Releases > Releases March 2022

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Time Well Spent
Matt McGinn and Aoife Scott, 3:57 Minutes
The COVID pandemic has produced both “the worst of times” and “the best of times.” In the best of times, COVID has provided us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves—communication with one another being top of the list, especially during lockdown when we have had to be distanced from our loved ones and friends.
Prolific singer, songwriter, and producer Matt McGinn decided to take lockdown to a different level. Taking advantage of the well of emotion building within him, Matt penned the words to a new song he titled Time Well Spent. He captured the sentiment of this thought-provoking song when he said, “This pandemic has left a void that we all felt deeply. It wasn’t long before I realized that time spent in the company of those we love is precious.”
When Dublin award-winning folk singer-songwriter Aoife Scott heard Matt perform Time Well Spent on an online platform, she immediately recognized that what she heard was extraordinary. Months later, lockdown lifted, and the two musicians met up in person in studio to record. Matt and Aoife utilized their musical talents and turned Time Well Spent into a timeless, slow-moving, reflective song with light instrumental accompaniments and unforgettable lyrics.
Anita Lock

The Armagh Rhymers Vol. 2
Own Label, 16 Tracks, 1 Hour 54 Seconds
The Armagh Rhymers are a renowned musical collective who practice the dramatic tradition of mumming, where characters enter a household to perform a humorous play of death and resurrection.
This album weaves classic mummers’ rhymes with poetry and literature just as they do in their live ritual dramas. As producer and musician Barry Lynch says, you can see it as well as hear it. The opening track mimics the arrival of the mummers to your door with clips of the traditional rhymes one would hear on the kitchen floor during a mummers’ house visit.
Written at the onset of Covid, the album evokes the darker, more haunting elements of mumming — going out in the dark in masks —and opens with ominous chanting. This is followed by a murder ballad and later a poem about the burning of Brigid Cleary with more whispering and shouting of rhymes. Annie June Callaghan’s voice truly is intriguing.
The tracks feature various figures from Irish history, as in a mummers’ play, and each begins with a recitation based on the figure leading into a song or tune. St. Brendan introduces a sea shanty, clearing the way for St. Brigid and a song about her feast day.
The album features a poem on Covid-19, which proposes a quack doctor’s miraculous cure. Amusing back and forth interplay between the vocalists with lush harmonies highlights the playful camaraderie of this mummers’ collective.
This imaginative album is a must-have for lovers of Ireland’s poetry and folk traditions.
Caroline Tatem

The Light Side of the Tune
Musicians: Piano: Kate McHugh, Guitar: Tony Byrne, Bouzouki: Ruaidhrí McGorman
Album recorded at Sonic Studios, Dublin and Cara Cruitagáin Studio, Galway. Mastered by Martin O’Malley at Malbay Studios. 61 Minutes, 7 Seconds
A new concertina CD from talented musician Brenda Castles where the distinctive cover art so aptly reflects the terrific music across this album, but also psychologically reflects a theme: light side of the tune, dark side of the moon, the latter is both an edgy nod to Pink Floyd but also linked to a really interesting album concept where Brenda is brave enough to revisit and re-imagine tunes she wasn’t keen on as a child, but comes to enjoy later.
There’s a fresh energy across this well researched music, but a spacious leisurely sound in all of it too - I really like the tempo in this unusual version of Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie from the Stephen Grier manuscripts. In tunes like Strawberry Blossom, and the Miss McLeod Reel set, there’s the draw, the pull, the deft musicality and lightness of touch that I’ve come to know in Brenda’s music, layered with complexity in tone, ornamentation and depth that feels crucial, unique, elegant, refined and so lovely to hear and enjoy. On Ed Reavy’s version of The Irish Washerwoman, I love what Brenda does with the tune, a tenderness in the interpretation, while she simultaneously blows the cobwebs off the over-familiar and dare I say it - makes the washer woman’s jig as fresh as air-dried sheets!
Castles’ commendable liner notes work on some wonderfully specific dimensions - with the aforementioned tune - I’m intrigued to learn that Ed Reavy called it The Irish Woman instead, not sure how I feel about that but will refrain from any more laundry metaphors! Great tune version though. If the ebb of traditional music involves an evolution of sorts that flows and grows yet stays constant, that same vitality is there in Castles’ music full of the lift, bounce and swing that makes Irish traditional music so special.
Great to see this album getting lots of attention and air time. Do support this lovely music.
Deirdre Cronin

