Hi friends,
The winter weather has arrived en force in Maine and we’re hunkered down with our woodstove as temperatures drop below zero each night this week.  It’s the perfect time to catch up on reading and a bit of planning work for the coming year.

I spent a few days in the studio last week and I am very excited to tell you that the final guitar parts have been set for the new album, which is a huge step and will unlock an avalanche of activity leading up to our spring release.  I am thrilled to have Bethany Waickman playing guitar on the album, and in concert for the foreseeable future. One more reason that being in Portland, Maine is perfect!

There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year, including the touring debut of Josephine County, a wonderful project that has us collaborating with our dear friends Erica and Matt Shipman on a fantastic mix of Irish, Scottish, American, French-Candian music.  We’re heading south in February and you’re welcome to join us here for more information!

Little Sea Folk Presents: Duó

We’re thrilled to kick off our concert season with music from the incredible Niamh Varian-Barry and Peter Staunton. Niamh and I met years ago when she was singing with Solas and we have had the chance to spend some time with them in Dingle over the years. It makes me so happy that they will be here and that we get to introduce a few more people to their amazing music. Click for tickets.

January is full of planning and studio time and a break from concerts (I’m feeling a bit ragged from the road, if I’m being honest) so I’ll chat with you all again in February and hopefully see you soon after that.  The year is filling up with touring in February, March, and beyond, so there will be plenty of time to share these new songs with you all.  A very big thank you to some new friends in Pennsylvania for reaching out and supporting the new album (and getting a house concert to boot)! If you would like to discuss a private event, please do reach out.  We love to come and sing with you for an evening!

with love,

Leopold and Molly Bloom would like to say hello and Happy New Year as well.  🙂

1. Belfast, Maine –  Oct 24!
2. Little Sea Céilí!
3. Austin Celtic Festival
4. Album(s) News
5. Japan Tour 2017
Hello friends!
I hope your autumn has been gorgeous so far. The colors here in Maine are pretty impressive and we’ve had a lot of highway time to see them all over the last couple of weeks on tour out here. The final night of the tour is tomorrow, October 24 in Belfast, Maine at the Belfast Co-housing and Ecovillage.

If you’re in Maine or the surrounding states, we would absolutely love to see you at the very first Little Sea Folk Autumn Céilí in Portland at the Maine Charitable Mechanic’s Hall *this* Saturday, October 28 at 7pm. The incredible Jackie O’Riley and I spent a brief time working on Atlantic Steps a few years back and we are thrilled to bring her up to teach and call the dance with music from Junior Stevens (accordion), Alden Robinson (fiddle), Hanz Araki (flute), and Janine Randall (piano).

A couple of other quick notes. I’m delighted to be joining Seamus Egan of Solas at the Austin Celtic Festival for a bit of singing as he tours his new Seamus Egan Project. Looking forward to seeing friends and meeting some folks in Texas that have been asking for us to come down that way! On the album front, thanks to every single one of you who pre-ordered your copy of the new album and a shirt or a house concert, we met the goal a few weeks ago and when all of this traipsing around is over, I’ll be back in the studio in Dublin finishing up the new album. As it happens, I am sitting in the studio in Maine right now doing some work on a new album from the Hanz Araki Band…. more information to follow! Hanz and I head off to Japan in just a couple of weeks to start a three week tour and see dear friends on that side of the world. I can’t wait!

Enjoy these beautiful autumn days and I hope we’ll see you sometime down the road.

with love,

Hello from Dublin!
It’s been a wonderful few weeks here with friends and colleagues playing music and beginning the new record.  Hanz Araki and I spent two weeks playing and singing with folks in our home away from home in West Kerry.  We are so grateful to Chef Trevis and Caryn Gleason for the care and welcome whenever we find ourselves in the Kingdom.  It’s funny how you do end up with family all over the world, when you travel as we do.  The Gleasons are no exception.

Have a look at Trevis’ gorgeous new book, Dingle Dinners!  We have an advanced copy because we are so spoiled and we absolutely love it.  I can’t wait to start cooking from this incredible collection of work.

