Celticsprite’s Blog


SUGGESTED ALBUMS: Fotheringay, “Fotheringay” (Fledg’ling Records, re-released 2004) & Fotheringay, “2” (Fledg’ling Records, 2008) BY MIKE WILSON
January 30, 2009, 6:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
SUGGESTED ALBUMS: Fotheringay, “Fotheringay” (Fledg’ling Records, re-released 2004) & Fotheringay, “2” (Fledg’ling Records, 2008) BY MIKE WILSON
This review by
Mike Wilson has been published by Green Man Review. All rights reserved by the author and published by kind

Photo by Linda Fitzgerald Moore, 1970

There are mixed feelings amongst fans of Sandy Denny about Fotheringay, the band she formed after leaving Fairport Convention, following their 1969 genre-defining album, Liege & Lief. Some consider that Fotheringay will forever languish in the shadow of Fairport, whilst others consider it an unnecessary diversion for Sandy en route to the beginning of her solo career. The inclusion of Denny’s husband-to-be, Trevor Lucas, in the line-up is also an issue that still evokes much raw emotion, and debate over the influence he was to hold over Denny’s career in music.
For me, setting the past and future to one side, Fotheringay stands alone as a remarkable recording. Originally released in 1970 by Island Records, it captures some of Sandy Denny’s finest song writing efforts, and certainly one of her finest contributions to traditional repertoire with the epic “Banks Of The Nile.” As a band they work well together. The rhythm section of Pat Donaldson’s bass and Gerry Conway’s drums is tighter than any other you will hear, providing some pulsating interplay on the album’s up-tempo moments. Jerry Donahue’s lead guitar soars elegantly on tracks such as Denny’s “The Sea,” yet also provides convincing brawn on the heavier numbers, such as Lucas’ “The Ballad Of Ned Kelly.”
Denny and Lucas both contribute acoustic guitar, providing the sonic backbone of the album, and lending much warmth and resonance to the band’s overall sound. They also both share lead vocals, and it’s this juxtaposition of these very distinctive, different voices that makes the band something of a paradox. On the one hand you have Denny’s poetic balladry, sung in the most beautiful crystalline tones, then alongside you have Lucas’ gravelly, nasal drone, sometimes seeming to shrink away from notes that he might not quite hit. But it does work. It sits well together on this album — Denny playing the sublime English rose to Lucas’ itinerant antipodean.
Where everything comes together so well for me, is on Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Way I Feel.” The duetting vocals of Denny and Lucas find unity on a middle ground that seems to suit both voices equally, set against some of the most mesmerising guitar, drums and bass from Donahue, Conway and Donaldson — the faux ending of this song and the way the band then creep back in to build to a final spine-tingling crescendo is possibly one of my all-time favourite moments in music.
Lucas himself demonstrates proficiency as a song writer with “The Ballad Of Ned Kelly,” a swaggering ballad, celebrating the iconic Australian folk hero. Elsewhere, Lucas takes the lead on a robust reading of Bob Dylan’s “Too Much of Nothing,” though notably Lucas’ single co-write with Denny, “Peace in The End,” provides maybe the album’s weakest spot.
Fotheringay contains four original Denny classics, and the band really knew how to do them justice. In fact, here is a rare opportunity to hear Denny’s songs in a coherent band setting, before she would be drenched in sugary strings on her subsequent solo ventures, that to my ears never really benefited from the quality and consistency of production that they deserved. On “The Sea” and “The Pond And The Stream” Denny’s lyrics are typically obtuse, evoking vivid imagery, with the former having somewhat apocalyptic undertones, whilst “Winter Winds” has a distinctly English feel to it, with its musing on the changing seasons. All could be considered amongst Denny’s best work, in terms of both writing and performance. Vocally, Denny’s crowning glory here comes in the form of the traditional ballad, “Banks Of The Nile.” This is an eight-minute vocal performance of staggering control and nuance, with the band laying down the gentlest of melodic undercurrents to further enhance the brooding atmosphere.
This remastered re-release benefits from an additional four live tracks of varying quality that act as a welcome souvenir of this short-lived band.
Having started to record material for a second album, Fotheringay was disbanded in 1970, and this eponymous début was to be the last we’d ever hear from them… until some thirty-eight years later, that is…
There have long been rumours that there was enough material from various demo and practice sessions for Fotheringay’s never-completed second album, that could be finished off for release. It was however, some thirty years after the untimely passing of Sandy Denny and around twenty years after Trevor Lucas’ similarly untimely death that 2 would finally see the light of day.
Under the watchful eye of Fotheringay’s guitarist Jerry Donahue, the master tapes of the sessions that took place to prepare for a second album were gathered together, with the best performances selected for this release. Working with the remaining band members, Gerry Conway and Pat Donaldson, Donahue started to piece together the fragments of the existing material, filling in the gaps with newly recorded parts as necessary. And he’s done a grand job! The sound quality isn’t one hundred percent throughout, but then you’d expect that, and I’d have accepted a lot less just for the chance to hear Sandy Denny back in these surroundings, as I believe Fotheringay were particularly attuned to just what was needed to illuminate Denny’s voice and songs.
One thing that is noticeable when comparing 2 to the band’s debut is that the chasm of quality between Denny and Lucas had widened somewhat. Whilst Denny continued to deliver her haunting and poetic songs with vocals of utmost beauty, it is less easy to see what Lucas contributed, sometimes appearing more like a sideshow than an integral part of the band. It would be unfair to levy this accusation to all of Lucas’ contributions, but there are some here that just don’t pass muster, and simply don’t fit in. In this context it becomes a little more obvious why some individuals were pushing Denny towards a solo career, though, with retrospect, that this would necessitate the demise of the whole band seems somewhat nonsensical and a great shame.
There are four traditional tracks to be found on 2. Sandy takes the lead on a breathtaking version of “Wild Mountain Thyme,” with a much more mature, expansive sound than could be heard on their previous album. “Gypsy Davey” is covered with typical Denny aplomb, and provides an opportunity for that mighty rhythm section to shine once more, with Donahue’s lead guitar adding both suppleness and strength. Lucas’ strongest contributions to the album come in the form of the two remaining traditional numbers: “Bold Jack Donahue” finds Lucas returning to another Australian folk hero, whilst “Eppie Moray” is a thunderous romp through an old Scottish ballad, where Lucas turns in a blistering vocal and the rest of the band also get ample opportunity to stretch their legs. The last couple of verses of “Eppie Moray” are sung by Denny, and it’s tempting to think what might have been had she taken on the entire lead vocals — this would certainly have had the potential to be another “Matty Groves” or “Tam Lin.”
There are actually only two Denny originals to be found here, both of which would later appear on her début solo release, The North Star Grassman And The Ravens. The version of “John The Gun” that appears here is far superior to that which would eventually grace Denny’s solo début, benefiting from a much more feisty arrangement, fleshed out by the inclusion of a moody and menacing tenor saxophone. “Late November” has appeared on various releases with a very similar arrangement and is another prime example of Denny’s undeniable grasp of language, her lyrics burning an intense image in the mind’s eye. Denny takes a gentle waltz through “Silver Threads And Golden Needles,” before closing the album with a sublime reading of Dave Cousin’s “Two Weeks Last Summer.”
Lucas’ self-penned “Restless” is a contemplative piece that is actually rather enjoyable, but appears quite ordinary when sandwiched between Denny’s “Late November” and her reading of “Gypsy Davey.” Lucas’ other contributions, his own “Knights Of The Road” and another Dylan cover, are largely forgettable, though.
I’m so glad that this album finally saw the light of day. It’s a testament to the esteem in which the band were held that this project has been completed almost four decades after it was first conceived. Jerry Donahue has done a formidable job in bringing this together and it stands as a fitting tribute to the memory of Denny and
Photo by Linda Fitzgerald Moore, 1970
Lucas.[
Mike Wilson]
Fotheringay [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED
Track Listings
1. Nothing More – Fotheringay, Denny
2. The Sea – Fotheringay, Denny
3. The Ballad of Ned Kelly – Fotheringay, Lucas
4. Winter Winds – Fotheringay, Denny
5. Peace in the End – Fotheringay, Denny
6. The Way I Feel – Fotheringay, Lightfoot
7. The Pond and the Stream – Fotheringay, Denny
8. Too Much of Nothing – Fotheringay, Dylan
9. Banks of the Nile – Fotheringay, Traditional
10. Two Weeks Last Summer – Fotheringay, Cousins
11. Nothing More – Fotheringay, Denny
12. Banks of the Nile – Fotheringay, Traditional
13. Memphis Tennessee – Fotheringay, Berry