Chronicles: 60 Years of The Chieftains
Claddagh Records 2 CDs & DVD
60 audio and visual tracks
To mark The Chieftains 60th anniversary, Claddagh Records have released a production they refer to as “a complete career retrospective, featuring over 60 audio and visual tracks from the world’s most celebrated traditional Irish band” – Chronicles: 60 years of The Chieftains. And the choice of the word Chronicles is an apt one because the accompanying booklet is a gem of the story of the group’s leader, Paddy Moloney, his musical confreres, and their music. Chronicles features tracks from the band’s very first album release Chieftains 1 right up to their most recent studio album Voice of Ages. The whole production celebrates the extraordinary life and work of Paddy Moloney who combined sharp business acumen with impressive musical talent. In her CD notes, Dr Ríonach uí Ógáin points out that Paddy’s companions in The Chieftains rightly share in the triumph of the band’s achievements and says that Chronicles “is a fine tribute to a remarkable group of musicians”.
Irish poets and people of exceptional talent in music in ancient Ireland were often said to be driven by the impulse to travel and by a desire to seek a larger stage and bigger audiences. When The Chieftains were set up in 1962, says Ríonach, few could have guessed that in the course of the following decades, “The Chieftains’ talents were to be experienced throughout the globe”.
Their ability to transcend musical boundaries in blending the traditional with modern music has earned them the right to be regarded as one of the most renowned and revered musical groups to this day. The CDs and DVD include collaborations with The Rolling Stones, Paulo Nutini, Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, Van Morrison and Sinéad O’Connor. It also includes previously unreleased recordings from Live at The Royal Albert Hall, Live at The Cambridge Folk Festival as well as previously unreleased footage and recordings from the BBC and RTÉ archives.
Aidan O’Hara

The Lockdown Journey
Trad Nua, 13 Tracks, 40 Minutes
The veteran ballad singer is now in his 76th year, of which over fifty of those have seen him performing songs around the world. Johnny is still touring and he is as popular as ever, his weekly Facebook show attracts an audience of over 36,000. This Lockdown Journey is far from a swan song for the singer from Bannagher.
Those online shows helped Johnny realise you can make meaningful music during a lockdown, from there it was a few steps to creating this Lockdown Journey album.
In many ways this is a beautifully simple album, superbly sung songs each with its own catchy melody, impeccably recorded; the songs arranged for acoustic and electric guitars, the latter by Bill Shanley. As a folk singer of the old school. Johnny realises you don’t need much else, what you do need is the emotional intelligence to choose your tracks wisely and arrange their running order in the most sensitive way possible. Suffice to say Johnny McEvoy never disappoints on this album, choosing songs that are reflections of his own life: By The Side of the Rolling Sea, a note to remind us that better times always come around again: The Swallows Return. Songs offering reflections on his own rich life and also give us the listener many opportunities to sing along. There are classic songs that are not as old as you might think: The Old Dungarvan Oak, A Daisy a Day and Rita MacNeil’s Working Man, which closes the album.
Johnny sings each song calmly and with feeling; it is as if each one is an old friend, each greeted by a gentle quiet assurance in his voice. This album is a comfort from a singer who is comfortable in his genre.
Seán Laffey

Own Label, Killeen 03, 12 Tracks, 40 Minutes
This is concertina music from Corofin in the heart of Clare at the epicentre of concertina music. It’s ostensibly a solo album and the first recording Healy has made in nearly 11 years. I say ostensibly because he has around him a fine ensemble, chiefly: Padraic O’Reilly on piano, Michael McCague playing guitar & bouzouki and John Maloney on bodhrán.
The album’s liner notes are a window into Healy’s musical youth, tunes that took his fancy and the players he heard, listened to, played with or was taught by, people who he’d now call major influences. If you’d like a discography of some of the finest music of the last half-century, follow Healy’s references in the liner notes and you’ll have a library of excellent music in no time.
Here are a few examples: the selection Pipe on the Hob, The Spotted Dog and The Tar Road to Sligo; the first one Hugh has from a 1997 compilation of the piping of Séamus Ennis, the second was a session tune played by exiles in Birmingham and the third came to Hugh via Michael Coleman and the Bothy Band. His version of the Moving Cloud traces its roots to a Noel Hill recording of 1982 and before that to Néillidh Boyle.
The CD opens with a pair of lively jigs The Blue Angel and Miss O’Sullivan’s; astute readers may know the second tune was played by Jackie Daly on the 1986 Patrick Street album. Healy’s version of Crowley’s/The Limestone Rock is as Clare as you can get. Hugh plays the melody to the song The Green Hills of Clare again referencing the home county. Cathy Potter joins in on track 8, the modern air Mischief Anneal and Caroline O’Donoghue guests on a second concertina on the track Jennie Pippin /Miss Thornton/ The Ships are Sailing, their unison playing as tight as a cork in a bottle of Champagne.
There is panache in the playing and profoundly useful history in the background notes. When Hugh plays The Fair Haired Boy/Fair Wind/ The Ash Plant we are back at the mother lode of the Russell brothers and Tony MacMahon. Whisper Hugh Healy’s name in that company, he’s keeping a flame lit for Corofin and the Clare concertina.
Seán Laffey

