Thursday 2 February 2012 at 7:30pm
Royal Concert Hall
2 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3NY, United Kingdom
Tel: +44-(0)141-353 8000
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: like its similarly long-running TV counterpart, the Transatlantic Sessions at Celtic Connections has grown into a treasured and world-famous musical institution, latterly spinning off into a phenomenally successful touring project. The organically-evolved secret ingredient is the balance between comfy-old-furniture, kick-back-and-cut-loose familiarity and thrilling novelty – thrilling equally for first-time guest stars, discovering this uniquely auspicious yet intimate camaraderie onstage; for the house-band regulars, getting the chance to play with an annual array of heroes and favourites, and for each year’s sellout audience.
Talking of sellouts, Raul Malo’s sensational headline ABC show was widely raved-about as a top highlight of Celtic Connections 2011, and we’re delighted to welcome him back for his third consecutive festival visit, and his first Transatlantic Sessions. Malo’s decade-long, post-Mavericks solo career, starting back touring small clubs by car, attained its latest triumphant fruition with his 2010 album Sinners & Saints, a deeply soulful distillation of his Latin heritage with a wide-ranging love of country, blues, jazz and vintage rock’n’roll. He joins tonight’s distinguished guests ahead of the Mavericks’ recently-announced reunion tour, kicking off at California’s Stagecoach festival in April.
While the Wailin’ Jennys take a year’s break, Ruth Moody, the dulcet soprano of that exquisitely harmonised threesome, is building on the fervent critical praise that greeted her 2010 solo debut The Garden.
Riding high on rave reviews for his recent third album Mag Pai Zai, which stripped its predecessors’ glossier pop appeal back to subtler acoustic arrangements, Irish balladeer Declan O’Rourke joins the Celtic vocal team, along with Eddi Reader and Karen Matheson, while the Stateside posse also features Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott and Bruce Molsky. Musical directors Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas lead the ever-stellar house band, including John Doyle, Russ Barenberg, Danny Thompson, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw and James Mackintosh.
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