Latest News

The Known World Project 

I've got a new musical endeavor called The Known World Project debuting this month.  When the St. Paddy's season was effectively wiped out, I wanted to do something.  If I couldn't perform, I could at least continue to make some music.  My bandmate Dave, from The Selkie Girls, and I starting kicking around some new songs.  Since the band couldn't rehearse, we just starting working on arrangements back and forth.  Then we began to invite some of our musical friends to join in the fun.  We recruited Chris Buckley, a long-time friend from Austin, and world-class fiddle player, to add his magic onto some tracks.  Jaycie from The Selkie Girls with her ethereal vocals and warm flutes, Scooter Muse, great banjo and guitar player from Alabama, Cara Wildman on the bodhran, Martin McCall on drums.  And the hope is that more friends will eventually join in.  There are no limits. 

 

LIKE the Facebook Page www.facebook.com/theknownworldproject 
VIST the Website www.theknownworldproject.com 

SUBSCRIBE to the YouTube Channel:  The Known World Project 

ENGAGE with us on Instagram @theknownworldproject


Here's the first song - Wolves.  

Thig Am Bata with Cara Wildman 

Please enjoy my collaboration with internationally known bodhran player, Cara Wildman.  This song proved to be a lyrical and rhythmic beast, but I'm proud of our final result.  

To quote from Cara's description:  

 

I first heard this tune in a bodhrán masterclass with 

Martin O'Neill 

in 2016 when I was studying in Limerick. He and Julie Fowlis got the tune from Mairi Smith, who is from the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides. The lyrics are ultra creepy (see below): a woman is happily married with small children. Her sister is envious of the woman's happiness, so murders the married sister and steals her husband and children. The husband later finds his dead wife drowned in the sea with her hair floating among the seaweed. The time signature is as scary as the lyrics, with four bars phrases in 13/8, 12/8, 11/8, and 12/8. The most challenging part for me wasn't the time signature as much as getting really clean tones with left hand, especially in bar three. 

A note from Martin: "When I was notating it originally to record it with Julie, I wrote it as one bar of 13/8 and 3 bars of 12/8, essentially forcing Julie to take a breath/pause on the 3rd line. Only five minutes before we recorded it we got Mairi Smith, from the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides, on the phone to check we had it right. Julie passed the phone to me and I quickly realised I had an extra beat in there somewhere. A little moment of panic, but we figured it out and hit record a few minutes later and the result was the version you now know, 13/8, 12/8, 11/8, 12/8." 

The boat will come, early tomorrow. 

My father will be on board and my three brothers. 

My brown-haired husband at the breast-oar. 

They'll find me drowned. 

They will lift me up on the oars. 

My brown cloak swimming in the sea. 

My brown locks among the carageen. 

My silver broch among the sand. 

It wasn't hunger that sent me to the shore 

or a craving for dulse or limpets. 

Another farewell to my little ones, 

one a year old, one a two year old. 

The year old, who is not strong, 

I left him in the back room. 

Tonight he will ask for his mother's breast. 

If he does he will get only sea-water. 

Oh my curses on the jealous woman 

She left me on the rock of drowning 

The boat will come early tomorrow, 

They'll find me drowned. 

#tuneoftheweek #thigambata #carawildmanmusic #tradmusic #Scottishmusic #folkmusic #Scotland #music #folk #celticmusic #trad #livemusic #celtic #tunes #ScottishGaelic #bodhran #singer

A brand new project 

The Known World Project 

The Known World Project is a collaboration of musicians from all over the world. Organized by myself and Dave Ervin, the goal of the project is to create music even in this time of physical social isolation. "Alli and I started this project as a way to keep our sanity and have fun recording songs, all while living in the social distancing lock down of the 2020 pandemic." In the midst of uncertain times, music can be a stronghold, an anchor, both for the makers and the listeners.  We hope to continue this online project and share some music with the world. Stay tuned for future events, shows, recordings and the like. 

Sonder the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own 

We chose this concept to describe our current project. While we are living in era of self-isolation due to the pandemic, we have become more aware of one another's circumstances and challenges.  Even when we are apart, there is opportunity for connection.  Sonder speaks to the essential truth that we are complex and nuanced, and through artistic expression, compassion, and community, we can create something inspirational. 

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” - Desmond Tutu

Ringing In the New Year.  

New Year.  Same old me.  But armed with new goals, renewed passion, and focus.  I hope your 2019 was good; I hope you learned something new about yourself, did something you were proud of (or many things!), and that you are filled with some hope for next year.

Goings on, etc. 
The HouseCats are back and booking for 2020.  Never heard of us?  That's because we took an 11 year hiatus while raising our two kiddos.  They're getting older now, and the acoustic duo engine has revved up once again.  www.facebook.com/housecatsmusic

 

 

We're booking for wineries, pubs, and other great listening rooms.  We play a mix of atmospheric originals and tasteful covers, spanning from rock to pop to folk to Americana and beyond. We make a great opener, too.

I'm keeping busy with a full studio of students, through my own Skype lessons from my home, a full roster at the New Song School of the Arts, and my choirs and private students at the School of Irish Music, too.  I can never decide which I love teaching the most - ukulele, piano, voice, or guitar.  Or maybe it's just that I love them all and really enjoy the people I get to work with.  

The Selkie Girls are releasing our newest album this spring, tentatively in time for the St. Paddy's season of festivals and shows.  Go check out all the fun there at www.theselkiegirls.com for more info on that.

Take care and see you all next year!  The best is yet to come! 

Back in the Studio, Summer Camps, Gigs, and all the rest 

Hi all :)

Thanks for checking out my page and traveling on this musical journey with me.  It's been an eventful six months since my last post.  We released the Christmas album, Winter Lore, produced two successful Christmas shows and a host of other dates, and then were slammed with the St. Paddy's season - traveling throughout Texas, singing our songs, and generally having a blast.

In the meantime, I've also been maintaining a very busy studio of piano, voice, guitar, and ukulele students.  I love all aspects of the work and am so thankful that I'm able to make my living with music.  I can't decide which I like better - making my own music or helping people on their musical journeys.  I'll just say I love them both and leave it at that.

The Selkie Girls are back in the studio working on our 5th album, as yet untitled, and it feels good to finally lay down the tracks that we've been working on in rehearsal.  My other musical project, The HouseCats is coming along as well, and we're in weekly rehearsals gearing up for some shows in the fall.  I'm excited to work with Chad again on this.

In the meantime, I'll be teaching a Ukulele Camp for kids, July 15th through 18th.  Check it out!  

https://newsongschoolofthearts.com/camps-2019/

The New Album is Here!  

Finally, our newest album is here.  We've worked for over  a year and a half on the album and are deeply proud to share this with our fans. This was a carefully curated selection of our favorite Celtic pieces, including traditional Christmas songs and some you may never have heard before.  Order here:  www.theselkiegirls.com/store  

Here we go. 

Alright ladies and gents.  We are entering the busy season for a singer in a Celtic band, and I wouldn't change a thing.  Here's the complete list of tour dates for the spring.  In addition to these concerts with The Selkie Girls, I will be teaching an Irish Singing Workshop at the North Texas Irish Festival on Saturday, March 3, 2018.  Come join the fun!  

I'm still accepting vocal students for 2018.  Contact me for more details!