Taisce Luachmhar – Valuable Treasure
Irish Recording Company Limited NPUCD024, 19 Tracks, 55 Minutes
The Piping Album, Taisce Luachmhar – Valuable Treasure is a companion album to Various Fiddlers, Taisce Luachmhar c.1949 that I reviewed in this magazine’s 2022 Annual. The same message that appeared there applies equally to The Piping Album: “The music presented here is an exceptional selection of recordings of great sound quality from more than 70 years ago.”
The recordings were made in the years 1948 into the 1950s, with most of them being made in 1949. The sound engineer was Bill Stapleton (1921-1983) recording in his studios of the Irish Recording Company in Dublin. Bill was a pioneer in the independent recording business in Ireland, and he left his recordings with music collector and author Breandán Breathnach who wasn’t able to do anything with them. But he knew enough to pass them on to the expert recording engineer and ex-RTÉ radio producer, Harry Bradshaw.
For bringing the The Piping Album recordings to light, and for his skilled work on the early recordings, Harry receives this acknowledgement in The Piping Album: “Harry Bradshaw deserves great recognition for his role at all stages of this project.” He was not only the custodian of this ‘valuable treasure’ of recordings, he also did the remastering. And not only that: he provides in the lengthy CD notes the story of Bill Stapleton and his company that recorded the earliest discs of some of the biggest names in Uilleann piping (they include Séamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome, Felix Doran, Tommy Reck and Willie Clancy).
Lovers of Irish traditional music, and in particular those that value the pipes and the music will enjoy in this exciting album not only hearing great masters of the art of piping; in the CD notes, piper and student of recorded pipe music, Emmett Gill, provides a wealth of history in the biogs of the pipers (with their photos) and extensive tune notes on all 19 tracks. A gem of an uilleann piping CD.
Aidan O’Hara

The Portland Bow
Raelach Records RR019, 12 Tracks, 39 Minutes
Smooth fiddling from this young Dublin master, combining traditional Irish material with a good chunk of Scottish and Cape Breton tunes, plus a few spicy Spanish numbers. The comprehensive sleeve notes give the origin of each piece and how it landed on Mr Connolly’s fiddle: they also acknowledge the subtle but supportive accompaniment from Jack Talty on piano and Ruairi McGorman on the resurgent Greek bouzouki.
Classic reels and jigs are sweetly delivered before the first of several surprises - three Sliabh Luachra polkas with a great beat and bounce, perhaps slightly less wild than the Kerry norm but still great music. A popular Spanish jota - an athletic dance - is played with rare skill and polish, double tracking the fiddle for harmony, while the bouzouki provides perfect backing. The great Dan R original Peggy’s Mountain opens a track of uncommon reels on unaccompanied fiddle, followed by three mazurkas from northern Spain which would be quite at home in Donegal. Sligo and Donegal furnish jigs for the next track, cheery dance tunes with a hint of Ulster Scots.
The Jerry Holland waltz In Memory of Herbie MacLeod is a popular lament in Cape Breton, and along with the Ian Powrie slow air Leila provides bittersweet contrast to the livelier tracks here. A trio of old slides, a delightful set of reels including compositions by Finbarr Dwyer and Jerry Holland again, and a final pair of barndances round out The Portland Bow, Paul McGrattan’s Ansty Barndance cheekily ending a collection which is a quiet delight.
Alex Monaghan

