Danielle’s Paddy’s Playlist

Host of OZFM’s Jigs and Reels, Danielle Butt talks all things St. Patrick’s and offers up your must have Irish artists to celebrate Paddy’s on The Rock!


It’s not Christmas in Killarney, but it’s the next best thing for fans of Irish music across Newfoundland and Labrador! 

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are fast upon us, and so to is the annual Irish music extravaganza at OZFM Jigs and Reels, with beloved host Danielle Butt rolling out a jam-packed show bursting at the seams with the ballads and diddies that have become staples both here and across the pond. 

“I think it’s the time of year when the love of Irish music brings everyone together and they get to celebrate together,” says Butt. “I’m so lucky to get to feel that passion that people feel for the traditional Irish music all throughout the year through Jigs and Reels. But on Paddy’s Day, more than any other time throughout the year, you really get to see it.”

Newfoundland and Labrador, particularly St. John’s, rolls out the ‘green’ carpet when it comes to Paddy’s celebrations. Bars and music venues bring out the best in trad music, while fans and those thirsty for a pint or shot of Jamiesons on March 17th flock to watering holes. It’s a party that can rival the Emerald Isle itself and one we Newfoundlanders have embraced proudly.

Biggest show of the Year!

“We have that tradition and close knit ties built in our roots for Ireland, so it’s no surprise that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations here are something special,” Butt shares. “Here in Newfoundland and Labrador and St. John’s in particular and the downtown core, the energy is incredible. Newfoundlanders really put on their green and really take it all in. It’s something you have to experience yourself.

“I always enjoy Jigs and Reels on Paddy’s Day,” Butt adds. “It’s the biggest show of the year and it’s always such a pleasure to take listener requests and be a part of this larger-than-life day across the province.”

With the sounds that will make up the celebrations in mind, we’ve asked Butt to curate a Paddy’s playlist of the must have artists to ensure Irish eyes will be smiling all year round!

Nathan Carter –May The Road Rise

 This new song is just one big Irish Blessing: “May the road rise to meet you. A smile always greet you. May our friendship be always true and strong. And as the sun sets in the west. I wish you all the best. Please God we’ll meet again before too long….  May the luck of the Irish be with you every day.” It’s just so appropriate not only on this particularly feel good time of year, but for anytime of year to really feel in touch with your roots and who we are as people. It’s the perfect soundtrack and song to really represent St. Paddy’s celebrations on Jigs and Reels.

Christy Moore

I’ve always been such a big fan and, outside of my long time love for his music, I’m so excited to get to see him in concert this year in Edinburgh. I’ve had the pleasure to not only see but meet so many of the big names in traditional music over the years and Christy Moore was always high on my Bucket List. Anyone who hasn’t had the experience to listen to this man is missing out.  Check out Black is the Colour by Christy Moore and tell me you didn’t get goosebumps.

Foster and Allen

 I actually got to introduce them to my parents, who are massive fans. I love their music. 

I remember the first time I got to hear The Black Sheep – it was my grandfather, my father and my little brother singing the song. I cried the whole time. It was beautiful and that’s the kind of memories that stay with me when I think of and hear Foster and Allen. They have so many recordings, but be sure to take in After All These Years and Golden Years.

 The Dubliners

Luke Kelly’s voice just makes me smile. Dearly, dearly love. And Ronnie Drew? That wonderful, gravelly voice, there’s nothing like it. They are The Dubliners. When you think of Irish music they are the cornerstone. So many important songs and so, so influential to the entire shape and history of the music. The term trailblazer gets thrown around a lot, but it really applies here.

Don’t miss out Luke Kelly’s Raglan Road and Ronnie Drew singing The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.

Tommy Makem & The Clancy Brothers

When I met Liam Clancy, I just had this immediate feeling that he was one of those warm souls. He has those eyes that go on forever. The Clancy Brothers were as much storytellers as they were musicians. Liam Clancy’s voice is another… when you hear one of his ballads, it’s just so soothing. It does the heart good. Take a listen to Red is the Rose and you’ll get it.

Johnny McEvoy

Another beautiful Irish balladeer. He’s a true performer and tells the stories through his songs. Whether you’re in the crowd, or listening on Jigs and Reels, you’re there and you relate to and see what he’s singing and feel what he’s feeling. It takes an amazing talent to do that.  Johnny McEvoy’s song Michael, about the Irish revolutionary, soldier Michael Collins, is another must listen.

Paddy Reilly

Such a rich voice. Even when he sang with The Dubliners, as soon as you heard his voice you know immediately – it’s Paddy Reilly. He’s another timeless Irish artist, with that fantastic ability to draw his listener in! Love his renditions of The Fields of Athenry and Grace.

The Pogues

Shane MacGowan, for such a troubled artist, he is so incredibly, amazingly talented. Obviously, so many people know Fairytale of New York, but The Pogues are so important to the history of the genre and Shane MacGowan is at the heart of that. They really helped to bridge the gap and take Irish music into the mainstream and inspire so many of the younger bands we see today.  The Pogues’ Dirty Old Town should be on your playlist, for sure!

The Whistlin’ Donkeys

They’re a relatively new band out of Ireland, with  a fantastic tendency to resurrect classic songs but they put their own twists to them. Even some songs that are a bit more non-traditional, non-Irish and really make it their own. Like the Dixie Chicks songs or Bryan Adams.  

Take a listen to Bee’s Wing… and then, just to throw it in there, Travellin’ Soldier.

Wolfe Tones

 You’ve got to have Wolfe Tones on this list!! Their Irish rebel songs or protest anthems were truly of their time and embodied the spirit of a generation. It’s a sound that truly still stands up to this day. We’ll definitely hear We’re on The One Road during our Paddy’s Day Show.

Tune into Jigs & Reels every sunday from 7am – 1pm on ozfm!

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