Old Blind Dogs’ Four on the Floor in-stores today!

July 17, 2007
"The Old Blind Dogs play with a compelling energy and intoxicating rhythm," says The Scotsman, "as players and audience seem to share a wild ecstasy of emotion."

Fifteen years is a long time in the life of any band and most who reach that milestone are content to rest on the tried and true formulas that have worked in the past. Not so for Scotland’s Old Blind Dogs whose newly released Four on the Floor takes them bravely in many new directions.

The Dogs, one of Scotland’s most highly touted traditional folk bands, are not known for shying away from change. A strong, shared musical vision has allowed the group to ride out inevitable line-up changes to the extent that the only original member still with the band is Jonny Hardie (fiddle, guitar and vocals). The Dogs’ popularity has never dimmed though and the current foursome of Hardie, Aaron Jones (Bass, Bouzouki, Guitar, Vocals), Rory Campbell (Border (Reel) Pipes, Whistles, Vocals) and Fraser Stone (Drums, Percussion) have proven more than capable of carrying on the tradition of the band.

The tracks on Four on the Floor run the gamut from contemporary songs such as Ewan McColl’s "Terror Time" and Davie Robertson’s "Star O’ The Bar" to tunes from Brittany and Galicia, to tunes found, as many a favorite Dog’s tune has been, in "dusty old books". As to the title, Hardie claims that it "is just a reference to there being four of us on the stage now as far as I’m concerned--but everyone has there own theories (everything from manual gear boxes to us falling around a lot!) You decide."

Michael Black releases self-titled debut on Compass Records today!

July 17, 2007
Michael Black’s self titled album includes a music hall song from the 1930s, a traditional song sung in Irish, a ballad about war and the costs of it from New Zealand, a sea shanty, and a song to dance the baby on your knee. What makes it a cohesive whole is Black’s voice and his love of and natural ability to convey a good story.

Dublin born Michael Black grew up in a family of singers. His mother Patty and father Kevin, filled their home with music and their children clearly took up that love, with all five of them following music professionally at various points in their lives. Black has often performed with his brothers Shay and Martin as The Black Brothers, and he’s older brother to Irish superstar Mary Black and top solo artist Frances Black. All five have also recorded three albums together as The Black Family.

The family pitched in to add outstanding harmonies to the tracks, too. Black’s brothers and sisters Shay, Martin, Mary and Frances all sat in, as did members of the next generation of the Black family, including rising pop star Danny O’Reilly and up and coming singers Eoghan Scott and Roisin O’Reilly. "They’re even more amazing singers than we are," Black says. "All the family can sing, so why not have them all along?" he adds with chuckle. In addition to producer John Doyle on guitar and bouzouki, others who support Black on the recording include fiddlers Liz Carroll and Liz Knowles, Solas’ Seamus Egan on whistles, Chico Huff on bass and Dirk Powell on piano.

It’s Michael Black’s voice and influences that hold the center around which these voices and instruments work. Being Irish is part of who he is musically, and he incorporates that into his music always "but I don’t stick to just one genre," he says. "I’m rooted in roots music, music of the people." His beloved roots music, from Appalachian ballads to Irish jigs to songs of reflection, is what’s celebrated on this recording. "I’m singing this stuff, and people are enjoying it. This is what I do. This is what I sing."

Compass Records You Tube Channel

July 10, 2007
Compass Records You Tube Channel

Compass now has it’s own You Tube Channel with music videos, live performances, and funny clips from our artists. We are always looking for great footage of Compass artists, so if you have any let us know! We will be sure to include it in our channel. While you’re there, subscribe to our channel so you won’t miss anything new!

Irish Music Magazine: Teada Has #1 Irish Record in US

July 02, 2007
Teada’s Inné Amárach is the most popular Irish record in the US according to the July issue of Irish Music Magazine. On Inné Amárach Téada juxtaposes musical material from as far back as the 18th century, with interpretations of diverse traditional tunes of modern origin. Accompanied by a DVD documentary providing a snapshot of the group’s musical influences, Inné Amárach is a vivid melodic and rhythmic exploration by a traditional group engaging with a global audience.
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