What's the album about?
200 years ago the boxing pioneer Dan Donnelly died.
Shortly after his burial in Bully’s Acre his body was snatched by grave-robbers on order! Donnelly’s admirers tracked the body down to a surgeon and it was returned for burial - minus his right arm. Legend has it that Donnelly’s arms were unusually long and the surgeon successfully negotiated to keep one for medical research. Donnelly’s arm was preserved in red lead and spent several years in Edinburgh where it was studied by medical students. It then became an exhibit in a Victorian travelling circus before making it back to Kildare, the scene of his first successful fight.
Donnelly is one of several people and events commemorated in this album which has been influenced by my time living in Dublin, my upbringing in Kerry, my travels, and my work as an archivist.
Why do we need your support?
While I always intended to release a new album this year, and it has been in gestation for a while, I was obviously not expecting a pandemic to hit! We initially delayed recording before eventually deciding to go ahead, as we needed new material to get bookings when things return to normal. However due to Covid_19 restrictions on travel and numbers indoors, we were forced to change our plans and record in several studios (Mayo, Galway, Dublin and Sheffield!) for the safety of all the musicians and engineers concerned. This has understandably delayed the project and raised the cost.
That's where you all come in! Recording is now over and we're really excited with it but we need your support to cover the cost of mixing (Kerry), mastering (Sheffield) and printing (Limerick) to get this over the line. Ordinarily we would be raising funds at live gigs beforehand and at a launch tour afterwards but this is not possible in these current climes.
What and Who are on the album?
I am serving up an eclectic mix of traditional music and song, along with many new compositions. Along with the usual reels and jigs, there's a lovely mix of polkas, slides, waltzes, barndances, slip jigs and songs (Irish and English), and a Basque arin-arin even makes an appearance! I am joined by regular band mates, accomplished musicians and great lads Kevin Corbett and Dominic Keogh as well as a wonderful selection of special guests, who have recorded some fantastic music and are amazing musicians all.
Niamh - fiddle, concertina, vocals
Kevin - Guitar, Bass
Dom - Bodhrán
Kate Ellis - Cello
Órlaith McAuliffe - Flute, Whistle
Claire Sherry - Banjo
Mikie Smyth - Uilleann Pipes
When will it be out?
With your support, we hope to have this out by mid-November, so well in time for Christmas! In fact you could buy multiple copies as presents!
We are very grateful to you all for helping us get over the line, and for supporting independent music, in these difficult times. We look forward to meeting you on the road, hopefully soon.
Mo cheol sibh uilig!