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Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a steady stream of Scots migrated to Ulster and eventually onward across the Atlantic to resettle in the United States. Many of these Scots-Irish immigrants made their way into the mountains of the southern Appalachian region. They brought with them a wealth of traditional ballads and tunes from the British Isles and Ireland, a carrying stream that merged with sounds and songs of English, German, Welsh, African American, French, and Cherokee origin. Their enduring legacy of music flows today from Appalachia back to Ireland and Scotland and around the globe. In Wayfaring Strangers, Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr guide readers on a musical voyage across oceans, linking people and songs through centuries of adaptation and change. From ancient ballads at the heart of the tradition to instruments that express this dynamic music, Ritchie and Orr chronicle the details of an epic journey. Enriched by the insights of key contributors to the living tradition on both sides of the Atlantic, this abundantly illustrated volume includes a CD featuring 20 songs by musicians profiled in the book, including Dolly Parton, Dougie MacLean, Cara Dillon, John Doyle, Pete Seeger, Sheila Kay Adams, Jean Ritchie, Doc Watson, David Holt, Anais Mitchell, Al Petteway, and Amy White.
This book concentrates on a range of currently popular styles in the folk genre, looking at specific repertories and ways of approaching them. It also looks at the current musical outlets that are available to singers and aims to help the fledgling singer better understand the scope of folk music and find their voice in the genre.
Based on the popular BBC Radio Ulster series of the same name, A Narrow Sea traces the epic sweep of Ireland’s relationship with Scotland, exploring the myriad connections, correlations, personalities and antagonisms that have, over the years, defined the relationship between these two spirited neighbours. Roving freely across the centuries, from the first migrations of the regions’ intrepid Mesolithic pioneers, to the grand colonial projects of the Vikings, Normans and Stuarts, this is the dramatic story of how one culture came to found two very different nations and, in doing so, project its influence as far afield as North America and Australasia. In 120 brief and accessible episodes, A Narrow Sea offers a stirring and panoramic view of a connection that has shaped the course of history on both sides of the narrow sea.
Award winning songwriter, musician, author, playwright, poet, visual artist, and Appalachian Renaissance man Billy Edd Wheeler is best known for penning "Jackson," which was popularized by Johnny Cash and June Carter with their Grammy-winning recording from 1967. In addition to his own albums and singles as a highly regarded singer/songwriter (including the Top 5 hit, "Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back"), Billy Edd has penned numerous songs for artists such as Elvis Presley, Judy Collins, The Kingston Trio, Neil Young, and Kenny Rogers. Wheeler's memoir is populated by a fascinating cast of characters which he encountered on his journey. Songwriting changed his life, bringing him a long lasting career that saw the birth of classic tunes such as "The Reverend Mr. Black," "High Flyin' Bird," "The Coming of the Roads," "It's Midnight," "Coal Tattoo," and others. Peppered with the folksy wisdom of his beloved Appalachia, Hotter Than a Pepper Sprout is like pulling a chair up next to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer by a warm fire; you won't want to leave.
WHILE knowledge of history can explain our contemporary situation, an awareness of the myths and misuses of our history can bring a broader and more conciliatory approach to current political and social challenges. History or, more correctly, ‘views of the past’ or ‘historical myths’ have shaped politics in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. These views served in part to cause and sustain the ‘Troubles’. Eventually, many historical perceptions were challenged, which helped to promote the peace process. New ideas of revised and shared history were important. These changes are explored here. The public expression of history in Ireland through commemoration of important historical events and persons is investigated in a number of chapters. The impact of historical developments on identity is studied not just in Ireland, north and south, but also among the Irish diaspora, especially in America. In Irish History Matters, Brian M. Walker uses three decades of research to explore the effects historical events have had on Irish politics and society, and why they still have an important influence today.

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