Via TradConnect: Gael Linn continue their series of album reissues with a classic recording from 1985 by The Keane Family. It features music and song from Dolores and Seán Keane, their siblings, their parents Matt and Bridie, and their aunts Rita and Sarah.
Truly, a family album of music and song!
It is a bilingual album with tracks that include Cill Chais, Dónal Óg, Anach Cuain, along with The May Morning Dew, Louis Darcy, The Bonny Labouring Boy and Cill Cháis.
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In the liner notes, Dolores Keane writes: 'My earliest recollections of music and singing were when I was about three years of age. My grandmother's house, where I spent much of my childhood, was often visited by many fine musicians and singers. Among them were Willie Clancy, Máirtín Byrnes, Seán ‘ac Dhonncha and many others from neighbouring villages. During the music sessions at the house, the 'noble call' operated among the gathered company and, even at the age of four or five, I was expected to do my bit. This encouraged me to learn songs and tunes.
Like all my brothers and sisters, I was fortunate to grow up in an atmosphere where learning songs and tunes was like learning to read or to walk. I remember Ulick McDonnell, an elderly neighbour, visiting the house and swapping songs with my grandmother. I remember my Uncle Paddy playing his flute, while visiting travelling people danced a set in the kitchen and I remember Ciarán Mac Mathúna coming to record songs for his Ceolta Tire radio programme.
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That house in Caherlistrane, Co. Galway was well known to musicians all over Ireland as a place of welcome. I was fortunate at a young age to hear many of the best singers in the country. But the main influence then was my aunts Rita and Sarah who taught me many of their songs, and also my Uncle Paddy who taught me the rudiments of the the tin whistle and the concert flute.
On behalf of all the members of my family, I hope this record reflects a little of the musical heritage of the place where we live.'