Live bonus tracks on the Fledg’ling CD:
These four tracks were recorded live at the Holland Pop Festival, Rotterdam, on June 28, 1970. Both
Nothing More and Memphis Tennessee were already available on side 5 of the Who Knows Where the Time Goes? box set. The bonus tracks from the Hannibal CD were left out as they will be included on the Fledg’ling CD Fotheringay 2 scheduled for September 29, 2008.
Two Weeks Last Summer (4:28)
Nothing More (4:35)
Banks of the Nile (7:38)
Memphis Tennessee (3:47)

Track 10 Dave CousinsTrack 11 Sandy DennyTrack 12 trad. arr. FotheringayTrack 13 Chuck Berry

Fotheringay’s lost second album release
Fotheringay, broke up during the recording sessions for their second album. The surving tapes they recorded for second album in the early 1970’s which never saw the light of day . The tapes have now been discovered, and the album released. Thirty eight years later the surviving members of the group mixed them to finally complete this remarkable album..
1. John The Gun 5:06
2. Eppie Moray 4:44
3. Wild Mountain Thyme 3:50
4. Knights Of The Road 4:10
5. Late November 4:39
6. Restless 2:48
7. Gypsy Davey 3:41
8. I Don’t Believe You 4:45
9. Silver Threads And Golden Needles 4:30
10. Bold Jack Donahue 7:38
11. Two Weeks Last Summer 3:50

Dedicated to the memory of Sandy Denny(6.1.1947 – 21.4.1978)

Alexandra Elene McLean Denny was born in London, England on January 6, 1947 and died on April 21, 1978. She was one of Britain’s finest and most talented singers ever. She was the lead singer of Fairport Convention and Fotheringay, played with The Strawbs, and also recorded several remarkable solo albums.



SUGGESTED ALBUMS: Fotheringay, “Fotheringay” (Fledg’ling Records, re-released 2004) & Fotheringay, “2” (Fledg’ling Records, 2008) BY MIKE WILSON
January 30, 2009, 6:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
SUGGESTED ALBUMS: Fotheringay, “Fotheringay” (Fledg’ling Records, re-released 2004) & Fotheringay, “2” (Fledg’ling Records, 2008) BY MIKE WILSON
This review by
Mike Wilson has been published by Green Man Review. All rights reserved by the author and published by kind

