Top Irish and Scottish musicians have united with the finest Nashville players to create the fiery new sound and energy of The Nashville Celts. Described as Americana Irish music, The Nashville Celts combine Irish music instruments such as uilleann pipes, Irish whistle, and bodhran with American folk instruments ie. 5 string Banjo, mandolin, and dobro. The Nashville Celts also blend their keen American pop songwriting skills with traditional Irish reel instrumental breaks.
The Nashville Celts are Laura McGhee from Dundee Scotland on vocals/fiddle, All Ireland Champion uilleann piper Fiachra O’Regan from Connemara, Grammy
nominated songwriter Ric Blair on vocals/guitar/bodhran/piano, Dan Tyminski side man, Will Clark on vocals/5 string banjo/mandolin/dobro, Sean Cunningham/Irish Flute, Patrick Martin on bass/vocals, and Michael Boris Drums.
When asked about their musical style, leader of the group Ric Blair says, "I wanted to assemble not only great musicians from both sides of the pond but also great songwriters to form The Nashville Celts and I think we’ve done that. Irish music was a huge influence towards the development of American Bluegrass, Country and pop music. So, our goal was to bring the music back full circle, but to also combine the emotion of ancient Irish instruments with the pop sensibility of American music.”
The Nashville Celts new record entitled Sons of Sailors features original songs such as Erin’s Chains which Ric Blair penned to commemorate the 100 th anniversary of the Irish Rebellion of 1916 which eventually gave way to independence for the Republic of Ireland. The title cut Sons of Sailors was composed by Ric Blair and Patrick Martin as they wanted to write a song to honor the memory of each of their fathers who were both sailors. Pictures of their fathers are included in the CD artwork.
The third track Vera Rose composed by Patrick Martin and Laura McGhee continues the Irish storytelling tradition as this is a true story about Patrick’s grandmother who migrated to New York from Ireland. Laura penned track 5 Golden Wedding Reel as a gift to her parents in Dundee, Scotland who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The Nashville Celts recorded not one, but two Johnny Cash songs on Sons of Sailors. When asked about that Ric Blair says, “We are the Nashville Celts! Nothing is more Nashville than Johnny Cash;
Johnny was a spokesman during the tumultuous 1960s and his songwriting could
not be more relevant today. The Nashville Celts have plenty of our own great
songs, but we also wanted to pay homage to the huge contribution of Johnny’s life and music on this record.”
The Nashville Celts pack concert halls around the world including The Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman Auditorium, The Lincoln Center, and Performing Arts Centers,Theaters and large Casinos across the country; including multiple appearances on NPR, WSM Radio, PBS shows like Music City Roots and The Bluegrass Underground. Later this year they are set to appear on the Woodsong’s Old Time Radio Hour which also airs on PBS. Blair credits much of their success to their exposure on PBS. The group has shared the stage with Vince Gill, Cathy Jordan,Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan, Ricky Skaggs, Tim O’Brien, Patty Loveless,just to name a few.
In 2010, Blair produced the national PBS pledge show Christmas with The Celts which was performed at the original Grand Ole Opry, (voted top venue by (Pollstar) the world-famous Ryman Auditorium. Christmas with The Celts aired on 222 PBS channels across the U.S., Canada and on the BBC in Ireland. This successful TV show was the initial spark, which created a huge demand for the group, bringing them into major venues. Christmas with the Celts is currently going into it’s 8 th year of touring.
The Nashville Celts record Sons of Sailors is currently receiving airplay on