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New Irish and related releases July 2001
THE ROUGH FIELD. CCT19/20CD. Claddagh Records
is very proud to
release of a great recording of modern Irish poetry, written by one of
contemporary Ireland’s greatest poets. John Montague’s The Rough
Field (Garvaghy in Irish) is about a search for himself and about his
and his people’s place in the landscape and history of Ulster. Along
with the contemporary personal pieces, he deals with the sixteenth and
seventeenth century conflicts between the Ulster chieftains and the
Elizabethan planters. This performance was recorded live for an audience
in London in 1973, when the ghosts of the past were again beginning to
disturb Ulster and the rest of Ireland. It is read by voices still well
known in Ireland, though they were much younger voices then – John
Montague, Seamus Heaney, Benedict Kiely, Tom McGurk, and the late
Patrick McGee. There is also incidental live music by The
Chieftains in a great recording of what must have been a thrilling
THE WYND YOU KNOW. Ronan Browne. CC64CD.
Ronan is regarded as one of today’s master pipers, and is renowned
throughout the world for his music. He has previously recorded with Peadar
O’Loughlin (The Southwest Wind) and on The Drones and the
Chanters II, both on the Claddagh label. He remains a member of the
very successful group Cran. Ronan
was born to a musical family – his maternal grandmother was the
extraordinarily popular singer Delia Murphy and his father played whistle
and pipes. Ronan himself was often cradled in Willie Clancy’s arms as a
baby. This is an album of pure traditional uilleann piping, and Ronan is
accompanied on three of the tracks by the fiddler Kevin Glackin.
Claddagh Records is proud to have published this new recording and we are
sure that in time it will be held in the same high regard as our other
AN JOGA MÓR. Cáit Ní Mhuimhneacháin. RTE
242CD. This is a superb
publication of spectacular beauty. Cáit was born near Guagán Barra in
west Cork, and it was estimated that her repertoire included several
hundred songs in Irish and in English.
This recording includes thirteen songs in English and in Irish,
plus three sung by her brothers Aindrias and Mícheál. Four of the songs
are from the local eighteenth century poet Máire Bhuí Ní Laoghaire.
It’s not by any means all sad weepy stuff – here is a woman who
was young when the recordings were made in the 1940s and, while her big
songs have great nobility, she also knew how to sing about enjoying
AN HISTORIC RECORDING OF IRISH TRADITIONAL MUSIC. Paddy
Canny, PJ Hayes, Peter O’Loughlin and Bridie Lafferty. SHCD
76001. One of the most requested items we have been asked for over the
years is All-Ireland Champions – the Violin. Published in 1959,
it has been more accurately re-titled in this re-release. Published at a
time when there were practically no LPs of traditional music, it made a
great impression on an entire generation. It displayed the musical
tradition of a specific part of Ireland, played by people who had played
together for years, and who were at their musical best. I’ve only ever
heard it before on second- and third-generation cassettes, and this CD
release justifies its legendary reputation. Everybody should have it.
THE VERY BEST OF PECKER DUNNE. Pecker Dunne.
EMCD 8003. A great re-issue of mostly self-composed ballads from the
1960s, an insight to the flamboyant life of one of Ireland’s best-loved
musical characters. However, be aware that practically all of it was
released some years ago on a CD shared with Margaret Barry. There are some
indicators of the traveller’s life in Ireland in the 1950s – hard, but
hardly as difficult as it is nowadays. Watch out for one of the most
spectacularly out-of-tune pieces of music ever recorded. As he says –
‘Sure anyone could play it if ‘twas in tune’
John Hoban. CMCD 003. John Hoban is a multi-instrumentalist
EVENING COMES EARLY. John Doyle. SHCD 78045.
John was formerly the guitarist in the group Solas, and this is his
first solo recording. There are four generous selections of dance tunes
played on guitar, any one of which is worth a listen. The rest are songs,
most of them reminiscent of recordings of the English and American
folksong revivals in the 1960s and early 1970s. Interestingly, there seems
to be a recent penchant for well-known artists to include performances by
a parent or parents. This entirely worthy trend is followed here with a
lovely rendering of The Dark Slender Boy by John’s father Seán.
UNAPPROVED ROAD. Colum Sands. SCD 1001.
Colum is one of the very well known Sands Family from Mayobridge in County
Down. In the 1960s and the 1970s they were known all over the world and
they still perform frequently. Colum is as well known for his song writing
as for his musical performance, and Unapproved Road is a re-issue
of one of his albums from 1982. It contains his wry and beautifully
written Almost Every Circumstance and the extremely funny If It
Wasn’t for the Border. Well worth a listen.
HEART STRINGS. Colm O’Donnell. SUNCD 040. Ballads and Country and Western songs.
SARAH GHRIALLAIS. CP01958. Sarah is a member of one
of the great singing families of Connemara – three of the sisters have
won the Corn Uí Riada competition, the greatest honour in sean-nós
singing. In Sarah’s case she has won it three times. These
recordings were made last year, and they show a great singer in her prime.
Songs include Dónall Óg, Caisleán Uí Néill, Bean an Fhir Rua and
Táilliúir a’ Mhaga.
December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000