Photo by Linda Fitzgerald Moore, 1970

There are mixed feelings amongst fans of Sandy Denny about Fotheringay, the band she formed after leaving Fairport Convention, following their 1969 genre-defining album, Liege & Lief. Some consider that Fotheringay will forever languish in the shadow of Fairport, whilst others consider it an unnecessary diversion for Sandy en route to the beginning of her solo career. The inclusion of Denny’s husband-to-be, Trevor Lucas, in the line-up is also an issue that still evokes much raw emotion, and debate over the influence he was to hold over Denny’s career in music.
For me, setting the past and future to one side, Fotheringay stands alone as a remarkable recording. Originally released in 1970 by Island Records, it captures some of Sandy Denny’s finest song writing efforts, and certainly one of her finest contributions to traditional repertoire with the epic “Banks Of The Nile.” As a band they work well together. The rhythm section of Pat Donaldson’s bass and Gerry Conway’s drums is tighter than any other you will hear, providing some pulsating interplay on the album’s up-tempo moments. Jerry Donahue’s lead guitar soars elegantly on tracks such as Denny’s “The Sea,” yet also provides convincing brawn on the heavier numbers, such as Lucas’ “The Ballad Of Ned Kelly.”
Denny and Lucas both contribute acoustic guitar, providing the sonic backbone of the album, and lending much warmth and resonance to the band’s overall sound. They also both share lead vocals, and it’s this juxtaposition of these very distinctive, different voices that makes the band something of a paradox. On the one hand you have Denny’s poetic balladry, sung in the most beautiful crystalline tones, then alongside you have Lucas’ gravelly, nasal drone, sometimes seeming to shrink away from notes that he might not quite hit. But it does work. It sits well together on this album — Denny playing the sublime English rose to Lucas’ itinerant antipodean.
Where everything comes together so well for me, is on Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Way I Feel.” The duetting vocals of Denny and Lucas find unity on a middle ground that seems to suit both voices equally, set against some of the most mesmerising guitar, drums and bass from Donahue, Conway and Donaldson — the faux ending of this song and the way the band then creep back in to build to a final spine-tingling crescendo is possibly one of my all-time favourite moments in music.
Lucas himself demonstrates proficiency as a song writer with “The Ballad Of Ned Kelly,” a swaggering ballad, celebrating the iconic Australian folk hero. Elsewhere, Lucas takes the lead on a robust reading of Bob Dylan’s “Too Much of Nothing,” though notably Lucas’ single co-write with Denny, “Peace in The End,” provides maybe the album’s weakest spot.
Fotheringay contains four original Denny classics, and the band really knew how to do them justice. In fact, here is a rare opportunity to hear Denny’s songs in a coherent band setting, before she would be drenched in sugary strings on her subsequent solo ventures, that to my ears never really benefited from the quality and consistency of production that they deserved. On “The Sea” and “The Pond And The Stream” Denny’s lyrics are typically obtuse, evoking vivid imagery, with the former having somewhat apocalyptic undertones, whilst “Winter Winds” has a distinctly English feel to it, with its musing on the changing seasons. All could be considered amongst Denny’s best work, in terms of both writing and performance. Vocally, Denny’s crowning glory here comes in the form of the traditional ballad, “Banks Of The Nile.” This is an eight-minute vocal performance of staggering control and nuance, with the band laying down the gentlest of melodic undercurrents to further enhance the brooding atmosphere.
This remastered re-release benefits from an additional four live tracks of varying quality that act as a welcome souvenir of this short-lived band.
Having started to record material for a second album, Fotheringay was disbanded in 1970, and this eponymous début was to be the last we’d ever hear from them… until some thirty-eight years later, that is…
There have long been rumours that there was enough material from various demo and practice sessions for Fotheringay’s never-completed second album, that could be finished off for release. It was however, some thirty years after the untimely passing of Sandy Denny and around twenty years after Trevor Lucas’ similarly untimely death that 2 would finally see the light of day.
Under the watchful eye of Fotheringay’s guitarist Jerry Donahue, the master tapes of the sessions that took place to prepare for a second album were gathered together, with the best performances selected for this release. Working with the remaining band members, Gerry Conway and Pat Donaldson, Donahue started to piece together the fragments of the existing material, filling in the gaps with newly recorded parts as necessary. And he’s done a grand job! The sound quality isn’t one hundred percent throughout, but then you’d expect that, and I’d have accepted a lot less just for the chance to hear Sandy Denny back in these surroundings, as I believe Fotheringay were particularly attuned to just what was needed to illuminate Denny’s voice and songs.
One thing that is noticeable when comparing 2 to the band’s debut is that the chasm of quality between Denny and Lucas had widened somewhat. Whilst Denny continued to deliver her haunting and poetic songs with vocals of utmost beauty, it is less easy to see what Lucas contributed, sometimes appearing more like a sideshow than an integral part of the band. It would be unfair to levy this accusation to all of Lucas’ contributions, but there are some here that just don’t pass muster, and simply don’t fit in. In this context it becomes a little more obvious why some individuals were pushing Denny towards a solo career, though, with retrospect, that this would necessitate the demise of the whole band seems somewhat nonsensical and a great shame.
There are four traditional tracks to be found on 2. Sandy takes the lead on a breathtaking version of “Wild Mountain Thyme,” with a much more mature, expansive sound than could be heard on their previous album. “Gypsy Davey” is covered with typical Denny aplomb, and provides an opportunity for that mighty rhythm section to shine once more, with Donahue’s lead guitar adding both suppleness and strength. Lucas’ strongest contributions to the album come in the form of the two remaining traditional numbers: “Bold Jack Donahue” finds Lucas returning to another Australian folk hero, whilst “Eppie Moray” is a thunderous romp through an old Scottish ballad, where Lucas turns in a blistering vocal and the rest of the band also get ample opportunity to stretch their legs. The last couple of verses of “Eppie Moray” are sung by Denny, and it’s tempting to think what might have been had she taken on the entire lead vocals — this would certainly have had the potential to be another “Matty Groves” or “Tam Lin.”
There are actually only two Denny originals to be found here, both of which would later appear on her début solo release, The North Star Grassman And The Ravens. The version of “John The Gun” that appears here is far superior to that which would eventually grace Denny’s solo début, benefiting from a much more feisty arrangement, fleshed out by the inclusion of a moody and menacing tenor saxophone. “Late November” has appeared on various releases with a very similar arrangement and is another prime example of Denny’s undeniable grasp of language, her lyrics burning an intense image in the mind’s eye. Denny takes a gentle waltz through “Silver Threads And Golden Needles,” before closing the album with a sublime reading of Dave Cousin’s “Two Weeks Last Summer.”
Lucas’ self-penned “Restless” is a contemplative piece that is actually rather enjoyable, but appears quite ordinary when sandwiched between Denny’s “Late November” and her reading of “Gypsy Davey.” Lucas’ other contributions, his own “Knights Of The Road” and another Dylan cover, are largely forgettable, though.
I’m so glad that this album finally saw the light of day. It’s a testament to the esteem in which the band were held that this project has been completed almost four decades after it was first conceived. Jerry Donahue has done a formidable job in bringing this together and it stands as a fitting tribute to the memory of Denny and
Photo by Linda Fitzgerald Moore, 1970
Lucas.[
Mike Wilson]
Fotheringay [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED
Track Listings
1. Nothing More – Fotheringay, Denny
2. The Sea – Fotheringay, Denny
3. The Ballad of Ned Kelly – Fotheringay, Lucas
4. Winter Winds – Fotheringay, Denny
5. Peace in the End – Fotheringay, Denny
6. The Way I Feel – Fotheringay, Lightfoot
7. The Pond and the Stream – Fotheringay, Denny
8. Too Much of Nothing – Fotheringay, Dylan
9. Banks of the Nile – Fotheringay, Traditional
10. Two Weeks Last Summer – Fotheringay, Cousins
11. Nothing More – Fotheringay, Denny
12. Banks of the Nile – Fotheringay, Traditional
13. Memphis Tennessee – Fotheringay, Berry

