A few years ago, I was playing around with iTunes Radio, Apple’s first music streaming service. (Apple has since incorporated iTunes Radio into Apple Music).

I heard the song Dúlamán and liked it a lot. Dúlamán is performed by Altan, a well-known contemporary Irish acoustic band. I wanted to find out more about the Celtic folk genre, so I decided to use Altan as a starting point and listen to related music. 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. Using these songs, I created the playlist Radio Altan and shared it with a few friends who I thought might appreciate this music.

There are many great Irish bands. My current favorites are Altan and Lúnasa. Lúnasa was inspired by a seminal 70’s group called The Bothy Band (see track 2).


1Shamrock ShoreKaran CaseySonglines
2The Kesh JigBothy Band1975
3DúlamánAltanIsland Angel
4Morning NightcapLúnasaThe Merry Sisters of Fate
5Siúil a RúinAnúnaInvocation
6Soup of the DayOld Blind DogsThe World's Room
7Dún Do ShúilAltanLocal Ground
8Dougie MacDonald'sSolasSolas
9Home and the HeartlandAnúnaRiverdance
10The 3-Headed MonsterSharon ShannonSpellbound
11The Keg of BrandyKaran CaseyChasing the Sun
12Sinead Maire'sLúnasaCas
13Island GirlAltanAnother Sky