We’ve had three days in the studio working on the new album and I am happy to report that everything is going well!  Most of the songs we thought we had have made the cut, some have been tabled, and some others have been added – all very exciting!  I’ve been posting a bit from the studio on my Instagram page if you’d like to see what’s going on over here.

We’ve made it to about 65% of the goal set for pre-orders of the new album.  If you think you’ll be buying one or would like to get your St. Patrick’s Day shopping done, please click here and order yours and maybe a t-shirt!  For folks who would like to buy a few copies, you can select “no-perk” and send me a quick email about how many copies or t-shirts you’d like, rather than enter in your card information more than once.

colleen, peter mckinney, aidan brennan, trevor hutchinson
Story Road on tour in California!

The gents and I are doing a swing through California starting next weekend at the KVMR Celtic Festival and Marketplace in gorgeous Nevada City and extending all the way to San Pedro in Los Angeles.

I hope you can join us for a show while we’re there!
Sept 30 • KVMR Celtic Festival, Nevada City
Oct 1 • KVMR Celtic Festival, Nevada City
Oct 2 • Studio Concert, Cottonwood
Oct 4 • Carl Cherry Center, Carmel
Oct 5 • Don Quixote’s, Felton
Oct 6 • The Grand Annex, San Pedro
Oct 7 • The Red Barn, San Luis Obispo
Oct 8 • St Lukes, Jolon

We’re looking forward to playing and singing and carrying on for a week, in true Story Road fashion.

Northeast Tour – The Hanz Araki Band

I am thrilled to be able to join Hanz Araki and our dear friends Genta Fukue from Okayama, and Elly Marshall from Portland, Maine for a tour of the Northeast from October 12th to October 24th!
Oct 12 • Southwest Harbor, ME
Oct 13 • Yarmouth, ME
Oct 14 • South Portland, ME
Oct 15 • West Kennebunk, ME
Oct 18 • Portland, ME
Oct 19 • Boston, MA
Oct 20 • Providence, RI
Oct 21 • Harvard, MA
Oct 22 • Nashua, NH
Oct 24 • Belfast, ME

Wow you guys.  That is a lot for the month and I am proud of you for making it all the way to the end of this email!  Congratulations!!

You can find a whole bunch more information on the facebook page, if you go for that sort of thing.  And I hope I get to see you in person before too long.

with love,

Little Sea Records is proud to present a new album from traditional singer Colleen Raney to be released in the Spring of 2018.  The album, her 5th studio album to date, will turn her attention in a new direction and feature contemporary songwriters from Ireland and the United States in the folk tradition from which she comes.

A small, crowdfunding campaign has been completed, and additional opportunities to pre-order or otherwise support the production of the album are available.

Please contact info@littlesearecords.com for more information or opportunities.

Hello friends!
Summer is flying by here in the northeast and I just took a look at the calendar for the next few months and realized I had better enjoy these last couple of weeks of time at home, because there is a big autumn coming up! I’m very excited about every one of the projects in the next few months so I thought I’d take moment and let you know what’s happening.

First up, Hanz Araki and I are heading to our hometown of Seattle, Washington for a visit with family and friends and two very special shows with Portland, Maine residents Elly Marshall and Miles Isacke, who will also be in the area! Miles and Elly are two of our closest friends here in Maine (they helped us unpack the moving truck… TWICE) and we are very excited to introduce you to them at two shows:
Sat, August 26 • 9pm – Egan’s Ballard Jamhouse, Seattle (SOLD OUT)
Sun, August 27 • 7pm – The Treehouse Cafe, Bainbridge Island
Tickets are going quickly for these shows so please click on each link and reserve your space as soon as you can.

Next up, recording dates have been confirmed for the new record to be made with Aidan Brennan and Trevor Hutchinson in September! We’re going to get a good start on it while I’m able to be in Ireland and then if we need to, we’ll finish it up in December and hope to have it out by early 2018. In the next couple of months, there will be a place where you can pre-order your copy, but for now, I’m just happy to share the news! 10 of 11 songs have been chosen and it is a definite departure from previous albums, which is very exciting for me. Stay tuned!