Live bonus tracks on the Fledg’ling CD:
These four tracks were recorded live at the Holland Pop Festival, Rotterdam, on June 28, 1970. Both
Nothing More and Memphis Tennessee were already available on side 5 of the Who Knows Where the Time Goes? box set. The bonus tracks from the Hannibal CD were left out as they will be included on the Fledg’ling CD Fotheringay 2 scheduled for September 29, 2008.
Two Weeks Last Summer (4:28)
Nothing More (4:35)
Banks of the Nile (7:38)
Memphis Tennessee (3:47)

Track 10 Dave CousinsTrack 11 Sandy DennyTrack 12 trad. arr. FotheringayTrack 13 Chuck Berry

Fotheringay’s lost second album release
Fotheringay, broke up during the recording sessions for their second album. The surving tapes they recorded for second album in the early 1970’s which never saw the light of day . The tapes have now been discovered, and the album released. Thirty eight years later the surviving members of the group mixed them to finally complete this remarkable album..
1. John The Gun 5:06
2. Eppie Moray 4:44
3. Wild Mountain Thyme 3:50
4. Knights Of The Road 4:10
5. Late November 4:39
6. Restless 2:48
7. Gypsy Davey 3:41
8. I Don’t Believe You 4:45
9. Silver Threads And Golden Needles 4:30
10. Bold Jack Donahue 7:38
11. Two Weeks Last Summer 3:50

Dedicated to the memory of Sandy Denny(6.1.1947 – 21.4.1978)

Alexandra Elene McLean Denny was born in London, England on January 6, 1947 and died on April 21, 1978. She was one of Britain’s finest and most talented singers ever. She was the lead singer of Fairport Convention and Fotheringay, played with The Strawbs, and also recorded several remarkable solo albums.



SUGGESTED ALBUMS : "CLANNAD"- Beginnings – The Best Of The Early Years (2008, Demon Music Group) BY MIKE WILSON
January 29, 2009, 6:26 pm
Filed under: Influential Musicians, Reviews, Suggested Albums

SUGGESTED ALBUMS : “CLANNAD”- Beginnings – The Best Of The Early Years (2008, Demon Music Group) Double Album CD. This review by Mike Wilson has been published by Folking.com! All rights reserved by the author and published by kind permission

