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Irish Music - Traditional and Folk

Irish folk and traditional music, both vocal and instrumental (those lovely high pipes), can set your feet to dancing, your heart to singing, and your eyes to crying.

No music can be livelier and more cheering; none can move us closer to sorrow and melancholy.

The Irish music CDs featured here represent some of the best artists creating and performing traditional Irish folk music today - with a modern twist, naturally, since music in Ireland continues to evolve and change while holding on to the best of its Celtic roots.

Buy Folk and Traditional Irish Music CDs
Further Down the Old Plank Road
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Further Down the Old Plank Road (2003)
The Chieftains

Ireland's most internationally famous band, the Chieftains bring Celtic pipes and fiddles to modern Irish folk/rock music. Their latest CD combines traditional Celtic music with America's Appalachian folk and bluegrass traditions. Guest artists include Emmylou Harris and Don Williams. Derek Bell, long-time harpist with the Chieftains, died shortly after this album was complete.
Irish Heartbeat
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Irish Heartbeat (1988, recently remastered)
Van Morrison and the Chieftains

Van Morrison and Ireland's wonderful Chieftains perform together on this terrific collection of traditional Irish songs. Cuts includes "Star of the County Down", "I'll Tell Me Ma" and an outstanding performance of "Carrickfergus".
Special Reserve
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Special Reserve (2003)
Gaelic Storm

Gaelic Storm performs upbeat, toe-tapping music in a mix of contemporary and traditional styles. This album includes some of their greatest hits from prior CDs, as well as several new songs. Gaelic Storm performed the music in the below-decks dancing scene in Titanic - you can't sit still while listening to their music!
Irish Album
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Irish Album (2003)
Daniel O'Donnell

Huge 40-track reissue of a 1996 album. Daniel O'Donnell sings the kind of traditional Irish songs familiar around the world, such as "Danny Boy", "Irish Eyes" and "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen." His lovely Irish voice makes this 2-CD set a pleasure in easy listening music.
Altan's Finest
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Altan's Finest (2000)

Framed by the lovely voice of lead singer Ní Mhaonaigh, sometimes in English, sometimes in Gaelic, Altan performs traditional Celtic folk songs and dance melodies from all over the map, including Scotland, Ireland, and Cape Breton (Newfoundland). Wonderful pipes, too.
A Celtic Tale : Legend of Deirdre
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A Celtic Tale: The Legend of Deirdre (1996)
Mychael and Jeff Danna

As the title says, this is an instrumental musical interpretation of the legend. Perhaps the most enchanting, sorrowful, truly lovely piping we've ever heard. Your heart will hurt inside. The reviewers rave. Go and listen for yourself.

The Dannas have another CD, A Celtic Romance: The Legend of Lladain and Curithur that includes vocals.
All Things Considered
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All Things Considered (2002)

New young and energetic Irish band Danú plays traditional acoustic music, with terrific vocals by lead singer Ciaran O' Gealbhain in Irish and English. The Celtic renaissance spirit is alive and well on this lively CD.
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Decade (2001)

A greatest hits CD from Dervish - one of the bands setting the tone for modern Irish music. Terrific instrumental dance music (impossible to sit still while listening), along with the beautiful voice of Cathy Jordan. Click through to hear snippets of their tunes. Very jolly.
Celtic Soul
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Celtic Soul (1996)
Nóirín Ní Riain

Riain's pure and crystal clear soprano fills these highly spiritual Gaelic songs with delicate beauty. She usually sings in the sean nos or "old style" (a cappella) tradition - very medieval sounding. On this album she is backed by the Paul Winter Consort. Nine traditional sean nos songs are sung in Gaelic; two Indian hymns are sung in Hindi, and William Butler Yeats' "Down by the Sally Gardens" is sung in English.
Celtic Harpestry
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Celtic Harpestry: A Contemporary Celtic Collection (1998)
Various Artists

A wide variety of gifted musicians, including the Belfast Harp Orchestra, lent their talents to this beautiful album of traditional and contemporary Celtic harp music. A wonderful, high quality introduction to this lovely music.
Celtic Lullaby
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Celtic Lullaby (1998)
Various Artists

A collection of traditional Celtic lullabies from Ireland, Scotland, Wales & beyond to coax, cuddle and caress a child to sleep. Ethereal and enduring, each of these cradle songs has a melody that delights and lingers within the listener. The Boston globe called this compilation “the sleeper of the year” because as soothing as these songs are to a child, they will also satisfy and please a parent. Harps, whistles, mandolins and flutes create crystalline textures, and the Gaelic lyrics and translations provided give insight into linguistic rhythms, shades of meaning, and even historical references.