Shame on me for not making this the main playlist today. I mean, it is, after all, St. Patrick’s Day. I do not have an Irish bone in my body, but I love Ireland. No wait, I love Scotland. I have never been to Ireland, but I really, really want to go. Seriously. I had a friend who took some time to travel the world and of all the places he went, he said Ireland was the most beautiful and magical and by far his favorite. Some day, I hope… Some day soon.
Paul Brady – As a singer-songwriter he may be best known for writing “Luck of the Draw” and “Not the Only One,” two big hits for Bonnie Raitt, but his “Nothing But the Same Old Story” is a phenomenal and moving anthem for anyone who has ever felt prejudice and one of my favorite songs EVER…E V E R ! ! !
The Frames – Apparently, they are bigger than U2 in parts of Ireland. Seriously. Glen Hansard struck songwriting and film gold when he starred in Once, with Markéta Irglová and directed by Frames bandmate John Carney. The film, if you have not seen it, is so delightful and the music is phenomenal. I know many people were mad when they won an Oscar for Best Song, but why??? The song is so perfect! Check out The Swell Season’s two albums, where you can find songs from the movie and The Frames For the Birds or Fitzcarraldo. All stunning!
Paddy Casey – This singer-songwriter with a rock edge can be all over the map, style-wise, but his music comes from deep within his heart and soul. You’ll hear a lot of David Gray… but not as mellow. Amen (S0 Be It) is a good place to start.
U2 – Obvious, yes, but considering they are one of the greatest bands of all time, tough patooties. You cannot go wrong with any album… Truly. My favorite album is Joshua Tree. Well, hmm… The Unforgettable Fire and War are also up there. That’s a hard one. Favorite song… might be “Two Hearts Beat As One” or “40” or “Bad…” Agh! Another tough call! I got to see them play The Aragon Ballroom in Chicago right before they exploded! The Waterboys opened. Wow!!!
Van Morrison – Where does one start??? “Dwellwer on the Threshold”… “Jackie Wilson Said”… “Tupelo Honey”… Perhaps “Domino.” Too many good songs and way too much brilliant music. I will have to say ALL OF IT!!!
James Galway – If you told me in high school that I would be into a flautist, well aside from a high school girl I will not mention, I would have said you were crazy. Yet, here I am at Northwestern and there I go listening to James Galway… Absolutely lovely.
Damien Rice – Not quite sure how I stumbled upon him… Most likely KCRW. However I got here, it is a musical path well worth travelling down. Start with O (like the letter) or 9 and imagine a sultry David Gray (here he is again) mating with Glen Hansard… Nice!
Houthouse Flowers – Take Van Morrison and U2 and throw in a little American rock and pop and this is what you get. They can play it loud or nice and soft. Either way is great . This rec comes from Sweet Robbie Miles. Actually, most of my newly acquired love for British Power Pop does (like The fantabulous Pearlfishers and a reminder of how great The Waterboys are… “Whole of the Moon,” anyone???).
Sorry there is not a lot of traditional Irish music here… And my apologies to The Chieftains… but suggest away. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!!!