The Lark on the Strand by Sesoaimhín Ní Bheaglaíoch et al

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    In January 2000, singer Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaíoch and three musicians Charlie Piggott (accordion), Gerry Harrington (fiddle) and Peter Browne (uilleann pipes) undertook a musical tour of Ireland. It was organised by Music Network and there were twelve concerts – in Dublin, Manorhamilton, Wexford, Tullaroan, Cork, Portmagee, Listowel, Ashbourne, Carrickallen, Mullingar, Clifden and Buncrana. A later short tour visited Armagh, Portaferry, Cushendall and Belfast. Many enjoyable miles were covered with no shortage of good company, music and song along the way. 

    The tour concert on the night of January 21, 2000, took place in Gaelscoil na Cille in Ashbourne, Co. Meath – organised by Cultúrlann na Cille – and a recording was made which was kept but gradually forgotten over a twenty-year period. It surfaced again through a chance discovery, lying in a cardboard box in an attic during the pandemic lockdown period of 2020 and it was a fortunate find! The music and song sounded fresh and had much of the spirit and spontaneity that can often accompany a live onstage occasion. 

    After listening, everyone agreed that the performances, choice of material, playing togetherness, recording quality and an overall feeling of an enjoyable atmosphere, had stood up very well and would have appeal if brought to a wider audience of traditional music followers. 

    There is plenty of variety here – nineteen tracks in all – with songs in Irish and English, trios, duets and solos playing reels, double jigs, slip jigs, hornpipes, polkas, slides, marches, slow airs and a set dance. The four performers are all recognised for their own individual careers and achievements in music, and they came together and blended very well on this unique night in Ashbourne. The sounds of voice, accordion, fiddle and pipes express much of what is best at the heart of the Irish music tradition.

     

    Track Listing:

    1. Reels: The Colliers, Jenny Picking Cockles
    2. Song: Éamonn Mágáine
    3. Jigs: The Wandering Minstrel, The Maid in the Meadow
    4. Marches: The Battle Of Aughrim, Boney Crossing the Alps
    5. Air: The Wounded Hussar
    6. Hornpipes: The Blackbird, The Stack Of Barley
    7. Polkas: As I Went Out Upon The Ice, The Ballydesmond Polkas
    8. Jigs: Old Man Dillon, The Lark On The Strand
    9. Song: Amhrán Na Leabhar
    10. Jigs: Páidín Ó Raifeartaigh, Darby the Driver
    11. Reels: Sergeant Early’s Dream, Never Was Piping So Gay, Johnny McGreevey’s
    12. Setdance: The Garden Of Daisies
    13. Slides: Tom Billy’s Favourite, When Pat Came Over the Hill
    14. Reels: The Fox On The Prowl, The Holly Bush
    15. Air, Jig: Caisleán Uí Néill, Winnie Hayes’
    16. Reels: The Mountain Lark, The Clogher
    17. Song: The Bonny Blue Eyed Lassie
    18. Slip Jigs: Máire Rua, Hardiman The Fiddler
    19. Reels: Jenny’s Wedding, Toss The Feathers

    Musicians:

    • Sesoaimhín Ní Bheaglaíoch – songs
    • Charlie Piggott – accordion
    • Gerry Harrington – fiddle
    • Peter Browne – pipes

     

    Recorded by: Pat Hogan, Joe Sheridan
    Sound mixing and editing: Gerry Harrington
    CD mastering: Bruno Staehelin

    Released April, 2022

    The Digital Album (Streaming + Download) – including unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more – is available from Bandcamp for €12.

    The Digital Album and Compact Disc is available from Bandcamp for €15.