So you can enjoy the new album, we've created some notes on all the tracks.
1. Captain Ward
This song from the 17th Century tells the story of Captain John Ward a pirate who, together with a Dutch accomplice, Dansekar, was the scourge of the seas from 1604 to 1609. In this version of the song, which we heard on a recording by the Scottish band Alba, Ward defeats the King’s ship Royal Rainbow after a 12-hour battle and sends a message to the king: "though he reigns king on all dry land, I'll reign king on sea!" It is followed by ‘Paddy goes East’, a composition of Gerry’s, the title of which was inspired by its Eastern-European sounding rhythm.
2. Twa Corbies
'The Twa Corbies' is a cynical Scottish parody of a 17th Century English song 'The Three Ravens'. In this dark version, the corbies (crows) tell that the dead knight's hawk and hound have forsaken him and are off chasing game, while his lover has already moved on to another knight. Since no-one knows or cares where his body lies, the corbies talk in detail about the meal they will make of him, plucking out his eyes and using his hair for their nest. That's recycling folks!
3. Ynis Avalach
We adapted this first tune 'Ynis Avalach' from the playing of our friends in the German band Faun. It takes the form of what is known in Brittany as a Tricot because it knits an An Dro and a Hanter Dro together. This is followed by the popular slip jig ‘Dever the Dancer’. We end the set with two classic reels: ‘Toss the Feathers #1’ and ‘Toss the Feathers #2’.
4. A Band of Gold
This song is a recent composition by Dublin singer-songwriter, Maurice McGrath. It tells the sad story of a young woman whose father forbids her to marry her lover because he cannot afford to buy her a ring – the band of gold. He leaves, never to return, and settles for the stars above being the band of gold.
5. Magic Happens
Gerry composed the first jig, ‘Magic Happens’. This is followed by a composition of Joe Liddy, ‘The Three Wishes’. The set finishes with Charlie Lennon’s ‘Morning Sunday’.
6. The War of the Crofters
The Scottish singer/songwriter, Brian McNeill, is well-known for his political songs of social consciousness. Although based on a traditional theme, the sentiments expressed in this fine song are very much relevant today. #IndyRef2 anyone?
7. Farewell to Charlemagne
Michael composed this beautiful air as a mark of respect for his fluffy bunny 'Charlemagne' who sadly expired last year after eating contaminated lettuce.* Originally named after a building in Brussels, it has wider metaphorical connotations given Charlemagne’s role in promoting education and learning.
8. The Cameronian Highlander Set
The Cameronian Highlander is a well-known barn dance. This is followed by three reels: ‘The Killavil Reel’, ‘The Bag of Spuds’ and ‘The Carracastle Lass’.
9. Jamie Raeburn
Jamie Raeburn is reputed to have been a baker in Glasgow, Scotland who was sentenced for petty theft and transported to the British colonies as punishment. It is alleged that he was innocent.
10. Midlothian Mining Song
This traditional Scottish song tells of the deprivations of the life of a miner and how the working conditions are nothing like those enjoyed by people who work only "8 hours a day". It is preceded by the ‘Coleraine Jig‘.
11. Breaking Wind
Simon learned this first tune from the playing of Breton guitarist Gilles le Bigot. It is followed by a composition of Kieran’s son, Lorcan Fahy, entitled ‘Mother Folker Therapy’. The last tune is a Michael McGoldrick composition, ‘Windbroke’.
*No animals were harmed in the making of this CD!
Recorded by Philip Masure at Folk Studios and Pascale Snoeck at Elle Studios, Belgium.
Mixed by Philip Masure, Gerry Murray & Joe Hennon.
Mastered by Red Mastering, UK.
Artwork by Robin Dekker, The Netherlands.
Paddy Goes East (Track 1) - Gerry Murray
A Band of Gold (Track 4) - Maurice McGrath
Magic Happens (Track 5) - Gerry Murray
The Three Wishes (Track 5) - Joe Liddy
Morning Sunday (Track 5) - Charlie Lennon
The War of the Crofters (Track 6) - Brian McNeill
Farewell to Charlemagne (Track 7) - Michael Horgan
Mother Folker Therapy (Track 11) - Lorcan Fahy
Windbroke (Track 11) - Michael McGoldrick
Simon Donnelly (Guitars, Bouzouki, Vocals)
Kieran Fahy (Fiddle, Viola)
Helen Flaherty (Vocals, Bodhran)
Joe Hennon (Guitars, Vocals)
Michael Horgan (Uilleann Pipes, Flute, Whistles)
Gerry Murray (Accordion, Whistles, Bouzouki, Piano)
Additional percussion by Philip Masure
Philip Masure, who's been a good friend of the band from the beginning and who is fab to work with in the recording studio
Pascale Snoeck, who has been our live sound technician since 1997
Patrick De Loecker for booking all the gigs
Marc Van Daal for the Chanter
Colin Goldie for the loan of a Bb Whistle
Finian McCluskey for listening to early mixes
To our fans all over the world for your continuing support - you're the reason we do this!
And, all this wouldn't be possible without the support and love of our families...