In Full Tune
Own Label, 19 Tracks, 51 Minutes
Uilleann piper Pádraic Keane is from Maree, a coastal village south of Galway city. In 2011 he was awarded TG4 Young Musician of the Year. His debut album comes ten years later and shows a wonderful unhurried maturity in his playing. The music is performed on three sets of uilleann pipes made in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, which are detailed in the album notes along with insightful information on the tunes.
This is an album for true aficionados of the uilleann pipes. In 19 unadorned tracks, Pádraic Keane brings us a timeless collection of piping classics, presented in a style that wouldn’t have been out of place with some of the big names in this genre in the 1950s and 1960’s. That’s why I chose the word timeless, this album has an honesty about it; if you play the pipes you’ll know every nuance and shade that Keane brings to his music, you can hear the instrument’s personality as much as you can the pipers. And no matter which of the three sets of pipes he chooses he is always in lockstep, arm and arm through tracks.
Playing solo freely, unfettered by accompanists gives Keane the ability to subtly alter tempo within a tune, such as in the transition between tunes in the selection of Mountain Road/Boyne Hunt/ Heathery Breeze. There are tunes more commonly regarded as song melodies such as The Snowy Breasted Pear; this brings out the lyrical dimension of Keane’s playing.
There’s no shortage of the big slow airs that test a piper’s mettle: Gol na mBan san Ár, Seán Ó Duibhir a’ Ghleanna and An Buachaill Caol Dubh, and Keane passes muster on each one. With 19 tracks there are tunes for everyone and every occasion, from the moody to the melancholy to the merry. If I had to choose my favourite selection it would be Will You Come Down to Limerick? / Hardiman the Fiddler but I love a modal slip jig.
Whatever takes your fancy you’ll find it here, it’s intimate unvarnished piping at its purest.
Seán Laffey

Water Street
Window Weather WWR00002, 10 Tracks, 41 Minutes
Originally from Devon, taking to Irish music like a duck to Guinness, and making his home in Edinburgh, Tom Oakes has a broad palette of musical experiences and skills to draw on for his first full solo album. Despite the constraints of COVID, an exploding flute and other complications, Water Street pulls many strands together to form an impressive tapestry: top class flute-playing, pieces from several traditions, Tom’s own compositions, and accompaniment on a trusty Greek bouzouki. If I didn’t have to write about it, I’d say Water Street was indescribable - but here goes!
After an introduction like an orchestra tuning up, the title track settles on a wintry mood which reminds me strongly of Peter and the Wolf. This Prokofiev echo is perfectly paired with Debussy and the Low B towards the end of the album, a gorgeously full-bodied piece which combines resonance and dissonance, air traffic chatter, woodland creature cameos and the sound of car horns amongst other elements. In between these two new pieces are several old melodies from the Irish and Scottish traditions, and from Donegal which sits across both: The Ace and Deuce of Pipering, The Three Sea Captains, Miss Johnstone, The Mist Covered Mountains, the wonderful Silver Slipper slip jig from Donegal, and a few more.
Talking of Donegal, Tom’s fine waltz Fastest Zebra in the West would do for a mazurka at a pinch - there’s definitely some donkey in its heritage, shod or otherwise! On the slower side, Oakes delivers a tingling version of Sé Fá mo Bhuartha and a beautiful solo flute version of the song air Constant Lovers followed by an almost insouciant nod to the English tradition as he turns the shanty Blow the Wind Southerly into another new mazurka. Water Street ends on a high, three cracking Irish reels played with pace and power, a lovely bit of music on the old timber flute and a great finish to a fascinating album.
Alex Monaghan

Songs of Irish Rebellion Volume 1
Own Label, 9 Tracks, 36 Minutes
Newfoundlander Leigh Brockerville is involved in an ongoing project to sing Irish songs, keeping that Irish link alive with the Canadian island where the blood and Irish culture is so strong. This is his first volume of Irish rebel songs. A genre that is extremely popular but is rarely given airtime or column inches.
Leigh sings his rebel ballads on his Facebook page and he has quite the following, he sings with pride and without embarrassment. I am sure you’ll be familiar with the song titles, The Foggy Dew, The Belfast Brigade, Erin Go Bragh, The One Road (an optimistic look ahead to what might be possible in a new republic). Contrasted with those is the human reality of the ultimate separation and sacrifice of sedition echoing throughout Grace. Leigh’s most sensitive piece on the album is simply voice and guitar of Boolavogue.
A number of his songs are taken at a party pace with sterling work on banjo and drums going on in the background. A mention must be made of the contribution both musical and technical to the album by fiddler Patrick Moran and multi-instrumentalist Brad Tuck who also engineered and mixed the album for Leigh.
Many rebel songs were written in retrospect, such as Erin Go Bragh (Row in the Town) and the big body of work by P.J. McCall. All the songwriters are acknowledged on the album’s sleeve notes, reminding us of committed nationalists who were not afraid to leave their name on their work.
Leigh’s voice is authentic, rough and folky. The Newfoundland accent is similar in cadence to that of Dublin; there’s no artifice or stage-Irishness in his diction, some words have that extended “A” sound so typical of Newfoundlanders. There are obvious similarities in his repertoire and style to the old school Wolfe Tones. The Tones won’t go on forever, their cannon of songs however will, and in Leigh Brockerville those rebel ballads have found a voice and home in St. John’s Newfoundland.
Seán Laffey

