CELTIC AND BRITISH MUSIC
Here are some of my favorite labels which specialise in Celtic and British folk music.
Mainly these are independent labels, and many offer a wide variety of music, not just trad.
If you have suggestions for other folks I should check out, feel free to write me and let me know. Thanks!
Compass Records offers many fine contemporary Celtic albums, such as the Kate Rusby and Lunasa catalogs, as well as a host of non-Celtic folk and Americana releases.
Fellside Records has recently put out some of the best, most obscure, and most overdue reissues in recent memory, including classic material by Peter Bellamy, Martyn Wyndham-Read, Frankie armstrong, and others. Old-time fans of English folk music will delight to see many of these albums back in print... some nice new stuff, too!
Fledg'ling Records also has an excellent catalog of tasty reissues by artists such as Shirley Collins and Anne Briggs, as well as several nice new records... The bee's knees, indeed.
Free Reed Records is one of England's great independent folk labels, with a pronounced love of the humble English concertina. Lots of great records released on this label since its late '70s founding... a cultural gold mine!
Green Linnet -- One of my favorite labels, and one of the best sources in the U.S. for Celtic music. Along with all the raucous instrumental jigs and reels (which I find taxing when on record), Green Linnet has dozens of highly recommended albums featuring gorgeous songs and aires. Many of the older Green Linnet albums are reissues of discs on Irish labels such as Mulligan's Music (although some of the best of these are sadly out of print) although most of the new releases have been made specifically for Green Linnet. Their catalog includes both Irish and Irish-American artists, as well as music from Scotland, Brittany, Canada, and Spain. Future editions of Slipcue will include reviews of some of my favorite Green Linnet releases.
They're not quite a Celtic label, but this Scandanavian haven of fiddling and eerie acoustic music should turn the ears of at least a few fans of trad... Check 'em out!
Old Bridge Music is a lovely independent label, featuring the work of Celtic harpist/vocalist Maire Ni Chathasaigh. I am particularly fond of their lovely album by folksinger Christy O'Leary (ex-Boys In The Lough), The Northern Bridge, which I highly recommend.
Putumayo sticks mainly to genre-oriented compilation albums, and several of these have Celtic themes. Depending on your tastes, you may find the music on these comps to be a little overproduced, but there are also some gems.
One of the best American labels. Along with all their groovy African and reggae records, Shanachie also has tons of great Irish releases, both contemporary and traditional. Way worth checking into. Among other things, Shanachie has the great Nic Jones album, "Penguin Eggs" in their catalog, reason enough to worship at their altar!
Mainly Scottish music, with a smidge of Irish stuff thrown in for good measure. Run out of Robert Morton's back porch, Temple is the home turf of Scot-trad giants, the Battlefield Band, as well as Alison Kinnaird and the glorious vocal group, Mac-Talla. Some releases include a little too much in the way of electric keyboards and synths for me, but others are bedrock traditionalist. (This site is for the UK; Temple's American distribution is through Rounder Records).
The grand-daddy label of the British folk revival. Until very recently, Topic did not have good distribution in the United States -- suddenly, their CDs are everywhere! The great thing is that they have so many of their old releases from the 1960s and '70s still in print, including dazzling gems by The Watersons and others. As of my most recent update, their website still seems somewhat visually sparse... but if you're interested in hardcore traditional UK folk music, this is the place to go.
NOTE: Suggestions for other labels to add are always welcome...
Also, if you are an artist or label that would like to submit music
for review in this site, please feel free to contact me and let me know.
(See the mail link below.)
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