Transatlantic Sessions Celtic Connections 2019 review and photography by Pauline Keightley

Transatlantic Sessions

The unique blend of Shetland fiddle and West Virginia song, dubro and Irish pipes is always a joy to hear at the Transatlantic Sessions. Warm fires appeared to chase away the winter chill at the Glasgow concert hall and this concert is always a major highlight at Celtic Connections – celebrating folk and roots music from around the world.

Jerry Douglas

Dubro master, Jerry Douglas, was the very congenial host. He entertained us with Jimi Henrix’s ‘Hey Joe’. Aly Bain was on good form, even though he dropped his fiddle at one point. Ah the joys of live music!

Cara Dillon

Irish singer Cara Dillon, whose voice is sublimbe, gave a glowing performance – she sang ‘Banks of the Foyle’ and ‘P For Paddy’, ‘Bonny, Bonny’ and ‘Sailor Boy.

Paul McKenna

Paul McKenna sang ‘The Dreamer’, a song to encourage past dreamers to keep faith, also ‘Long Days’ and ‘Banks of the Moy’.


It was great to see the return to the TS stage of West Virginian,Tom O’Brien, who sang ‘Where the River Meets the Road’, from his new album. He also sang ‘Guardian Angel’ and ‘Keith in a Palm Tree’.

Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, and John McCusker

Phil Cunningham performed his tune ‘So Long Liam’ and Nashville’s Gretchen Peters impressed the audience with the character and emotion of her songs and voice: she sang ‘Matador’, ‘On a Bus to St Cloud’ and ‘Black Ribbons.Her Peters has received good reviews for her 2018 album, Dance with the Beast.

Transatlantic sessions

Molly Tuttle is a young American artist with a unique guitar style; she performed ‘Take the Journey’, ‘Million Miles Away’ and ‘Save This Heart’. She is 2018’s AMA Instrumentalist of the Year, plus she won Song of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards with ‘You Didn’t Call My Name’.

Tunes included: ‘The Wishing Tree Set’, ‘The Federals’, ‘Shake a Leg’, ‘Andy Brown’ and ‘Sailors Hornpipe’. The Transatlantic Sessions offers exchanges between Celtic and mid American bluegrass and country music. Music to re-energise and recharge the soul.

transatlantic sessions

These top quality singers were backed by the Transatlantic house band – Shetland fiddler Aly Bain and dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas and musicians Russ Barenberg, Phil Cunningham, John Doyle, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw, Daniel Kimbro and James Mackintosh.

(Part of Celtic Connections 2019)

Photos and Review Pauline Keightley –

Black Star Jackals EP Launch
New Traditions: Talisk, Vishtèn and Xabier Diaz at Celtic Connections 2019

This section: Celtic Connections 2019, Music Reviews, Pat's Home Page Blog, Pauline Keightley

Written by :

Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

Leave a Reply

Copyright Glasgow Westend 2009 thru 2017

Contact Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End | About Pat Byrne | Privacy Policy | Design by Jim Byrne Website Design