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Folk centre: Autumn of plenty
Folk and trad news by Greg McAteer.
Greg McAteer, 02 Aug 2005
Autumn is going to be a rich time for new releases with a lot of high profile performers beavering away in the studio over the course of the summer, with a view to getting fresh albums onto the shelves.
David Gray will have a new record on release on September 9 and will be playing the Olympia later that month as part of a short tour.
Kate Rusby’s (pictured) new album is nearly ready too. It’s called The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly, and has apparently been mixed and mastered and is being pressed as you read this.
As always with Ms. Rusby, there’ll be a few surprises – without giving too much away, the cover design artwork is by Graham Coxon, formerly of Blur.
Produced by John McCusker, the project features a list of guest maestros, including vocals by Roddy Woomble of the band Idlewild! We’re not sure when we will have the finished product, but keep your eyes on the website www.katerusby.com because it will be on sale there first.
The release date for the shops is September 5, but the first official pre-release event will be at Cambridge Festival, for those lucky enough to have bought tickets, Kate will be doing a signing on the Sunday at 1 pm. If you can’t make it to Cambridge she’ll be bringing her particular form of magic and mayhem to Vicar St, Dublin on October 10.
Kieran Goss will be lighting up a few smiles as he visits Vicar Street on October 15 to promote his new album, Blue Sky Sunrise, recorded in Nashville with Rodney Crowell’s posse.
It’s widely touted as the Newry man’s most accessible album yet and there seems to be a quiet sense that this one might achieve his long term ambition to make a major impact in the US.
He’s been working with such Nashville luminaries as Kimmie Rhodes, who will guest at Vicar Street, and Sharon Vaughn, who has co-written a track for him with old school mate Brendan Murphy.
Summer will see Cork songster Ger Wolfe and his band The New Skylarks finishing off work on a new album, provisionally entitled The Velvet Earth. The band will introduce this new work on the road in a series of showcase concerts over the summer with a full tour in the autumn, so keep your eyes peeled for further details.
Flook are gearing up, too, for a new studio album and will hopefully release it to coincide with their tenth anniversary as a band.
To mark the occasion, they’ll be having 10 birthday parties – well, all their gigs are pretty celebratory so it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch – two of which are going to be in Ireland, with a show in the Green Room at the Holiday Inn, Dublin penciled in for November 5 and a visit to Ennis to play Glor planned for the following night.
Niamh Parsons, meanwhile, is in the studio, working on a new album with Dennis Cahill producing again. Hopefully it will be an autumn release.
Cló Iar-Chonnachta (CIC) is delighted to announce the publication of its new music catalogue. The catalogue is completely bilingual and contains up-to-date information on all CIC titles. It will be especially welcomed by sean-nós fans, as it also contains information on a large selection of sean-nós recordings from other record labels and from independents that are available from CIC.
To order a complimentary copy of the catalogue, please email your address to email@example.com.
CIC has also released Fortune Favours the Merry by Sligo flautist Peter Horan and Kerry fiddler Gerry Harrington, with piano accompaniment from Ollie Ross (his father was Wexford’s 1956 All-Ireland senior button accordion champion George Ross).
Recorded live in Doddy’s of Ballymote, Co. Sligo this is the real deal, ‘none of yer fancy shtuff’. Taken alongside their Within A Mile Of Kilty album, which is a snapshot of the musical talent round Kiltyclogher, CIC are almost literally getting to the grass roots.
Brian Conway and Brendan Dolan are on tour. They will finish in Peppers of Feakle, Co Clare on
The annual Summer School in Tobercurry, Co. Sligo was a hotbed of good sessions this year and with Seamie O’Dowd amongst the teachers there you can rest assured that the craic was kept bubbling too. The Sligo guitarist had to scoot off in the middle of it all to do a date in the Dutch National Concert Hall with Liam O’Flynn. You’ll be seeing more of him round the country as Mary McPartlan is making a long overdue return to live performance with a series of shows here and in the UK during September and October.
Stewart Agnew and Emer Kenny will be unveiling their new material at the Hooley In Cooley (you couldn’t make that one up, now could you?) on July 31.
‘Piping Live!’ – a global celebration of the diversity of piping music will take place in Glasgow from August 8 through to August 14 and it will see more than 5,000 of the world’s best and emerging pipers descend upon the city for the second year running.
For one week across nine different venues and outdoor spaces, ‘Piping Live!’ will showcase the best that international piping has to offer.
The programme includes traditional highland bagpipes, techno piping from Australia, the uilleann pipes from Ireland, ceilidhs and a film festival. The event culminates with the World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green.
Anyone who is in Edinburgh for the Festival this year will find a natural home between August 1 and September 3 in The Royal Oak in Infirmary Street, which will be staging Folk at the Oak. The Oak has an intimate room downstairs which throughout the year is home to the ‘Wee Folk Club’ and has become famous as a session place for folk singers.
During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Paddy Bort organises a month of great traditional music and song music at very reasonable prices. Festival Folk at the Oak is a great little festival within a festival.
From August 17 to August 21, some of the legends of Irish music return to Bantry, Co Cork for the phenomenally successful Masters of Tradition Festival. Looking set to build on the resounding success of its last two years, the 2005 Masters of Tradition Festival throws open its doors to some of the very best musicians in the land. Superb Clare-born but Seattle-based fiddler Martin Hayes will be joined by his usual partner, Chicago-born guitarist Dennis Cahill as well as the exceptional Australian guitarist Steve Cooney and the legendary guitar and bouzouki player Donal Lunny.
There’ll also be a chance to see Arty McGlynn and Nollaig Casey, acclaimed sean-nós singer John Flanagan, uillean piper Sean McKiernan, singer Mairead Ni Dhomhnaill, fiddler Seamus Creagh, Mairtin O’Connor on accordion and fiddler Matt Cranitch.
The idea for the festival evolved from artistic director Martin Hayes’ call to create a “quiet and intimate space” where the heart of traditional music could be exposed. He says: “We still have a great richness of masters who are unfortunately overlooked and sidelined by current trends in Irish music. Our goal is to create an environment where musicians can express their innermost musical beliefs. There is a solid core of listeners eager to hear the music in its more pure and undiluted form.”