Beginnings is a comprehensive retrospective of the Irish band, Clannad, spanning the period from their eponymous début of 1973 through to 1982’s Tara Records release, Fuaim. This period pre-dates their recording of the now legendary “Theme From Harry’s Game,” and their renowned soundtrack contribution to the television series, Robin of Sherwood, and the worldwide success that would follow.
What’s remarkable about listening back to some of these early recordings, is how fresh and inventive they sound, their resounding vitality still very much apparent after all these years. Beginnings charts the early journey of the band from their pure sound, deeply rooted in the tradition of their Donegal home, to their first experiments with the contemporary, ethereal sound that would become their calling card. To have this body of music collected in one place tells quite a story, showing how the band’s spellbinding innovations unfold and develop subtly as the years progress.
From their 1973 début is their stunning interpretation of the traditional song, “Nil Sé’n La,” hinting heavily at the inventiveness that Clannad would continue to demonstrate throughout their career. Maire’s voice comes across with breathtaking beauty and lends an air of authenticity, whilst the instrumental arrangements shun authenticity in favour of spellbinding, contemporary rhythms — sprightly flute and guitar flirt around the redoubtable hum of a double bass, whilst unbounded percussion lends additional bite and edge. Of the same vintage, “Thíos Chois Na Trá Domh” receives a more conventional interpretation, with the bass now relinquishing centre-stage and sinking into the background.
From their second album in 1975 is the beguiling “Rince Briotánach” (Breton Dance), where Maire plays the harp with a delightfully rhythmic precision. Again, it’s the enigmatic double bass and percussion that really set this apart from regular traditional fare, building to a fast and frenzied crescendo. “Teidhir Abhaile Riú” is instilled with similar fortitude, with the amassed vocal harmonies of the chorus providing a rousing, intractable draw.
Dúlamán followed in 1976 and the title track is presented on this collection, with its hypnotic, harmonising vocal introduction, giving way to an airy harp solo that introduces the first verse — the formidable choruses seem to demonstrate a growing confidence with the use of imaginative vocal harmonies. The instrumental lament, “Cumha Eoghain Rua Uí Néill,” bursts with resplendent elegance, and could easily be mistaken for the work of The Chieftains. A similar poise is expressed through Maire’s enchanting vocals as she skips through the graceful “Siúil A Rún,” or the more playful “Two Sisters.”
There are even a few live offerings from 1979’s Clannad In Concert, allowing you to enjoy the unadulterated vocal delights of “Mháire Bruineall,” or the jaw-dropping beauty of “Down By The Sally Gardens” in their pure, live form.
“Ar A Ghabháil ‘n a ‘chuain Damh” from 1980’s Crann Úll comes across a little more conservative initially, before an invigorating, jazzy instrumental rounds out the track, reminding you that they’re still very much pushing at the boundaries. “Lá Coimhthíoch Fá’n Dtuath” ploughs a more serene furrow, demonstrating why their expansive, ethereal sound would be much in demand for soundtracks.
1982’s Fuaim, is the first and only album on which Maire’s younger sister, Eithne, later to achieve solo success as Enya, recorded as a full member of Clannad. Fuaim also marked a further significant step towards the sound that would come to define Clannad in years to come, with the introduction of synthesizers and saxophones to expand their sound and lend further contemporary leanings. Eithne takes lead vocals on “An tÚll,” where a more electronic sound is certainly to the fore, whilst the undeniable appeal from their flirting with genre boundaries still remains. For this listener, it was still the richer, more mature vocals of Maire that reigned supreme however, as demonstrated on her wistful reading of “The Green Fields Of Gaothdobhair,” a tender homage to the family’s home town.
Beginnings provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the strong roots that would provide a firm anchor for Clannad’s progression to international success. It shows evidence of their burgeoning talent right from the early days, coupled with a desire to innovate and reinterpret the traditional music of their native Ireland.

To find out more about Clannad, visit,http://www.clannad.ie
Search for more albums reviews for Clannad or go here to see a gig review.
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Clannad
Search the whole of Folking.com for other articles on Clannad
Written by: Mike WilsonOn the 19-Jan-2009

Track listing – CD1
“Na Buachaillí Álainn”
“An Mhaighdean Mara”
“Down by the Sally Gardens”
“Dúlamán (Seaweed)”
“Crann Úll”
“Rince Briotánach (Breton Dance)”
“Mhorag’s Na Horo Gheallaidh”
“Thíos Chois Na Trá Domh”
“Teidhir Abhaile Riú”
“An tÚll”
“‘dTigeas A Damhsa? (Children’s Dance Song)”
“Planxty Browne”
“Nil Sé Ina La”
“Cumha Eoghain Rua Uí Néill”
“Coinleach Ghlas an Fhómhair

Track listing – CD2
“The Green Fields of Gaothdobhair”
“Siúil A Rún”
“An Buinneán Buí”
“Mhaire Bruinneall”
“Eleanor Plunkett”
“Siobhán Ní Dhuibhir”
“Two Sisters”
“Bruach Na Carraige Báine”
“Ar A Ghabháil ‘n A ‘chuain Domh”
“Éirigh Suas A Stóirín”
“Fairly Shot of Her”
“Buaireadh An Phósta”
“Gaoth Barra na dTonn”
“Mrs. McDermott”
“Lá Coimhthíoch Fán dTuath”
“An Pháirc”

External links
Release details at Northern Skyline – Fan site


SUGGESTED ALBUMS : "CLANNAD"- Beginnings – The Best Of The Early Years (2008, Demon Music Group) BY MIKE WILSON
January 29, 2009, 6:26 pm
Filed under: Influential Musicians, Reviews, Suggested Albums

SUGGESTED ALBUMS : “CLANNAD”- Beginnings – The Best Of The Early Years (2008, Demon Music Group) Double Album CD. This review by Mike Wilson has been published by Folking.com! All rights reserved by the author and published by kind permission

