General Question

zina's avatar

Anyone have good music recommendations for blues, Irish folk music, salsa, or French café music?

Asked by zina (1661points) August 30th, 2009

Just looking for suggestions of good musicians or CDs from someone knowledgeable about any of these genres:

Irish folk music
French café music (is there another name for this genre?)

Also, if you have any ideas about any of these, that’d be great too:
slap bass (upright acoustic bass)
shape note singing
Appalachian folk singing


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23 Answers

Flo_Nightengale's avatar

I can only speak for Irish music. The Clancy Brothers, The Furey Brothers, Celtic Thunder, High Kings, The Dubliners, The Chieftans; they are perhaps the most popular artists.

Jude's avatar

For Tango(ish) check out: Gotan Project

More Gotan.

Salsa: Buena Vista Social Club.

Mtl_zack's avatar

Carl Zero does good French Cafe music.

rebbel's avatar

I’m just throwing in some (have no idea whether you like or dislike them).
Bajofondo Tango Club. (tangoy)
Tony Joe White. (bluesy)
Richard Galliano. (might be frenchy because of accordeon in it)

MagsRags's avatar

For Irish, I’m fond of Gaelic Storm – they were the band playing in steerage in Titanic the movie.

Another band I really enjoy along the same vein but not exactly is la Bottine Souriante. They are from Canada and play celtic music in French with a jazz edge that’s hard to describe. MY favorite piece they do is called Ouverture – it’s about 7 minutes long and is the only celtic style music I’ve ever heard with an R&B horn section!

evegrimm's avatar

Hmm…well, for some laid back ‘cool Jazz’ (yes, that’s really a genre), you can’t go wrong with John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Thelonius Monk.

A good album to start with is Miles Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue’. (There’s a reason why it’s the bestselling Jazz album of all time.)

Jeruba's avatar

What kind of blues, and how far back do you want to go? Two of my favorites are Dave Van Ronk (1936–2002) and Chris Smither (b. 1941, still performing, still a great musician).

I want Van Ronk’s instrumental “St. Louis Tickle” put in a loop and played at my memorial. To me it is absolute feelgood music. Small sampling here. Most of his stuff is authentic bluesy old blues, delivered in the unique Van Ronk style, raspy voice and alleycat yowl and all, and great guitar. This particular number is about as upbeat as they come.

I know Chris from the old coffeehouse days in Boston. I have most of his CDs and go to hear him when he’s in the area. His repertoire used to be heavily traditional, but now it is primarily his own compositions, very literate and unpretentious poetry and very much in the vein of the old greats such as Mississippi John Hurt. He is a magician on the acoustic guitar. His website:

As for bluegrass, the old masters are Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and others of their era. Are you perhaps interested in a sampler album?

For Irish, I don’t think you can top the Clancy Brothers, but there are many performers of various styles, from the rowdy jig-inducing foot-stompers to the mellow harp-playing Celtic sopranos. Can you be more specific about what you’re looking for?

PerryDolia's avatar

Irish Folk: Fairport Convention.

evegrimm's avatar

Hmmm…for good Irish folk music, you might consider signing up for the (free) Celtic Mp3s Music Magazine (that link goes to one of my faves from said magazine). They email, ooh, about once a month (?) with good Irish/Celtic indie bands.

Also, I really like Untamed as a compilation CD. It’s got Lunasa, Shooglenifty, Kila and the Peatbog Faeries. I really like this CD because it’s more modern in flavor, but if you’re looking for more traditional things, this may not be the CD you want. (Altan, maybe if you want more traditional flavored ‘stuff’.)

filmfann's avatar

Nothing says French like Jaques Brel and Edith Piaf.

ronski's avatar

I like blindies: Blind Willie McTell, Rev. Gary Davis.

kevbo's avatar

The Putomayo label has just about one CD for each of those categories, and they’re sampler style.

gailcalled's avatar

@filmfann: Except Brel was Belgian. For French, try Georges Brassens, Patachou, Yves Montand, Juliette Greco and the classic French Cabaret singer, Yvette Guilbert. (Madame Arthur and Le Fiacre)”:

aprilsimnel's avatar

Django Reinhardt was a French guitarist of Roma extraction who was most popular in the 1930s. He liked the emerging bebop and cool movements in the jazz of the 1940s a lot, and championed those artists in France.

filmfann's avatar

@gailcalled Yes, but Jaques Brel lived half his life in France. France adopted him as their own.
Lurve for the information!

gailcalled's avatar

@filmfann : HIs French certainly is lovely, but so are the songs he sang in Flemish :

Marieke (The first two lines are in French)

One of my favorites in French is Madeleine

saraaaaaa's avatar

Citizen Cope has a song called ‘Sideways’ which is particularly blue-sy, a nice piece of mood music :)

zephyr826's avatar

I realize that she’s become much more than this, but I love Carla Bruni’s first album for newer French music.

Also, the Screaming Orphans are sort of fun for Irish music.

janbb's avatar

Irish folk: Planxty, Mary Black, Altan, Arcady

Breton (Celtic): Dan Ar Bras

w2pow2's avatar

Star of the county Down
Come out ye black an tans
The Patriot Game
The men Behind the Wire
Sniper’s Promise
Boys of Barr Na Sraide

As for French…
La Mer (Beyond the Sea)

You run your mouth (It’s… kinda blueish)

I can’t recommend a good salsa but I can recommend a freakin AWESOME cha cha:
Sway- Dean Martin

Bit of trivia:
Beyond the Sea was French before we copied it and put English lyrics on it.

iAManEXPERT's avatar

Damien Dempsey irish folk he toured with sinead oconnor a couple of years ago

Lulu14's avatar

Why not use a music-recommendation website? Use one of your favorites as a radio-station seed…


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