Looking ahead:
• I’m heading west for one final run with Story Road beginning at the KVMR Celtic Festival in Nevada City, California and spanning the length of The Golden State for about 10 days. Details here.

• For a very special 10 days in October, our good friend and colleague Genta Fukue will be here in the Northeast from Okayama, Japan and we are delighted to be playing shows with him through the area. Details here. We’re also thrilled to be heading into the studio with him and finally doing the recording we’ve been threatening for a few years now.

• November means Japan and I’m more excited than ever to return and see friends and sing songs and be in one of our favorite places. We are lucky to have so many homes away from home.
Little Sea Folk Festival!

One last quick note. We are thrilled to show you our beautiful new brand identity, thoughtfully designed by Dejah Léger at Hearth Music. We love it and we hope you will too! Planning and fundraising is underway for the 2018 festival and we would love your support! Please make your plans to join us on June 30th in Portland, Maine and if you’d like to be part of the initial effort to make this festival a success, there is a button below that you’re welcome to click. We appreciate everything – even your words of encouragement!

Have a wonderful August and I hope to see you this autumn for a song and a laugh!
with love,

Hello from Albuquerque!
It’s been a busy few weeks since I last wrote! I returned home from Ireland in mid-February to three feet of snow and 36 hours to swap out suitcases and catch up with the incredible musicians of Solas on the road at Wolf Trap in Virginia. It is a joy and an honor to share the stage with these guys every night. Quite literally my dream job.

Solas Tour
We have two more dates in Colorado and one week on the east coast before the band takes a long break. solasmusic.com for information!

Pacific Northwest
I am headed to the Pacific Northwest in late March and early April for a week of shows with two incredible musicians – Bethany Waickman (guitar) and Ryan Davidson (upright bass, bouzouki, vocals). Dates here!

Sean-nós Northwest
I am thrilled to be among the faculty for the 2017 Sean-nós Northwest Festival. I’ll be teaching singing workshops as well as beginning bodhrán. It’s a great weekend – you should join us!

Those are the bullet points anyway. We’re off to Durango, Colorado tomorrow and my poor lungs are still getting used to the altitude. I’m going to climb into bed early, watch a bit of television, and get some sleep.

I hope you are all very well and happy! I’ll fill you in on the new garden in the next few months. 😉

with love,

Hi friends,

I hope you’ve all been well since I last wrote.  There are a few things worth mentioning this month so I’ll get right to it.  I’m heading out again next week to Virginia and North Carolina for 10 days with two of my favorite people and musicians, John Weed and Stuart Mason.  We work together as a project called Story Road most of the time, and they have agreed to change caps and join the ranks of the Colleen Raney Band for a bit.  Hilarity will no doubt ensue.

Here’s the schedule with ticket links highlighted.  Please help us out if you have a second and pass it along anyone who might enjoy the show! Thank you so much!

Friday, May 5 • House Concert • Winchester, VA
Saturday, May 6 • Forty Acres Concert • Durham, NC
Sunday, May 7 • Ted’s Fun on the River • Wilmington, NC
Tuesday, May 9 • Sola Coffee Cafe • Raleigh, NC
Wednesday, May 10 • Isis Music Hall • Asheville, NC
Friday, May 12 • Bethabara Highland Games Ceilidh • Winston-Salem, NC
Saturday, May 13 • Bethabara Highland Games • Winston-Salem, NC
Saturday, May 13 • Music at Big Purple • Greensboro, NC


One more very exciting bit of news is that we’re officially launching the Little Sea Folk Festival in June of 2018.  In addition to touring and recording and planting bulbs, we spent the early months of this year establishing a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and education of traditional music in Maine with a focus on Celtic and Maritime cultures.  We’re very excited about what is coming down the line here and we’d love you to be a part of it.

After this North Carolina Tour, I have a short run of shows with Stuart Mason and Ryan Davidson in Southern California and then it is new album time.  Check out the full schedule here and I’ll keep you posted about the record as it develops!

