Irish Traditions found In Foxglove & Fuchsia

Irish Traditions found In Foxglove & FuchsiaOpening with a Song from County Mayo and known as a Corrs track Bhríd Óg Ní Mháille, sung in Gaelic as we hear the traditional close-up and personal rendition o the unmarried young Brigid O’Malley. We feel instantly the emotional warmth of the voice that will warm your soul throughout Foxglove & Fuchsia. Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh voice dominates the album on this bright and foot tapping collection that will bring you vocal sunshine on the dullest day as the reels and slides spill out of your speakers. This is music for the fireside, in a small public house to share with friends and family this is most definitely not arena music. Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh on Foxglove & Fuchsia captures the warmth, friendship and togetherness that binds traditional music across the globe wherever it is played. The sound is clear a clarion call in any language, the songs are a beguiling mix of Gaelic and English.  Music to laugh, smile, shed a tear too and clap with delight the emotional is captured and understood crossing barriers of language with its inherent simplicity. The tone and texture reflecting the flowers in the album title Foxglove & Fuchsia. The Foxglove growing in the shade its beauty reflected in the dappled sunlight, always slightly hidden from view. In contrast the Fuchsia a vivid, blowsy flower that demands your eye’s attention. What does demand your attention of your ear is Muireann’s wonderful lyrical vocals, a unique blending natural and with hidden depths as the voice pulls the vitality from the damp, moist vitality of the earth in every number. Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh has achieved this by surrounding herself with a phalanx of might musicians that add to the interpretation of traditional Irish Music. Re-shaping the essence into a bright contemporary sound on an album that blends new songs with traditional, the old lyrics rearranged with new melodies.

The almost-title track Where Foxglove takes us into a special place the lyrics paint a visual soundscapes, we are among the flowers overlooking the sea. The guitar of Gerry O’Beirne & Donal O’Connor’s strings gentle complement the full tonal glory of her vocals. The harmonies on The Final Trawl make this track standout. Gaelic number from Basket Island about love lasting the test of time, the music and words fall over you and there is a solid permanence of love throughout the number.  The mood changes we get up and dance to The Reels, infectious music and she plays the whistle with passion and flair on the instrumental joined by Bodhran played by Donnchadh & her husband Billy Mag Fhloinn on Bouzouki. A true celebration of instruments and the uplifting atmosphere that the instruments create. Her voice is not silent for long as I courted A Soldier, with harp and Uilleann pipes this is a gentle number that is delivering the heart and soul of Irish music.

Closing out this album that inner beauty with its quiet approach is Bean Dubh An Ghleanna, Black Bean of the Glen, so appropriate that unrequited love is explored as the music and a language of traditional Irish music is shared. An album full of beautiful moments, warmth and comfort. The speakers have transported us to a different land we find ourselves sitting in her garden surrounded by earthly beauty celebrating Foxglove & Fuchsia, comfortable in the personal space where we sit in her garden surrounded by earthly beauty celebrating Foxglove & Fuchsia shares with us on the album.

Foxglove & Fuchsia – Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Bhríd Óg Ní Mháille
  2. Sleamhnain / Slides
  3. Where Foxglove
  4. The Final Trawl
  5. Muirisin Deas Is Nora
  6. Rileanna / Reels
  7. I Courted A Soldier
  8. An Sciobairin
  9. Polcal / Polkas
  10. Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier
  11. Bean Dubh An Ghleanna

Irish Traditions found In Foxglove & Fuchsia

CD Review: O’Connor, McSherry & Graham ~ Ulaid


Scan0002Donal O’Connor – John McSherry – Sean Og Graham

Release Date 23rd October 2015

Many weave Celtic/Irish traditional music into their acoustic, rock and progressive music due to the melodic, beat music that is drenched in an infectious beat. This is an album that is one hundred percent authentic it is the heart soul and mind that is Irish traditional music. The trio of musicians
Donal O’Connor a multi-instrumentalist the son of celebrated fiddler Gerry O’Connor and Eithane Ni Uallachain singer extraordinaire– John McSherry, making the Uilleann Piping come alive pushing the boundaries of traditional Irish music and Sean Og Graham, guitar and accordion player who has performed and recorded with many traditional musicians.
The album title is a word that is the name applied to a given ethnic group, rather than geographic location and The Ulaid gave their name to the Province of Ulster which is rather fitting as the trio of outstanding musicians live in County Antrim in the North East of Ireland. The album they have created is like the people of Ulster full of tears, laughter and dance whose histories are the weft and warp that weaves itself around your musical memories as the instruments evoke shapes, tones and emotions painting a tonal landscape in your mind.
We dance the polka with Polska Polka with the melding of Eastern European cadences that make you want to get up as the fiddle and pipes set the tone. The tempo slows and the mood changes at the beginning of Punching Holes In Music then as O’Connor’s fiddle joins the beat picks up and the music shapes are explored around the dance beat this is music that doesn’t so much punch holes but sears into a musical memory of dance joined by a community for fun and the meeting of collective experiences. The Ramblers is a marching tune with a difference McSherry’s pipes give the tune a drive and clarity with a percussive foundation and searing fiddling the perfect start to a day rambling through Irish countryside and would give your feet a cushioning of musical pleasure. No Room To Wriggle in The Cauldron stays true to the architecture of Irish music the guitar playing of Graham gives this a contemporary feel that bounces along to a merry jig. The last track has the feeling of a lullaby, the laid back texture of the time to rest to put down your tools of labour and relax.

An instrumental journey through ULaid is one of Irish Melodies that linger long after the last note dies away.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

1. Top Up or Seamus
2. Polska Polka
3. Roll It There, Roisin
4. The Return of Madagascar
5. Punching Holes in Music
6. The Ramblers
7. If Ever I Marry
8. No Room To Wriggle In The Cauldron
9. Lights Out At Five