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Dec 31, 2020

Your votes are tabulated to bring you the Best Celtic Music Songs and Tunes of 2020. It is all on this week’s Irish & Celtic Music Podcast.

Matt & Shannon Heaton, The Here & Now, Runa, The Gothard Sisters, Kyle Gryphon, ChildsPlay, The Changing Room, We Banjo 3, Lisa Schettner, Kennedy's Kitchen, Bellow Bridge, Syncopaths, Heather Dale, Celtica Pipes Rock, Jiggy, The Gartloney Rats, The Flailing Shilaleighs, The Rogues, Barleyjuice, Ockham's Razor

I hope you enjoy this week's show. If you did, please share the show on social or with a friend.

The Irish & Celtic Music Podcast is here to build a diverse Celtic community and help the incredible artists who so generously share their music with you. If you hear music you love, then there’s another way you can support these artists.

Buy the CDs, digital albums, shirts, and songbooks. Follow the artists on streaming, see their shows, and drop them an email to let them know you heard them on the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast.

Every week, you can get Celtic music news in your inbox. The Celtic Music Magazine is a quick and easy way to plug yourself into more great Celtic culture. Subscribe and get 34 Celtic MP3s for Free.

This is our way of finding the best songs and artists each year. Just list the show number, and the name of as many bands in the episode as you like. Your vote helps me create next year's Best Celtic music of 2021 episode.  Vote Now!


0:07 - "New Married Couple" by Matt & Shannon Heaton from Lovers' Well

3:34 - WELCOME

5:07 - "The Peacock's Head" by The Here & Now from The Winding Stair

8:56 - "Again for Greenland" by Runa from Ten: The Errant Night

13:16 - "Mazama Mornings" by The Gothard Sisters from Midnight Sun

16:55 - "Astral Hunt" by Kyle Gryphon from Isolation

20:13 - "The Noodle Vendor /Sweetest Blooms / Avery's Mazurka" by ChildsPlay from The Bloom of Youth

24:26 - "Gwrello Glaw" by The Changing Room from Picking Up the Pieces

Cornish Pronunciation: gwrello glaow


32:08 - "Dawn Breaks" by We Banjo 3 from Haven

36:36 - "Great Expectations" by Lisa Schettner from Great Expectations

40:15 - "The Umbrella Reel, Two Days To Go, Down The Broom" by Kennedy's Kitchen from The Whiskey of Truth

45:05 - "Kiss in the Morning Early" by Bellow Bridge from Cautionary Tales

49:00 - "Bronwyn Leigh" by Syncopaths from Five Gears

54:54 - "One Of Us" by Heather Dale from Imagineer


1:00:55 - "The Last Voyage of the Great Michael" by Celtica Pipes Rock from Oceans of Fire

1:04:07 - "Paddy's Lamentation" by Jiggy from Hypernova

1:06:49 - "The Landlord's Walk" by The Gartloney Rats from Some Drunken Nights (Irish Music Buried Treasures)

1:11:13 - "I Only Drink Upon the Days That End in D-A-Y" by The Flailing Shilaleighs from Yours to Discover

1:14:28 - "Reels Again" by The Rogues from 25...and Live!

1:16:47 - "High on Highland Life" by Barleyjuice from The Old Speakeasy

1:21:15 - CLOSING

1:22:50 - "The Foggy Dew/Seven Nation Army" by Ockham's Razor from Songs from Potter's Field

The Irish & Celtic Music Podcast was edited by Mitchell Petersen with Graphics by Miranda Nelson Designs. The show was produced by Marc Gunn, The Celtfather. To subscribe, go to Apple Podcasts or to our website where you can become a Patron of the Podcast for as little as $1 per episode. Promote Celtic culture through music at


* Helping you celebrate Celtic culture through music. My name is Marc Gunn. I am a musician and podcaster. This show is dedicated to the indie Celtic musicians. Please support these artists. Share the show with your friends. And find more episodes at You can also support this podcast on Patreon.