Looking forward to seeing you in person very soon!

with love,

Hello again!
Just a quick note before tomorrow’s flight to Seattle. The schedule is set and we’re looking forward to singing and playing for you over the next week on my home turf. This is the first time we’ve been able to convince Ryan to bring his upright bass along and I for one am really freaking excited about that. It doesn’t take much.
Here’s the schedule. It would be so nice to see you.
Friday, March 31 • Couth Buzzard Bookstore • Seattle, WA
Saturday, April 1 • Old Liberty Theater • Ridgefield WA
Sunday, April 2 • Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater • Snohomish, WA
Monday, April 3 • Honey Moon • Bellingham, WA
Wednesday, April 5 • The Alberta Street Pub • Portland, OR
Thursday, April 6 • Newberg Music Center • Newberg, OR
<divFriday, April 7 • Private Concert • Seattle, WA
Saturday, April 8 • Sean-nós NW Festival • Olympia, WA
Sunday, April 9 • Sean-nós NW Festival • Olympia, WA

The singing classes I’ll be teaching at the 10th Annual Sean-nós Northwest Festival are titled “Songs in Dangerous Times,” “Songs of the Female Protagonist,” and “Songs of Revolution,” as well as two beginning bodhrán classes. There will be loads of other classes, including dance classes, music, art, cooking, language for all levels from beginner to professional if you have a free day over the weekend. Information and registration here.

Last bit of news and then I’ll get to packing. I’m so pleased to announce that I’ll be on the road with John Weed and Stuart Mason again quite a bit this year. We’re starting off with a tour of one of my favorite parts of the south! Look for us in Winchester, VA and all over the beautiful state of North Carolina in the first half of May. Details as they come in arehere.

Have a wonderful week, everyone.
Looking forward to seeing you in person very soon!

with love,

Hello from Dublin, everyone!

I won’t take up a ton of time this month, but I wanted to write and say hello and tell you some good news.  In just a few weeks, I’ll join the incredible musicians of Solas for a month on the road.  I got a lovely phone call from Win Horan a couple of weeks ago and it worked out to be able to join them for shows from Feb 16 until Mar 19.  The women who have sung these songs before me are a collection of inspiring, talented, generous, driven artists and I am so proud to join their ranks for even a little while.  If you are in one of the areas we’ll be visiting, I hope you’ll let me know and come say hello!

A few weeks after that wraps up, I’m off to the Northwest for a tour of my own, so for those of you who will miss the Solas tour, you still have a shot to hear some music! North Carolina and California are also both on the docket for late Spring so keep an eye on the website for all of those details.  They are updating pretty quickly these days.

Speaking of the Pacific Northwest, I hope you’ll be able to head out and support one of my favorite bands from Portland, Maine as they are on tour for a week in February.  The Press Gang (now with 100% more flute and vocals) will be playing from Mt. Vernon to Astoria and most points in between.  You’ll love it!

Understandably, my trip to Ireland is a bit shorter than originally planned, so I’ll be trying to pack in as much as I can between sessions, album production work, archives, and maybe even a little bit of fun.

chat soon!
with love,

Happy winter, friends!

It has been so long since I sat down and wrote. I hope you’ve all been very well. What a year this has turned out to be. I’m fairly certain we all have had more than our fair share of surprises as we work our way steadily toward 2017. It makes me more grateful than ever for this wonderful community of people that I have grown to love over the last several years. Thank you for being that for me.

Since I last wrote, we we’ve been to Japan and back and I made quick (non-musical) trip to the Pacific Northwest to see family and friends.

At Kinse Ryokan in the old entertainment district in Kyoto, Japan with Hanz Araki and Genta Fukue, Nov 2016 • photo: Tadayoshi Numasawa

What’s next? When I was a kid, we used to meet my brother at the gate when he would fly home from medical school for holidays and there was always that excruciating anticipation as we craned to get the first glimpse as he walked up the jetway. This feels just like that. It’s just out of sight, but I know what’s coming and it’s very exciting. While it may not show, there’s a great deal of (musical) planning and digging and sowing happening as the new year looms.

