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A Thistle & Shamrock Christmas Ceilidh
Altan, Lunasa, Capercaillie
A Thistle & Shamrock Christmas Ceilidh
Genres: Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

Fiona Ritchie, the host of National Public Radio's popular Celtic music show The Thistle & Shamrock, says she chose tunes for Christmas Ceilidh that reminded her of the village holiday socials she attended as a child. She ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Altan, Lunasa, Capercaillie, Tannahill Weavers, Cherish the Ladies
Title: A Thistle & Shamrock Christmas Ceilidh
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Green Linnet
Original Release Date: 10/10/2000
Re-Release Date: 11/7/2000
Genres: Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
Styles: Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Contemporary Folk, Celtic, Europe, British Isles, Holiday & Wedding, Vocal Pop, Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 048248120821, 182478489829

Fiona Ritchie, the host of National Public Radio's popular Celtic music show The Thistle & Shamrock, says she chose tunes for Christmas Ceilidh that reminded her of the village holiday socials she attended as a child. She must have lived in a remarkably cosmopolitan part of Scotland because along with the assortment of dance tunes and songs played by musicians like Manus McGuire, Lunasa, and Altan, the selections include "Maneo da Ulla/Foliada de Parenda" by the Spanish group Milladoiro and "Ceilidh Funk," a synth-based dance tune by the Scottish accordion player Phil Cunningham. And for a CD that prominently features the word Christmas in its title, there is almost no holiday music here at all, except for "I Saw Three Ships," a guitar solo by English guitarist John Renbourn, and the Tannahill Weavers' version of "Auld Lang Syne." Ritchie does include a nice essay about a typical Christmas ceilidh and a Dundee cake recipe in the liner notes, but overall this is one of the very few holiday CDs you can play year round. --Michael Simmons

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CD Reviews

Festive, feisty and full of fun!
Brianna Neal | USA | 05/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Don't expect traditional Christmas carols here, or (unfortunately) any narrations by The Thistle & Shamrock's Fiona Ritchie, but nonetheless, this is an enjoyable collection of boisterous party music and a few wistful winter recollections from artists on the Green Linnet label. Featured is an all-star cast at their best: Altan, Andy M. Stewart and Manus Lunny, the House Band, Liz Carroll, Capercaillie, John Renbourn, Touchstone, Milladoiro, Phil Cunningham, Patrick Street, Cherish the Ladies, Niamh Parsons and the Loose Connections, Wolfstone, Lunasa, Manus McGuire, the Tannahill Weavers, and Kips Bay. Radio host Fiona Ritchie's selections are always well-chosen, and the tracks on this album are no exception. And while we don't hear her voice, the liner notes do contain a lengthy narrative penned by Fiona, as well as a recipe for Mrs. Walkinshaw's Dundee Cake. Beannachtai na Feile!"
Naomi DeBruyn | Victoria, BC Canada | 01/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There is something about playing a disc of Celtic Christmas music that brings the whole spirit of the season closer to home; and Fiona Ritchie has done a marvellous job putting together this disc. She has picked out her favourite Green Linnet selections in order to echo the spirit of her village's Christmas Ceilidh. Fiona is the host and producer of National Public Radio's The Thistle and Shamrock, which is one of the most popular and longest running music programs on public radio in the States.

You won't find anything here to disappoint you, but much to put you in the mood for trimming the tree, wrapping gifts, and of course for baking those yummy Christmas goodies for family and friends. In fact, included is a recipe for Mrs. Walkinshaw's Dundee Cake! I'll be trying this one out next week!

With 17 different tracks and artists I could be easily driven to distraction trying to figure out which three to share with you. The entire disc is that good! So I went with one which has some familiar history, and then one of the two traditional Christmas pieces which are recognizable world-wide. And I had to choose the one which stood out above all others for the final pick. So without further ado - here we go!

Andy M. Stewart and Manus Lunny give us a delightful track entitled At It Again. It is a humorous tale, believe me, and nobody could deliver it like this talented artist, once the renowned vocalist for Silly Wizard. And when you join this incredible voice with the Uillean pipes, well, you have the beginnings of something compelling and passion filled! This track will bring a smile to your heart and a laugh to your lips!

John Renbourn provides a seasonal staple with I Saw Three Ships. Johnís a very gifted guitarist, and shows his stuff with this piece, embellishing the chorus with extra notes and picking the melody out quite clearly. I could sit and listen to him play for hours, but all too soon the piece is over.

The Moving Cloud by Kips Bay is the piece which leapt out and stayed in my mind with each and every listen. It is taken from a live performance, and the disc Into the Light. This group is incredibly unique, well gifted, and very diverse in its background! Front man Pat Kilbride is amazing on the guitar, as is button accordionist John Whelan. Steve Missal once played in Ted Nugent's band, and was also Billy Idol's drummer. Richard Lindsey is a stellar world beat bassist, and Kenny Landrum is a keyboardist with flying fingers! I love reels, but this one is supercharged!

This is a spectacular taste of Celtic talent and will add much to your festive spirit! From Altan to Wolfstone, you'll find it here, as well as the included tale of a village Ceilidh. Treat yourself this Christmas; you'll be glad you did!

Review Originally Posted at
Good music for any time of year
jherbers | Cincinnati, Ohio USA | 12/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I read a postive recommendation of this in the paper so my wife got it for me for St. Nick's Day. It's very nice though as the online review mentions, there is very little in the music itself that refers to Christmas. In any case, the music is lovely and for anyone who likes the Celtic style."