International band String Sisters announce their new album

String Sisters

String Sisters produces a sound that is awe-inspiring and captivating in equal measure. Capable of capturing an audience from the first few notes, their shows are a masterclass in the emotional power of instrumental music and traditional song. From heart-stopping songs performed by Emma Härdelin and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh to the energetic intensity of the more upbeat fiddle tunes, Between Wind And Water transfers the energy and emotion of their live performances to a studio recording.

This prestigious international project features tunes and songs written by Catriona Macdonald, Dave Milligan, Annbjørg Lien, Liz Carroll, Liz Knowles, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Tore Bruvoll. Traditional tunes and songs from Sweden, Shetland, Ireland and the United States also feature.

The album was conceived at Mareel in Shetland during ten intense and wonderfully light days in June 2017, and completed on some crisp autumnal days in November 2017 at Castlesound in Edinburgh.

Artists’ website: http://www.stringsisters.ne

‘Vinterfolk’ – official video:

Continue reading International band String Sisters announce their new album

ALTAN – The Poison Glen (Compass Records 4571)

There’s something reassuring about coming across a lyric or melody that you’re used to hearing even if it’s not in your native tongue. Such is the case with the track “Seolta Geala” and in as much as I’ve come to associate it with the gustily delivered shanty “Rio Grande” I stand to be corrected as I can’t confirm the lyrics having extensively trawled the net. I’ve often said before that even if I can’t understand a word of Gaelic it is how it’s presented that leaves me hot or cold depending on whose interpretation I’m listening to. Continue reading ALTAN – The Poison Glen (Compass Records 4571)

MAIREAD NI MHAONAIGH – Imeall (Moon1)

I first met the beautiful Irish chanteuse Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh in 1978 when she performed at St Mary’s Church Hall in Hastings (rather uncharitably re-christened ‘the bomb factory’…you work it out…by the local residents of the town) whilst working with the fledgling acoustic group Altan. Since then of course the band have gone from strength to strength and this recording is Mairead’s first solo project in all that time. The old question of whether the album has stretched her musically speaking is “No…not really” but then again, who wouldn’t want to make the most of an opportunity to surround themselves with the cream of the Irish ‘folk’ glitterati including, amongst others Continue reading MAIREAD NI MHAONAIGH – Imeall (Moon1)

MAIREAD NI MHAONAIGH – Imeall (Moon1)

I first met the beautiful Irish chanteuse Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh in 1978 when she performed at St Mary’s Church Hall in Hastings (rather uncharitably re-christened ‘the bomb factory’…you work it out…by the local residents of the town) whilst working with the fledgling acoustic group Altan. Since then of course the band have gone from strength to strength and this recording is Mairead’s first solo project in all that time. The old question of whether the album has stretched her musically speaking is “No…not really” but then again, who wouldn’t want to make the most of an opportunity to surround themselves with the cream of the Irish ‘folk’ glitterati including, amongst others; Manus Lunny (bouzouki, programming and vocals etc), Michael McGoldrick (Uilleann pipes and Flute) and Tim Edey on guitars. Lunny also comes into his own as producer deftly placing just the correct amount of nuanced accompaniment where it’s required. Although I suppose the album will appear rather pedestrian for some tastes (but not those who have followed Mhaonaigh’s career to date) there are spirited renditions of the Gaelic song “Gardai ‘n Ri” with its riff and percussion driven sound and the fiddle led instrumental set-piece “Highlands/The Red Crow” for those wishing a quick jig around the table in Pat Cohen’s pub from ‘The Quiet Man’. All-in-all, this is a very nice CD to chill-out to.

PETE FYFE