Beginnings is a comprehensive retrospective of the Irish band, Clannad, spanning the period from their eponymous début of 1973 through to 1982’s Tara Records release, Fuaim. This period pre-dates their recording of the now legendary “Theme From Harry’s Game,” and their renowned soundtrack contribution to the television series, Robin of Sherwood, and the worldwide success that would follow.
What’s remarkable about listening back to some of these early recordings, is how fresh and inventive they sound, their resounding vitality still very much apparent after all these years. Beginnings charts the early journey of the band from their pure sound, deeply rooted in the tradition of their Donegal home, to their first experiments with the contemporary, ethereal sound that would become their calling card. To have this body of music collected in one place tells quite a story, showing how the band’s spellbinding innovations unfold and develop subtly as the years progress.
From their 1973 début is their stunning interpretation of the traditional song, “Nil Sé’n La,” hinting heavily at the inventiveness that Clannad would continue to demonstrate throughout their career. Maire’s voice comes across with breathtaking beauty and lends an air of authenticity, whilst the instrumental arrangements shun authenticity in favour of spellbinding, contemporary rhythms — sprightly flute and guitar flirt around the redoubtable hum of a double bass, whilst unbounded percussion lends additional bite and edge. Of the same vintage, “Thíos Chois Na Trá Domh” receives a more conventional interpretation, with the bass now relinquishing centre-stage and sinking into the background.
From their second album in 1975 is the beguiling “Rince Briotánach” (Breton Dance), where Maire plays the harp with a delightfully rhythmic precision. Again, it’s the enigmatic double bass and percussion that really set this apart from regular traditional fare, building to a fast and frenzied crescendo. “Teidhir Abhaile Riú” is instilled with similar fortitude, with the amassed vocal harmonies of the chorus providing a rousing, intractable draw.
Dúlamán followed in 1976 and the title track is presented on this collection, with its hypnotic, harmonising vocal introduction, giving way to an airy harp solo that introduces the first verse — the formidable choruses seem to demonstrate a growing confidence with the use of imaginative vocal harmonies. The instrumental lament, “Cumha Eoghain Rua Uí Néill,” bursts with resplendent elegance, and could easily be mistaken for the work of The Chieftains. A similar poise is expressed through Maire’s enchanting vocals as she skips through the graceful “Siúil A Rún,” or the more playful “Two Sisters.”
There are even a few live offerings from 1979’s Clannad In Concert, allowing you to enjoy the unadulterated vocal delights of “Mháire Bruineall,” or the jaw-dropping beauty of “Down By The Sally Gardens” in their pure, live form.
“Ar A Ghabháil ‘n a ‘chuain Damh” from 1980’s Crann Úll comes across a little more conservative initially, before an invigorating, jazzy instrumental rounds out the track, reminding you that they’re still very much pushing at the boundaries. “Lá Coimhthíoch Fá’n Dtuath” ploughs a more serene furrow, demonstrating why their expansive, ethereal sound would be much in demand for soundtracks.
1982’s Fuaim, is the first and only album on which Maire’s younger sister, Eithne, later to achieve solo success as Enya, recorded as a full member of Clannad. Fuaim also marked a further significant step towards the sound that would come to define Clannad in years to come, with the introduction of synthesizers and saxophones to expand their sound and lend further contemporary leanings. Eithne takes lead vocals on “An tÚll,” where a more electronic sound is certainly to the fore, whilst the undeniable appeal from their flirting with genre boundaries still remains. For this listener, it was still the richer, more mature vocals of Maire that reigned supreme however, as demonstrated on her wistful reading of “The Green Fields Of Gaothdobhair,” a tender homage to the family’s home town.
Beginnings provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the strong roots that would provide a firm anchor for Clannad’s progression to international success. It shows evidence of their burgeoning talent right from the early days, coupled with a desire to innovate and reinterpret the traditional music of their native Ireland.

To find out more about Clannad, visit,http://www.clannad.ie
Search for more albums reviews for Clannad or go here to see a gig review.
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Clannad
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Written by: Mike WilsonOn the 19-Jan-2009

Track listing – CD1
“Na Buachaillí Álainn”
“An Mhaighdean Mara”
“Down by the Sally Gardens”
“Dúlamán (Seaweed)”
“Crann Úll”
“Rince Briotánach (Breton Dance)”
“Mhorag’s Na Horo Gheallaidh”
“Thíos Chois Na Trá Domh”
“Teidhir Abhaile Riú”
“An tÚll”
“‘dTigeas A Damhsa? (Children’s Dance Song)”
“Planxty Browne”
“Nil Sé Ina La”
“Cumha Eoghain Rua Uí Néill”
“Coinleach Ghlas an Fhómhair

Track listing – CD2
“The Green Fields of Gaothdobhair”
“Siúil A Rún”
“An Buinneán Buí”
“Mhaire Bruinneall”
“Eleanor Plunkett”
“Siobhán Ní Dhuibhir”
“Two Sisters”
“Bruach Na Carraige Báine”
“Ar A Ghabháil ‘n A ‘chuain Domh”
“Éirigh Suas A Stóirín”
“Fairly Shot of Her”
“Buaireadh An Phósta”
“Gaoth Barra na dTonn”
“Mrs. McDermott”
“Lá Coimhthíoch Fán dTuath”
“An Pháirc”

External links
Release details at Northern Skyline – Fan site


Yes, There is a Spanish-Celtic Connection by Danny Carnahan
January 28, 2009, 5:01 pm
Filed under: Reviews on Celtic Tunes by Danny Carnahan

No RegretsDanny Carnahan & Robin Petrie& the Missing Pieces
On this album you may find the tune Caraveliño Colorado, a traditional tune from Galicia (Northern Spain) arranged by the artist

