Recommended Recordings

Current Favorites

  • Brendan Begley & Caoimhìn Ò Raghallaigh – A Moment of Madness
  • Mary MacNamara – Note for Note. I picked this up on a trip to Ireland. Really nice solo concertina work from Clare.
  • Mairi Rankin – First Hand

New England/Contra Repertoire

  • Montville Project – 2 CDs chock full of classic New England tunes. A great repertoire source.
  • Nightingale – From Vermont, these folks don’t play together any more, but they made some lovely albums. They play a mix of tunes, including lots of Irish and Quebecois.
  • Popcorn Behavior/Assembly – These guys recorded a couple of great CDs, some when they were just children. I liked the old name better. It looks like Journeywork and Strangest Dream are only available used online. January EP is available on CD Baby.
  • Wild Asparagus – I’m amazed my copies of these CDs haven’t worn out. Irish-influenced contra music, some of the first fiddle recordings I owned.


Scottish and Cape Breton

  • Battlefield Band – These guys have been playing for ages, with different line-ups of great musicians. I particularly enjoy their CD Happy Daze.
  • Beolach – Great Cape Breton playing, fantastic arrangements, excellent tunes. I also highly recommend the individual band members’ CDs which can be found at their band site.
  • Mairi Rankin – First Hand
  • John McCusker – A magnificent Scottish fiddler. He also writes a lot of wonderful tunes.
  • Natalie MacMaster
  • Will Woodson & Eric McDonald


  • Genticorum
  • Nicolas Boulerice & Olivier Demers – Le Vent du Nord est Toujours Fret
  • Les Têtes des Violons
  • Vent du Nord



  • Ian Carr & Karen Tweed. They play in Swåp and have recorded a couple of great CDs as a duo.
  • Swåp
  • Väsen