation, promotion, and production of the podcast and our companion playlist. You’ll find a link to that playlist, and the artist, in the shownotes.
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FEATURED PLAYLIST: Christmas Driving Music Our latest playlist features music that is perfect for a Christmas Drive. Gather up your presents. Hop in the car. Let's go for a drive to visit family and friends with this delightful playlist of Celtic Christmas music for driving down the road.
Listen to Christmas Driving now on Spotify.
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Pathways / The Kesh” by Abbots Cross from Christmas Visions
That was from today’s special holiday guest–Abbots Cross. They are on the latest Celtic Christmas Playlist-Christmas Driving Music.
HOLIDAY FEATURE: Abbots Cross Pair up two experienced musicians who enjoy Celtic music and what do you get? Well, in this case, you get Abbots Cross! One half of this duo is Alan Booth, who plays guitar, fiddle, and provides the vocals for the group. Alan comes from a musical family and has been steeped in it all his life, starting with piano at the tender age of five, and having two music teachers for parents. He even does musical volunteer work in the Pittsburgh area where he’s from—and has traveled all the way to Kenya to share his deep love of singing and playing instruments.
The second half of this duo is Mike Clancy, who provides the percussion, as well as the Irish flute and whistles to the mix. Also a seasoned musician, he has performed for several of the Broadway shows that have traveled to Pittsburgh. Mike plays with several bands in addition to Abbots Cross, and has even created original jazz compositions and released them to CD himself.
It’s easy to see how the blending of these two men would provide the foundation for a solid band, and they do come together well to highlight their considerable talents! The holiday album, “Christmas Visions” is a 10-track offering that has such interesting arrangements—and they are deftly played. Clancy’s flute takes center stage in many of these tracks, and it just adds so much to the music. In particular, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is just fantastic. These guys know how to stay true to the spirit of a holiday song while experimenting with what you can do with the music. Everything on this album has a very natural, free-flowing feel to it. It’s as if the arrangements are loose and the two musicians just get in the groove and have a good time pushing their abilities. A veritable Christmas “jam session”!
Don’t miss Si Bheag, Si Mhor / The First Noel. It’s hauntingly beautiful, beginning with the flute and then picking up the guitar gently in the background. This track builds slowly and easily with a warmth and genuineness that is very pleasing. Deck the Halls is happy and cheery as it should be, but also paired with a Christmas Eve Reel, adding that Celtic flavor and appeal.
This holiday compilation by Abbots Cross is a real treat, and a standout among the many Christmas albums. Don’t miss the chance to add something different to your collection of Celtic music that will help you get into the mood for celebrating!
“Si Bheag, Si Mhor/The First Noel” by Abbots Cross from Christmas Visions
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