Counting Down the Hours
Own Label 2022, 13 Tracks, 46 Minutes
With one of the most beautiful opening tracks I can remember, this first full-length CD from Massachusetts duo Rakish combines the best of Irish, Americana, classical and folk music. Fiddler Maura Shawn Scanlin and guitarist Conor Hearn both play several other instruments here, and sing: they are joined by a couple of guests on a few tracks, but 90% of Counting Down the Hours comes from the core duo.
That stunning opener is no accident - fresh and vibrant compositions continue to pour from Rakish: the moving title song, the modern trad New Shoe Maneuver, the wistful backwoods ballad Before Our Quiet Love, the driving Waiting Game jig and reel medley with Seamus Egan on banjo, the gentle In the Middle which actually isn’t, and several more.
Four vocal numbers in an old-timey style, three new songs and the classic ballad Canadee-I-O with Dan Klingsberg on bass, are sprinkled through contemporary folk fiddle and guitar pieces with a Celtic flavour and a Stateside flair. Johann Sebastian Bach and Robert de Visée would be proud to hear their baroque Gigue and Courante in such company I think, deftly handled on fiddle and guitar. The final trio of new and traditional melodies provides a cathartic climax, winding down through The Tooth of Time and The Corrie Man to a final blast on Rakish’s fine reel The Bay Leaf.
Elegant, tasty, varied and exciting - I’ll be Counting Down the Hours to album number two!
Alex Monaghan

A Drop for Neptune
Own Label TMRCD001, 9 Tracks, 43 Minutes
About a quarter of a century ago, the late great Micheál Ó Súilleabháin wrote a piece which he called Must Be More Crispy. Well you know, I think these guys may have finally cracked it! A Drop for Neptune has more snap, crackle and pop than breakfast at Hogwarts: this music is explosive, head-turning, yet light in the hand and melting in the mouth, a perfect paradox.
Accordion, fiddle and flute enable a pan-Celtic sound in the melody department, while the rhythm section boasts three of the best on bodhrán, piano and guitar. There are two vocal tracks delivered by guitarist Alasdair Mackenzie with help from fiddler Isla Callister who wrote the gentle Turning Tides. About half of the material here was written by the band: this includes Madeleine’s by box-player Michael Biggins in a bouncy jig set which pays tribute to stateside fiddler Madeleine Stewart, Flaith na Faiche by fluter Tiernan Courell which is one of the few slower tracks, and the final Eye of the Storm which sees Tiernan collaborate with keyboard craftsman Rory Matheson.
In among these originals are pieces from the Scottish, Irish and Manx traditions - I particularly liked the strathspey Morair Sim - and compositions by Tomas Callister and John Doyle. This debut album fits into the exciting stable of bands like Talisk, Mec Lir, Ímar, Fourth Moon, and even the iconic trio of McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle. If you’re looking for a taster, the opening track September Sea is as good as any: a pounding beat from bodhránist Craig Baxter and buddies, with a mix of stomping and subtle reels over the top, finishing with the Shetland favourite Square da Mizzen - stirring stuff!
Alex Monaghan

