In Autumn 2014, I was playing around with iTunes Radio, a music streaming service that’s since been incorporated into Apple Music. I heard the song Dúlamán and liked it a lot. Dúlamán is performed by Altan, a well-known contemporary acoustic band from Ireland. I wanted to find out more about this musical genre, so I decided to use Altan as a starting point and listen to similar Celtic music selected for me by iTunes, which named this virtual radio station Radio Altan.
For several months, I listened to a variety of instrumental bands and singers. I was captivated by much of it, and I began downloading the songs I liked best. Eventually, I created a playlist of my favorite songs and shared it with a few friends who I thought might appreciate this music (see below).
Currently, my favorite Irish bands are Altan and Lúnasa. Lúnasa and other instrumental bands were inspired by a seminal 1970’s group called The Bothy Band (see track 2). To listen to a recording of the entire playlist, click here.