Yes, There is a Spanish-Celtic Connection by Danny Carnahan
Tune:” Aires de Pontevedra”.[Click here for printable notation for “Aire de Pontevedra”]
This Article appears as featured in Mandolin Magazine. All rights reserved by the author and posted under kind permission
It’s easy for Celtic music lovers to forget that there’s more to “Celtic” than Irish and Scottish. When I began this column I tried to define the music I planned to work with and give some brief cultural background to what the term “Celtic” has come to mean. Still, I’ve focused mostly on Irish tunes and style, followed closely by those born and bred in Scotland.
This is hardly surprising. There are millions of Irish- and Scottish-Americans and seemingly millions of Irish and Scottish tunes to learn and play. There are Irish Cultural Centers across the country, Irish bars in every city, Scottish games from coast to coast, and probably a volunteer fire department bagpipe band practicing in a park near you this weekend.
But despite the saturation of our cultural awareness with things Irish and Scottish, Celtic music offers more variety than that in many ways. There are song and dance forms, instruments, and even languages included in the Celtic tradition that have nothing at all to do with Ireland and Scotland.
In the next couple of columns, I’ll stretch the geographic boundaries of Celtic music a little for you, introducing some music that you might have missed in the shuffle.
Let’s drift back in time about 2500 years. The Celts didn’t just pop into existence in the British Isles. They migrated in from the Mediterranean, over land and by sea, over a period of centuries. The seafaring Celts touched down from Spain to North Africa before sailing west past Gibraltar and north along the Iberian coast and finally all the way to England and Ireland.
But many didn’t make it to Britain. They settled permanently on the north coast of Spain in regions now called Galicia and Asturias. Their dialects were probably closer to modern Breton and Welsh than Irish. Distant echoes of the old Celtic tongue still color the modern Galician and Asturian dialects, which are very different from standard Spanish, sounding more like Portuguese, and requiring sometimes exotic spellings (lots of X’s).
But what about the music? Well, the bagpipe (or gaita) and the harp loom large in these Spanish Celtic traditions, though the physical construction of the instruments and the sound and style of play is dramatically different from their more northern cousins. And, of course, there are all manner of flutes and whistles, fretted strings, and percussion to fill out the bands.
Galicia and Asturias enjoyed a huge folk music renaissance in the last 30 years, just as Ireland and Scotland did. Some extraordinarily talented young musicians rediscovered and reinvented the traditions, importing influences from neighboring cultures as suited them and adding enough rocking drive to catch the ear of the next generation and guarantee survival into the new millenium.
Still, way out here in California and steeped in my happy Irish-Scottish musical world, I might have missed this lovely stuff entirely if it hadn’t been for an Argentine penpal who sent me a couple of cassettes about ten years ago, daring me to include this music in my repertoire if I wanted to call myself a Celtic musician.
The music was by a Galician band called Milladoiro। When I first played it, I was floored by both the familiarity and the exotica of it all. And it rocked! Here was a big, confident band with all the power of the Battlefield Band in its prime, putting across folk tunes with feverish intensity on instruments that sounded almost but not quite like the ones I was used to.
As I was listening and going through the Spanish/Galician liner notes my first two questions were: “What the heck is a txalaparta, trikitixa, or a caiza?” and “Just how much coffee did these guys consume before rolling tape?” I shrugged, pulled out the mando, and started trying to cop some licks.
Actually, the tune I’ve transcribed for you here, Aire de Pontevedra, didn’t feature any kind of fretted instrument. It’s my version of one of the faster bagpipe tunes on the tape. I tend to play it at about one-third the speed Milladoiro can crank up to. At any speed, though, there’s a hypnotic pleasure to it. And, like so many Galician tunes, the shape and flavor is much more Celtic than Spanish, somehow. When you pick it out for yourself, try to emphasize the first beats of each bar, driving it forward without much swing, though sometimes it’s fun to invert into a swing during the B part.
A fingering note: I play the snappy ascending triplets in the 11th and 12th bars of the A part as double hammer-ons. I shift up in the 11th bar to play the C# with my first finger and the high E with my fourth, then using the duration of the last open A eighth note to shift back down into first position for the rest of the tune. Get up to the B in the 5th bar however you like.
Since that first Milladoiro recording, more Galician and Asturian CDs have been released and distributed in North America. Among the easiest to find are those put out by Green Linnet Records, including two by Milladoiro; “As Fadas de Estraño Nome—Celtic Music from Spain” (1997), or “Auga de Maio” (2000). Also on Green Linnet is Susana Seivane, a top gaita player. Check them all out.
And Asturian traditional music is increasingly findable, too. Asturias lies just east of Galicia and their tradition shares many of the instruments and tune and dance forms with Galicia. Maybe the most famous Asturian band currently touring is Llan de Cubel, a sextet who have been performing for 18 years and have a number of great albums. Their most recent release is “Un tiempu meyor” on Fono Astur.
You can hear how the Asturian “alboraes” (dawn tunes) resonate with Irish slow airs or Shetland Island laments, how the “marches y pasucáis” compare with regal Scottish marches, and how dances like “saltones” and “muñeires” and polkas could medley with Irish session tunes. You’re certain to want to add a few of these far-flung Celtic cousins to your repertoire.[Click
here for printable notation for “Aire de Pontevedra”]


Yes, There is a Spanish-Celtic Connection by Danny Carnahan
January 28, 2009, 5:01 pm
Filed under: Reviews on Celtic Tunes by Danny Carnahan

No RegretsDanny Carnahan & Robin Petrie& the Missing Pieces
On this album you may find the tune Caraveliño Colorado, a traditional tune from Galicia (Northern Spain) arranged by the artist

