In early 2019 on a visit to Ireland to promote Stan and Ollie – the film which he headlined with Steve Coogan – the American actor, John C Reilly, struck up a friendship with Séamus Begley, based on their mutual love of Irish songs. When their friendship was renewed later that year in Los Angeles, as John joined Séamus and Téada bandmate, Oisín Mac Diarmiada, on stage at the final date of their Christmas tour, the germ of an idea for a unique collaboration on the next Téada album began to take root.
Pandemic restrictions made the process of recording John’s vocals trickier than normal, but everything fell into place in 2021 when John found a suitable recording studio in Los Angeles to record the Percy French classic, Eileen Óg. On the album, John’s striking vocal tones are blended with the subtle sensitivity of Séamus’ singing to deliver a beautifuilly crafted arrangement.
Reilly’s growing engagement with Ireland was further cemented last month when he was the official International Guest of Honour at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin. And according to Séamus Begley, he is likely to be seen even more frequently in this country in future: “Now after finding a house of his dreams there, it looks like John C will be spending more time in his beloved Kerry and I look forward to some more late-night singing sessions and revelry in the local hostelries.”
Coiscéim Coiligh – As the Days Brighten – due for release next month in May – will be Téada’s sixth studio album and will mark a musical partnership that has not merely endured but thrived for 21 years and has brought the band to concert platforms and festivals throughout Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australasia.
For details of track listings, etc, see https://fonn.online/product/teada-coisceim-coiligh/