Thanks for a great weekend at FAI

fai-logo_textverticalThanks to Aengus and all the staff and volunteers in Kansas City last weekend for doing an excellent job.

There was a tremendous amount of talent this year and it was great to see so many friendly faces. It was run impeccably in all facets and the organizers deserve a big pat on the back (and probably a week off!) The only suggestion I could make is to have more dancing. A self proclaimed dancing fool, I had the opportunity to get out of my seat at a few unofficial showcases and thoroughly enjoyed it. Melisande from Montreal had many of us cutting the rug for their whole set!!

I only got to see a fraction of all the talent, but a few that stuck out for me were:

Low Lily

Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage

William Prince

Tom Freund

Paul McKenna

Jake Morley


Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers


Dave Gunning


Special shout out to Neil Pearson in the UK room and Shelly Nordstrom in the ECMA room for once again curating amazing talent. Their rooms are always a big magnet for me.

So much music and so much love, I am already looking forward to next year.






The Scotsman writes about Connla’s performance at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Opening the show, the young Armagh/Derry five-piece Connla made the most of their festival debut with a winningly vivacious, artfully accomplished set, combining classic Irish instrumentation – uilleann pipes, harp, flutes, whistles, bodhran and ­guitar – with Ciara McCafferty’s potently alluring, intensely emotive vocals. Again, strong original material featured prominently, together with a rhythmic ­tautness and attack at times reminiscent of Flook – although it was a cover version that earned their last and loudest applause, as they finished off with an unexpectedly effective reworking of Eric Clapton’s Layla, its unmistakable guitar lick rendered instead by Conor Mallon’s pipes.

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