Yes, There is a Spanish-Celtic Connection by Danny Carnahan
Tune:” Aires de Pontevedra”.[Click here for printable notation for “Aire de Pontevedra”]
This Article appears as featured in Mandolin Magazine. All rights reserved by the author and posted under kind permission
It’s easy for Celtic music lovers to forget that there’s more to “Celtic” than Irish and Scottish. When I began this column I tried to define the music I planned to work with and give some brief cultural background to what the term “Celtic” has come to mean. Still, I’ve focused mostly on Irish tunes and style, followed closely by those born and bred in Scotland.
This is hardly surprising. There are millions of Irish- and Scottish-Americans and seemingly millions of Irish and Scottish tunes to learn and play. There are Irish Cultural Centers across the country, Irish bars in every city, Scottish games from coast to coast, and probably a volunteer fire department bagpipe band practicing in a park near you this weekend.
But despite the saturation of our cultural awareness with things Irish and Scottish, Celtic music offers more variety than that in many ways. There are song and dance forms, instruments, and even languages included in the Celtic tradition that have nothing at all to do with Ireland and Scotland.
In the next couple of columns, I’ll stretch the geographic boundaries of Celtic music a little for you, introducing some music that you might have missed in the shuffle.
Let’s drift back in time about 2500 years. The Celts didn’t just pop into existence in the British Isles. They migrated in from the Mediterranean, over land and by sea, over a period of centuries. The seafaring Celts touched down from Spain to North Africa before sailing west past Gibraltar and north along the Iberian coast and finally all the way to England and Ireland.
But many didn’t make it to Britain. They settled permanently on the north coast of Spain in regions now called Galicia and Asturias. Their dialects were probably closer to modern Breton and Welsh than Irish. Distant echoes of the old Celtic tongue still color the modern Galician and Asturian dialects, which are very different from standard Spanish, sounding more like Portuguese, and requiring sometimes exotic spellings (lots of X’s).
But what about the music? Well, the bagpipe (or gaita) and the harp loom large in these Spanish Celtic traditions, though the physical construction of the instruments and the sound and style of play is dramatically different from their more northern cousins. And, of course, there are all manner of flutes and whistles, fretted strings, and percussion to fill out the bands.
Galicia and Asturias enjoyed a huge folk music renaissance in the last 30 years, just as Ireland and Scotland did. Some extraordinarily talented young musicians rediscovered and reinvented the traditions, importing influences from neighboring cultures as suited them and adding enough rocking drive to catch the ear of the next generation and guarantee survival into the new millenium.
Still, way out here in California and steeped in my happy Irish-Scottish musical world, I might have missed this lovely stuff entirely if it hadn’t been for an Argentine penpal who sent me a couple of cassettes about ten years ago, daring me to include this music in my repertoire if I wanted to call myself a Celtic musician.
The music was by a Galician band called Milladoiro। When I first played it, I was floored by both the familiarity and the exotica of it all. And it rocked! Here was a big, confident band with all the power of the Battlefield Band in its prime, putting across folk tunes with feverish intensity on instruments that sounded almost but not quite like the ones I was used to.
As I was listening and going through the Spanish/Galician liner notes my first two questions were: “What the heck is a txalaparta, trikitixa, or a caiza?” and “Just how much coffee did these guys consume before rolling tape?” I shrugged, pulled out the mando, and started trying to cop some licks.
Actually, the tune I’ve transcribed for you here, Aire de Pontevedra, didn’t feature any kind of fretted instrument. It’s my version of one of the faster bagpipe tunes on the tape. I tend to play it at about one-third the speed Milladoiro can crank up to. At any speed, though, there’s a hypnotic pleasure to it. And, like so many Galician tunes, the shape and flavor is much more Celtic than Spanish, somehow. When you pick it out for yourself, try to emphasize the first beats of each bar, driving it forward without much swing, though sometimes it’s fun to invert into a swing during the B part.
A fingering note: I play the snappy ascending triplets in the 11th and 12th bars of the A part as double hammer-ons. I shift up in the 11th bar to play the C# with my first finger and the high E with my fourth, then using the duration of the last open A eighth note to shift back down into first position for the rest of the tune. Get up to the B in the 5th bar however you like.
Since that first Milladoiro recording, more Galician and Asturian CDs have been released and distributed in North America. Among the easiest to find are those put out by Green Linnet Records, including two by Milladoiro; “As Fadas de Estraño Nome—Celtic Music from Spain” (1997), or “Auga de Maio” (2000). Also on Green Linnet is Susana Seivane, a top gaita player. Check them all out.
And Asturian traditional music is increasingly findable, too. Asturias lies just east of Galicia and their tradition shares many of the instruments and tune and dance forms with Galicia. Maybe the most famous Asturian band currently touring is Llan de Cubel, a sextet who have been performing for 18 years and have a number of great albums. Their most recent release is “Un tiempu meyor” on Fono Astur.
You can hear how the Asturian “alboraes” (dawn tunes) resonate with Irish slow airs or Shetland Island laments, how the “marches y pasucáis” compare with regal Scottish marches, and how dances like “saltones” and “muñeires” and polkas could medley with Irish session tunes. You’re certain to want to add a few of these far-flung Celtic cousins to your repertoire.[Click
here for printable notation for “Aire de Pontevedra”]


SURVIVING FOLK INSTRUMENTS: THE "BANDURRIA"-PART THREE- BY DANIEL GARCÍA DE LA CUESTA
January 28, 2009, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Reviews, Surviving Folk Instruments
SURVIVING FOLK INSTRUMENTS: THE “BANDURRIA”-PART TWO- BY DANIEL GARCÍA DE LA CUESTA This brief summary was adapted by Daniel García de la Cuesta from his book entitled “The bandurria and the rebec”, published in 2005. All rights reserved by the author and published under his kind permission.
The organistrum was an invention that allowed for a continuous sound, or without purpose, a string instrument

Organistrum in the Hunterian Psalter (1170) Chartres (1220) and Compostela (1181)

Iconographic details to be taken seriously, are those that provide the manuscripts called Blessed, thanks to its first author Beatus of Liebana। Details Emilianense Beato (930) and Cardenas (1175) The nickelharpa, which is represented in the 14th century, would be another of these instruments as a variant of organistrum. Preserved in northern Europe.
The organistrum, some of the medieval fídulas the zanfonias, the spinet ,the dulcimer , the nickelharpa and the bandurria retain that “8” shape, and a style of music that keeps the use of one or more strings that give a sound of Bass. Which guarantees the European origin of bandurria in counterpoint to the musical style of oriental music, where musical tastes could not sound to drone. The oldest image is 1109.The bow’s length employed is very similar to those employed for the Asturian bandurrias.

Hunterian Psalter (1170), Dijon Psalter (1109), Portico Compostela (1181) Capitel Boscherville (1200?) Collegiata Toro (1200?)
Concerning the word “rabil” I believe it is interspersed from the ancient Arabic word rebec and rabé, by their similarity and apply to a musical instrument similar , and since “rebec” is a latin word, I think this word is derived from “tail”. Joan Coromines believes that it probably derives from the Latin “rapum”,” rapho” in Greek, meaning “turnip”, which would refer to the leaf-shaped tail that this tuber has. There are other connotations of these instruments and still used today among other cultures, and this is told in the work discussed at the beginning of the text, as well as extending the information here very brief because of space. Kept therefore live up to our days, an instrument of sheer medieval origin, alive today thanks to its employement on musical traditions in Asturias and Cantabria. Anyone interested in contacting the author of this work can do so via this email:
dagarcues@yahoo.es