YE VAGABONDS – Ye Vagabonds (Inglenook Records YVB01)

Ye VagabondsI heard Ye Vagabonds supporting Roy Harper at the Festival Hall last year, and that is a hell of a gig for a duo who hadn’t yet released an album. They took it in their stride, however, and I was impressed with the way they sounded.

Ye Vagabonds are brothers Diarmuid and Brían Mac Gloinn from Dublin. Diarmuid plays guitar while Brían handles most of the decoration on bouzouki, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and guitar. Both have strong voices and sing together as only siblings can. All the material here is original except for the traditional ‘Lowlands Of Holland’ which closes the set.

Pinning down a definition of their sound is difficult. They are supported by Alain Mc Fadden on harmonium and mandolin and Nicholas Cooper’s strings. The harmonium can provide a drone and the massed strings can give a sense of the ethereal, almost magical. ‘Lowlands Of Holland’ is certainly Irish and the boys borrowed their tune from Paddy Tunney. It’s the only time that their Irish accents are allowed to dominate but their original material seems to reflect their heritage.

The opener, ‘Go Where You Will’, is a big song to start with – nothing ethereal about it – but the imagery of the love story evokes for me thoughts of an old draughty castle and pictures of wild Irish weather. The second single, ‘Half Blind’, uses similar rural images of “irons in the fire” and “dangling on the line”. The first single, ‘Song Long Forgotten’, has a mysterious lyric, clearly a metaphor, but for what? Perhaps it’s just about morning, continuing the theme of the beautiful ‘Wake Up’. ‘Whistling Wind’ sets its cap firmly against religion which may still count as brave but my top track is ‘Way Up On The Mountain’, another enigmatic lyric. If you were to ask what it was about, I’d suggest that the answer would be “life” which is what most songs are about in some way or another.

Ye Vagabonds have made a fine debut album; beautifully played songs that will take you off somewhere in your imagination.

Dai Jeffries

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Artists’ website:

‘Go Where You Will’ live:

Irish duo Ye Vagabonds announce their debut album

Ye Vagabonds

Buoyed by the success of their debut EP Rose & Briar in 2015, and continuing support from respected musicians like Lisa Hannigan, Roy Harper and Glen Hansard; brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn, who form Ye Vagabonds, are set to release their highly anticipated debut album on Friday 13th October 2017, on their own label: Inglenook Records.

Expect harmony rich folk music, influenced by Irish traditional music, Appalachian singing, and the 1960’s folk revival. Ye Vagabonds’ album is comprised of ten mellow tracks weaved with thoughtful lyrics, thickly layered with strings and droning harmonium.

The album was recorded by Nick Rayner between The Meadow recording studios in Wicklow, and Rayner’s studio in West Cork.

The first single from the album ‘Song Long Forgotten’, with an accompanying video from filmmaker Myles O’Reilly and artist Conor Campbell, is out now. With the second single, “Half Blind” due to be released today

The official album launch will take place over three nights in Dublin and Carlow. The Dublin launch will be celebrated in the back room of The Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin, on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th October (both nights are sold out). There will also be a special free lunchtime show instore at Marrowbone Books in the Coombe, Dublin, at 3 pm on Friday 13th.

A homecoming album launch will take place at the Pembroke Club D’Art in Carlow, on Saturday 14th October, with a following tour to be announced.

Artist’s website:

‘Song Long Forgotten’ – official video: