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Aktuality 2. 5. 2018

Hudební zajímavosti

Zaregistroval jsem pár hudebně tanečních zajímavostí, o které bych se tu rád s Vámi podělil. Především jde o hudební alba, které byla v posledním měsíci vydána a které si lze objednat. Jde o hudební alba, která dávají předpoklad, že poslechem hudby z nich nebudete zklamáni.
Po šesti letech vydala svoje nové album skupina Lúnasa, která je jistě v podvědomí dobře zapsána  u všech těch, kdo slyšeli alespoň jedno její CD.

Seán Laffey talks to Cillian Vallely about Lúnasa’s new album CAS (Z Irish Music Magazine)

It was mid April and Lúnasa were partway through another of those big spring tours of the US, when I asked Cillian what reaction they were getting from the audiences this time round?

“This has been a great tour so far, we’ve been doing these US tours for nearly 20 years now and there’s a very loyal following who come year after year. On the other hand, because of the size of the US, the tours tend to vary geographically especially with regard to the bigger shows so we always get to at least one new area every year. we are doing a lot of the tunes from the new album so that always tends to help keep it fresh for the audience and us. “The scene in the States is still very strong for us, we have a great following from all the years of hard touring. I suspect it’d be difficult for a band starting out now because there are ever increasing barriers to entry with tougher visa rules, taxation, high cost of travel, it can a bit daunting but you have to be prepared to look at the long game and tour for years with little or no financial reward. It took a long time for us to make it work here, the early tours were great crack but, even with record company support, they were small gigs and involved a lot of Spartan hotel and home stays!”

I asked Cillian who is in the touring ensemble this year?

“The touring band is still myself, Kevin Crawford, Trevor Hutchinson and Ed Boyd and the fiddle slot varies a bit according to the particular tour and territory. For the last 4 years, the fiddle has alternated between Sean Smyth and Colin Farrell but generally Seán plays in Europe and Colin in the US. Colin has plenty of experience playing in bands so has never had a problem fitting in on the old stuff and adding his own creativity to the new tunes. Occasionally Patrick Doocey, a fantastic young guitarist from County Mayo fills in for Ed and he has always been able to slot into the style quite naturally.”

Surely the big news about CAS is that there are singers on the album.

“You’re always trying to make each album a bit different from the previous and as an all instrumental band, having songs was always going to be a great way of doing something new. Increasingly though, we’ve been doing tours, festivals and recordings that involve singers and we felt this was the time to start introducing them on our albums. we talked about it years ago but just finally put it together for this album. “we’d done a couple of big support tours with Mary Chapin Carpenter, going back as far as 2000 and we recorded and did a few gigs with Natalie Merchant around 8 years ago, so there was a great rapport established there already and we knew it was just a matter of getting the right songs for both of us. we were honoured that they were all so enthusiastic about being part of it. Scheduling was a nightmare of course with all the countries involved but they all made great efforts to make it work and we somehow got it done. Trevor has played in Eric Bibb’s band for many years and so he was a natural person to ask and he picked an amazing gospel song, which suited something we could do.”

I asked Cillian to unpick a few tracks. Especially the wonderful Natalie Merchant’s Bonny Light Horseman, it is so dramatic, so emotional.

“we recorded on one of her albums, Leave Your Sleep around 2008 and followed up with a few gigs so we knew Natalie’s ability onstage and in the studio. She’s incredibly dedicated to the song and getting an arrangement that works live and is natural for everyone; she’s just very into singing and re-recording the song many times over, constantly changing until she feels it’s right. She’s a low-key person but a very charismatic singer who seems to know how to get the best out of the song and everyone around her. She did a few of the launch gigs with us on the recent US tour and they were some of the best and most enjoyable gigs we’ve done as a band.”


The track Water is Wise, is pure Americana, it sounds like the band had some great fun recording it.

“we have had connections with Tim O’Brien going back for at least 15 years. Apart from being fans of his music, both myself and Trevor toured with him in the past and the band did a full US tour with him 2 years ago. The track we picked with him was one we had honed live so it was just a matter of going into a studio in Nashville and we lashed it out in a couple of takes.”

One of my personal favourites is Pontivy, a set of Breton dance tunes; I wondered where did they get them from?

“we’ve always had a thing for the Breton tunes and for me that went back to people like Paddy Keenan and the Bothy Band, and also the Chieftains, who probably introduced Breton tunes to many Irish players. we would also have listened to many of the great Breton bands like Kornog, and the more progressive bands like Den and Gwerz, the arrangement is certainly influenced by their ideas. The tunes themselves were learned from the great piper Patrick Molard who played in many of these bands and the last one Kevin learned from a great flute player Pol Jezaquel.”

This is probably Lúnasa’s most creative album to date. There are so many newly composed tunes here, with some intriguing titles, I just have to ask who is Bob and where did he get a hole in one?

“I think the time away from recording – 7 years – helped the creativity of the album and that was certainly a factor in not recording anything new for a long time, without new people involved it’s difficult to create anything very different with musicians who constantly play together. You could try too hard to change and end up sounding like a different band. The guests and the addition of Colin certainly made a huge difference to the studio vibe and it felt like we were recording a very different album. “Bob McLaughlin is a flute player and close friend of Kevin from Chicago, he’s been a great friend to the band over the years too and helps us out with all sorts of logistics and general support when we’re touring in that area. He’s a keen golfer too so after his first hole-in-one, Kevin felt he deserved a tune in his honour!”

The ultimate question, when will we see Lúnasa back in Ireland?

“we will be playing in Ireland in both June and late July/August. In June, we will promote the album with a tour, which includes the Doolin Folk Festival and in the summer we play in Skibbereen, Dublin, Dungarvan, and Brantry in Tyrone. The Line-up will be Cillian, Kevin, Sean, Trevor and Ed with maybe a few surprise guests!”

Lúnasa play the Doolin Folk Festival on June 16th, find out more at www.lú

Po delší době jsme se dočkali i nového alba skupiny DANÚ.

DANÚ – Ten Thousand Miles

Own Label Danu2018, 10 Tracks, 39 Minutes

Danú’s new album, Ten Thousand Miles consists of 10 tracks. Each one as catching as the next. There’s a fabulous balance and lucidity about this album. with its combination of fast slides, reels, jigs, hornpipes and song, this has such vibrancy from beginning to end. The variety of instruments on this album showcases traditional music at its very best. Their loyalty to the tradition is very much evident on this collection. The album opens with the song Master McGrath. A vibrant story, which leads nicely into a set of reels, The Poor Man’s Fortune/The Long Grass/Reel Gan Ainm. From the reels it’s a set of Hornpipes followed by beautiful song, Ar Maidin Inné. Nell Ni Chroinin sings this song beautifully as with all the songs, conveying the yearning, wistfulness and joy of all. we then hear a number of slides before embarking on the second half of the album. The title track, Ten Thousand Miles is an English ballad from Nic Jones. Another ballad telling the tale of a lover saying goodbye before setting off on a long journey. Nell’s voice again stunning throughout. They show their waterford roots in Cutting a Slide and the Fiddle Cushion, summoning the ghosts of the Flannagan brothers from the 1920’s. This follows on through a number of slip jigs, song and reels. Finishing with the timeless The Foggy Due. Nell Ni Chroinin’s haunting rendition commemorating the rising is only compelling. A fitting end to a very fitting album. The new arrivals have certainly made a mark on Danú. Ivan Goff as a full-time piper with the band has given the group a bigger, deeper dimension, evident in the track On Troth an Soul, and the joining of Nell Ni Chroinin to the band in 2016 is very poignant on this new collection. Her voice adds a depth to the music and compliments the tunes brilliantly. Both Nell and Ivan play flute which has brought back that Danú sound of their earlier albums. Ten Thousand Miles showcases the virtuosi playing on flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion, bouzouki, guitar and vocals brilliantly. Tunes are faultless and the singing equally so. The album is poetry, it’s story and it’s music at its best. with over 20 years’ experience Danú have excelled with Ten Thousand Miles.
Grainne McCool (informace převzatá z časopisu Irish Music Magazine)

Nemohu nepřipomenout album s názvem BANJO’ista irské hráčky na banjo Theresy O’Grady. Theresa O’Grady je renomovaná muzikantka z kapely Brian Ború Céilí Band a nechtěl bych se moc mýlit, když napíši, že Theresa byla v Česku v roce 2003, kdy sem tuto skupinu s irskými setovými tanečníky pozvala Helena Janoušová.

Na albu najdete 16 instrumentálních skladeb, které velmi dobře dokumentují Theresinu hráčskou dovednost na tento nástroj a respekt k tradičnímu pojetí interpretace této hudby. Své nahrávky vytvořila na dvojici nástrojů americké provenience, které byly vyrobeny  v dvacátých letech dvacátého století.





Václav Bernard

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