I head off to Ireland in January and February again to begin work on a new album in earnest. I think I know what it will be, but I am, as ever, leaving room to be surprised by those with whom I’ll be collaborating. The hope is an autumn release. I’ll keep you posted as things begin to firm up. There’s a tour of the Pacific Northwest booked for April and a tour of California booked for May (be in touch if you’ve got ideas for either – I’d love to find a few more places to play). And much more planned for down the line…

I’ve put my favorite photos and memories in a little album. If you click on the image below, you can see them for yourself:

I’ve loved this time of year for one very specific reason. The dark is heavy, sometimes, and the days feel short, and the tug of introspection is in contrast wth the bustle and responsibility of the season. But I have loved this time of year because even the tiniest of light shines that much brighter.

I am so grateful for your light. Happiest of holidays to you and I wish you every single happiness in the coming year. I’ll see you down the road…

with love,

Hello friends!
I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far!  We’re slowly but surely getting settled here in Maine and I’ve been up to my elbows in paint, garden supplies, and small home projects as we hurry to get things sorted before we’re back on the road again.  The next few events are up here in the Northeast so I won’t have to go far at all!

July brings the 10th Anniversary Maine Celtic Celebration in Belfast, Maine and I am delighted to be returning with an incredible band this year.  I’ll be joined by Ryan Davidson on bouzouki, Nathan Gourley on fiddle, and very special guest Hanz Araki on flute and vocals.  I’m thrilled to get all of these gentlemen on the stage at the same time and I hope you’ll make your plans to join us!

Ryan, Hanz, and I will spend another few days playing around the Northeast as well, if you aren’t able to make it to Belfast.
Tuesday, July 19 • The Dance Hall, Kittery, ME
Wednesday, July 20 • Blue, Portland, ME
Thursday, July 21 • The Norfolk Library, Norfolk, CT

I think that’s it for this edition.  There are a couple of old recordings of favorite songs up on the Soundcloud page if you’d like to pop over there.  And there are always new bits of this or that on the Facebook page if you go for that sort of thing.  But I hope I get to see you in the real world sooner rather than later.

with love,

Hello friends!

I hope everything is great for you as spring makes her way through the calendar.  Just a quick note for you this time from a sweet hotel room a few short blocks away from my old home in Oregon as we kick off our Pacific Northwest Victory Lap.  We had a chance to shake out all of the cobwebs last night in Bend and we’re thrilled to be able to sing with you a bit before we head back to unpack into our new home.

Here are the stops along the road:
5/19 • Abbie Weisenbloom’s House • Portland, Oregon

(we’ll be live-streaming this concert tonight at 7:30pm PDT at https://www.concertwindow.com/abbiewpresents – a rare and terrifying experience!)
5/20 • Walters Cultural Arts Center • Hillsboro, Oregon (BIG SHOW!! JOIN US!!)
5/21 • Phinney Center Concert Hall • Seattle, Washington
5/22 • The Treehouse Cafe • Bainbridge Island, Washington
5/25 • River Road House Concert • Eugene, Oregon
5/26 • House Concert • Salem, Oregon
5/27 • The Conway Muse • Conway, Washington
5/28 • Tim Noah Thumbnail Theatre • Snohomish, Washington
5/29 • DiLuna’s Cafe • Sandpoint, IdahoWe’ll be taking the month of June off and then I’ll get back to music and travel a bit in July at the Maine Celtic Celebration with Hanz Araki, Ryan Davidson, and Nathan Gourley!It would be great to see you or hear from you in the meantime.  Enjoy this gorgeous season and everything it brings.with love,

Hello wonderful people.

I guess I have some pretty big news for you this month.  I have spent the last week in a truck loaded down with everything that I own moving from one coast of this gigantic country to the other.  It gives a person plenty of time to reflect and dream and imagine and grieve and hope. Big change is always a little bit scary even when it is exactly what is right.  And this move is exactly right.  I am thrilled to be in the northeast again after a number of years away, and love the community that we are so fortunate to be joining.  Dear friends, wonderful musicians, good and honest people – and there is great coffee to boot!  If you ever find yourself in or near Maine, I hope you’ll drop me a line and let me know.

