RÉALTA – Clear Skies (Réalta Music ADC 002)

Clear SkiesSince their debut album back in 2012, Réalta have expanded into a quintet with the addition of Dermot Moynagh’s percussion and multi-instrumentalist Dermot Mulholland. The focus of the band is still the twin uilleann pipes of Conor Lamb and Aaron O’Hagan but Deirdre Galway’s guitar seems to have taken something of a back seat.

Their second album opens with a sparkling set of Asturian tunes that open with Mulholland’s bouzouki before the rest of the band pile in on top of him. There are some nice stereo tricks that you may not notice the first time through. That’s followed by a song whose first notes tell you that it can only be Irish – ‘The Longford Weaver’ warns of the dangers that alcohol presents to the young and unwary. A pair of whistle-led slides follows and then comes the beautiful 18th century air, ‘Úr-Chnoc Chéin Cáinte’, led by O’Hagan’s mournful playing.

Galway’s piano underpins another 18th century love song, ‘Máire Ini Mhic Ailpin’, this one sung in Gaelic by Hulholland before sets of jigs and reels more typical of the band’s vivacious style. ‘Tabhair Dom Do Lámb’ is another beautiful air written by the blind Irish harper, Ruaidhri Dall Ó Catháin, and led initially by O’Hagan’s flute before the pipes take over. Finally Deirdre gets front and centre to sing ‘Kellswaterside’ before two more dance sets round out the album. Clear Skies is rather more sophisticated than its predecessor and Réalta have had four years to grow and develop. I wonder what the next four years with bring.

Dai Jeffries

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Artists’ website: http://www.realtamusic.com/

‘The Longford Weaver’ – promo video:

Paul Johnsons folking interview with Ioscaid from Cropredy 2012

Ioscaid is group of young lads from counties Down, Armagh, and Derry who came together in late 2009 as a band to enter the Siansa Gael Linn competition.

Brothers Dermot and Fintan Mulholland entered Siansa the previous year in a group with Niall McCrickard and Declan Magee called Coimriú who came third that year. The following year, the 4 lads joined with Niall Murphy & Ciaran Hanna and entered Siansa under the name of ‘Ioscaid’. After the various rounds of the competition, the group were selected as one of the 8 finalists to compete in the National Concert Hall in the Grand Final of the competition. In April 2010 they made history by winning the competition and bring the trophy to Ulster!

In October 2011 they hit the UK scene after entering and winning the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards which earned them a slot at Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2012 which is where our folking “Ow R U” stalwart interviewer,  Paul Johnson caught up with em backstage for a chat…

AS WINTER SETS IN BIG TIME – WE TAKE A WARM LOOK BACK TO WHEN IOSCAID  – THE BBC YOUNG FOLK AWARD WINNERS SET, MESMORIZED THE CROPREDY 2012 CROWED BACK IN THAT WONDERFUL AUGUST SUMMER SUNSHINE THAT NOW SEEMS SO LONG AGO!

But they needed a lesson on the Matty Groves story first…

As well as having the best Cropredy weather for years, in 2012 and winning countless medals at the Olympics – as we basked in the glorious sunshine smiling with a pint Wadworth’s Horizon beer in a sunny Cropredy contented way –  I had the pleasure of catching up with BBC young folk award winners Ioscaid  (pronounced ‘Iss – Kidge’) for a chat about their success so far, but not before noticing several posters around the Cropredy site displaying Fairports Olympics results as follows

Lord Darnold  – Fencing – Gold

Servant – Swimming – Gold

Maty Groves – Fencing – Did not finish!

Hiring Fair Maid – Breast Stroke Gold

So seeing that the three members of Ioscaid I was about to interview reading these posters looking totally puzzled they asked me what these were all about!!!

The interview could not start until I had recited all lyrics of Matty Groves with full explanations to these lovely young lads bless em !!!! Now they know, and I can take credit for a tiny piece of these lads musical education!! Paul Johnson

Click on the player below to listen to the interview….

Artist’s website: https://www.facebook.com/Ioscaid
Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


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Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us. Can’t find what you are looking for? Search Amazon Store below.