Own Label CM006, 10 Tracks, 41 Minutes
This band has brought Gaelic culture up to date with a bang. We’re talking nuclear levels of impact. Firm favourites on the clubbing scene in the west of Scotland, featured on several TV programmes recently, Niteworks have a huge following. This third full album shows why - it’s deep, it’s punchy, it oozes ancient spirit, and it presses all the contemporary Celtic folk buttons too. A teasing intro releases the bomb of Each-Uisge, piping-style synths over drums and bass, an explosion of noise and then an eerie calm like mist coming down on the moors.
Synthesizers are a big part of the Niteworks sound, in a good way. The beat is solid and constant, with electronics mixed into traditional melodies - think Mike Oldfield or Jean-Michel Jarre in a kilt. This might seem like an odd mash-up, but it’s worked for Moxie, Sketch, Elephant Sessions, and a whole wave of young Scots and Irish bands. Niteworks differentiate themselves by inviting some great vocalists - Ellen MacDonald for Gura Mise, Hannah Rarity and Beth Malcolm for the two Scots ballads Gloomy Winter and John Riley, Alasdair Whyte from Mull on Thèid mi lem Dheòin, and the amazing Kathleen MacInnes has the final word on the title track.
With fiddle, string quartet, and a couple of vocal ensembles added in, this is a complex album, full of rich arrangements which evoke the mystic, the mournful, and the modern aspects of Gaeldom. Guns of Ajaccio showcases the highland pipes in a dramatic driving reel. Old Ghost’s Waltz is spookily humorous, dragging the chains at the village ceilidh. Bumpth is a more upbeat waltz, while Teannaibh Dluth has a funereal feel to it. Varied and imaginative, A’Ghrian is a bright spot in the gloomiest day.
Alex Monaghan

Tipping the Scales
Own Label, 12 Tracks, 45 Minutes
Straight-ahead Irish traditional music on fiddle and bouzouki. Nothing unusual, you might think - but what’s it doing in New Mexico? Fiddler Grace Broadhead just turned 18, and her poise and power on this album explains why she’s already a bit of a star around Albuquerque: from the low growling notes of The Broken Pledge to the wild high runs of The Donegal Traveller, this is an impressive debut, particularly as it comes literally out of left field. Desert. Whatever.
Playing fiddle for only seven years, Ms Broadhead seems to have been bitten by the bug bigtime. Her composing skills took her to the fleadh in 2019, and she’s met and played with pretty much everyone from wettest Drogheda to arid Roswell. She didn’t get the pure drop from the aliens, I can tell you that - she must have soaked up every available drop like a parched cactus, and now she’s poured it into this album. Máire Rua, Waiting for a Call, The Peacock’s Feather and Tatter Jack Walsh are all deftly handled. There’s a song too, Grace swapping vocals with brother and songwriter John Broadhead, which breaks this fine fiddle album into two halves.
Providing sensitive accompaniment throughout, Ben Williamson from Ohio is no slouch on the tunes either: he confidently picks his way through solos on The Monaghan Jig and The Curlew amongst others, and duets with the fiddle on round-backed bouzouki. Grace’s three original compositions are all firmly fiddle-led - the soulful slow reel Chain Reaction, the more mainstream reel The Twisted Chimney, and the charming Walter and Nancy’s Waltz. It’s all good on Tipping the Scales. Expect to hear more from these two, together or separately.
Alex Monaghan

Wild Red
Own Label, 10 Tracks, 35 Minutes
Wild Red is the third solo album from Lisa Lambe. Described by herself as ‘made by the fireside, written in the quiet, inspired by old stories, local lore, current landscapes and new states of mind…’ this really does encapsulate the natural world and local stories from her time in lockdown 2020. Lambe has brilliantly composed songs from local inspiration and the landscape of our time, in West County Cork.
A collection of 10 songs, each one individual. Opening with Blue Star, a prayer like song for those gone before us and looking down from the celestial night sky. A very poignant one for many of us who have lost loved ones. This one rang very close to my heart. It leads into First to See the Sun which is comforting and something soothing about it. Following this is Last Fading Light which speaks for itself, the end of the day and then the title track Wild Red is one inspired by the mermaid in Irish folklore. The mermaid theme continues in Sea Queen. One Drop of Rain is an intimate folk tune, a song for the heart. We then have what I see as a stand-alone song with a name, unlike the other nature referenced titles. Here Rosaleen was inspired by the local West Cork legend of Rosaleen O’Sullivan, a Chieftain’s daughter, whose father wanted her to marry a Chieftain. Rosaleen was in love with another young Chieftain. Nearing the end with Smiling Moon, The Lonely Bones and finishing with East to West, a reflection on life and also the personal journey Lambe made herself to record the album at Ocean Studios right on the shores of Bantry Bay.
A beautiful collection with nature at its very core. And if you listen carefully, you might just hear that fire crackling as she sings.
Gráinne McCool