In every episode, I ask you to vote for your favorite tracks in that show. Your votes for those beloved songs and tunes are added up at the end of the year so that I can bring you the Celtic Top 20. It is my great pleasure to share with you the Top 20 Celtic Songs and Tunes of 2020. These tracks were voted on BY YOU! Your vote matters, not just in a democratic election that brings President-Elect Joe Biden to the White House next month. It also matters for creating this incredible list from twenty amazing bands.

2020 was a crazy year. The livelihood of thousands of Celtic musicians vanished in a blink of an eye. Streaming music is more popular than ever. But it pays nothing. I can’t help but wonder how many of these incredible artists will continue creating music.

So as you listen to this show, I want you to think about how you can help these amazing artists. In fact, I might throw out a few suggestions during the show.


If you’re a Celtic musician, I still have a free eBook that I want you to read. It’s called Celtic Musicians Guide to Digital Music. It includes a lot of the things I learned over the years promoting Celtic music online. It will be updated in the months to come. Maybe I’ll even finally officially release it. In the meantime, just subscribe to the Celtic Music Magazine and it’s yours.

Every year, I take a small group of Celtic music fans on the relaxing adventure of a lifetime. We don't see everything. Instead, we stay in one area. We get to know the region through its culture, history, and legends. You can join us with an auditory and visual adventure through podcasts and videos. Learn more about the invasion at


Because of Your kind and generous support, this show comes out every week. Your generosity funds the creation, promotion and production of the show. It allows us to attract new listeners and to help our community grow.

As a patron, you get to hear episodes before regular listeners. When we hit a milestone, you get an extra-long episode. You can pledge a dollar or more per episode and cap how much you want to spend each month over on Patreon.

A super special thanks to our Celtic Legends: Morgan George, Samir Malak, Patricia Conner, Carol Baril, Miranda Nelson Designs, Nancie Barnett, Kevin Long, Lynda MacNeil, robert michael kane, Tiffany Knight, Annie Lorkowski, Travis Senzaki, Hank Woodward, Shawn Cali

You can become a generous Patron of the Podcast on Patreon at

And of course, many Celtic musicians started Patreon pages in 2020. I created a blog that highlights over 70 Celtic musicians and bands with Patreon pages. And it’s still growing. Check out the Celtc Music on Patreon here.

#celticmusic #irishmusic #celticpodcast


Ye know. I love getting feedback for the podcast. I love hearing what you think of this show and sharing it here. While feedback is great right here, it’s also super important in a public setting. Like reviews on iTunes or your favorite podcatcher. It’s also hugely important to musicians.

If you enjoy an artist’s music, tell someone. You can do it as a review on iTunes or Amazon. You can post how much you love a song on social media. You can email the artist and say thanks.

In the meantime, What are you doing today while listening to the podcast? You can send a written comment along with a picture of what you're doing while listening. Email a voicemail message to

Jason Denen emailed: "Hey Marc, thanks so much for all the celtic Christmas music. This episode had so many wonderful tracks I hadn't heard before. I'm lucky to have a job where I can work from home, but being in the same spot every days gets wearying. It's great to have new music to fill the space. I find most Christmas music that gets played on the radio trends to the same old tracks. I do like the classics, but they get so overplayed during the holidays."

Georgy Grigoryev emailed: "Hi Marc, Is it possible to listen Irish and Celtic music podcast on Spotify? I tried to look for it but there’s no results."

Sadly, no but you can enjoy the Celtic Top 20 on Spotify through our Top Irish & Celtic Music Playlist. This playlist has many of the tracks featured on the Celtic Top 20 for the past 15 years. Sadly, it doesn’t have all. Some are no longer available. But it has most of them.

J Dickerson saw my moniker and asked: "Ok.  What does Celtfather mean?"

Celtfather was a nickname given to me by Les Howard of The Signal Podcast. I was one of the earliest and biggest promoters of independent Celtic music on the internet starting back in 1999. Everyone else was going through the traditional promotional means through radio, magazines and anywhere a publicist would send your material.

I took a different strategy. I created an internet newsletter and website with the Celtic Music Magazine. In 2005, I started the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. I soon had the #1 most-downloaded podcast for Celtic music in the world. So when I met Les, he came up with The Celtfather moniker. I loved it and started using it to brand myself. Of course, in 2010, it took on new meaning when my first daughter was born.