We also have plenty of plans to tour around, so if you can’t get here, I’m doing my best to come and see you where you are.  First up, New York City, followed very quickly by The Pacific Northwest!  I’ll be joined by my dear friend and collaborator Colm MacCárthaigh for one very special show at the New York Irish Center in Long Island City on May 14th.  We’ll play songs from our album, Cuan, as well as other favorites, new and old.

I fly west again to meet up with Hanz Araki and Cary Novotny for a fantastic evening at the Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro, Oregon on May 20th. It has been over a year since I have played a show in what was my home for 7 years, and I hope to see you there for this farewell concert.

There will be a handful of shows with Hanz and Cary as well as a week of shows with Hanz and Owen Marshall in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, so please take a look at the schedule below and join us for our tiny victory lap.

with love,

may 2016

Hello friends,
It’s nearly Spring and we made it home in time to see the crocuses that I hastily dug into the ground in November before we left for Ireland!  We’re here for a flying week or so and then off again to spend our St. Patrick’s season in Japan playing all throughout Kansai and Kyushu with the wonderful Genta Fukue! If someone sees my shadow, please pin her down!

Tour News
Here is your official notice that I’ve booked a great big tour of Washington and Oregon in late May.  Hillsboro, Bend, Salem, Eugene, Seattle, Conway, Snohomish, Bainbridge Island, and Sandpoint, Idaho!  I’ll be side-guying on bodhrán for a house concert in Portland as well, while we’re here.  All dates are at www.colleenraney.com/tour.  Check the schedule and please join us!

And here’s a great Seamus Heaney poem for you.  In a month rife with unflattering stereotypes of the Irish, I like to surround myself with what is good and real about our wonderful heritage.

with love,


A rowan like a lipsticked girl.
Between the by-road and the main road
Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance
Stand off among the rushes.

There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens.

Seamus Heaney


Hello friends,

I hope your February is starting beautifully.  It certainly seems like this year is flying by already.  I’m back in Dublin again after our three months in West Kerry.  One more week in Ireland and then it’s back to work!  We have had an indescribable experience and are changed as a result of the generosity of the people we knew and got to know in Dingle. We have been so lucky to be welcomed into that community for the time we were there.  Plans are already being made to return, but we’ll save that for another time.

This week we’ll sing songs, meet friends, play tunes, and soak up the last bits of Irish rain before heading to New York and then Portland, Maine.  Looking forward to playing a bit along the way.  Dates are on the Tour Page of the website.  You’ll also see dates in Japan and the Pacific Northwest, so I hope you’ll join us for a song or two if we’re nearby!

For those of you interested in traditional singing, I’ll be teaching three workshops at the Portland FolkMusic Society’s Singtime Frolics on March 26 and 27.  Information can be found on their website.

with love,

I hope the beginning of 2016 is already bringing you everything wonderful. Things here in Dingle are settling down a little bit after a pretty adventurous few months including the holidays. Our accommodation situation here changed dramatically within the first week of our arrival so we have been the guest of two wonderful, patient, generous, and welcoming friends and their two Wheaten Terriers. Just this week we moved into our own house for the final month that we’re in Dingle and we are getting back to music and tea and turf fires as planned. Being here in West Kerry has already worked wonders on us in ways that we didn’t expect. We’ve had the chance to meet and share music with a whole host of phenomenal musicians, and to really consider what our place on the pitch looks like, for lack of a better metaphor. I am ever grateful for being here at the time of year where it is mostly residents so we can get a good look at life in Dinglandia (with credit to Gerry O’Beirne) without the crush of tourism. I daresay we’re hooked.

I’ve been taking photographs of the experience along the way. If you click on the photo below it will take you to a gallery for you to enjoy.


As for music, there are plans being made, new collaborations about which to be excited, and upcoming tour dates. I, for one, have found a treasure trove of new, very old songs to love. I’ll sing some of them for you at some point down the road when I’ve spent more time with them. Stay tuned for a bit of video too…

Mid and late February has us playing on the East Coast of the US. March takes us to Japan for St. Patrick’s Day and then back for a singing workshop weekend in Oregon. May has shows in New York and the Pacific Northwest! All the tour dates are listed here. Hopefully I’ll catch you at one place or another.

with love,