Via TradConnect: According to legendary Donegal fiddler Tommy Peoples, there is "great joy in the strength, beauty and variety of the Friel Sisters' approach to traditional Irish music.

That a much younger generation appreciates the traits, strengths and beauty in their local tradition is an ultimate testament to the store of riches that is Irish traditional music."

The Friel Sisters, Anna, Sheila and Clare Friel are young traditional musicians born and brought up in Glasgow with their family roots firmly entrenched in the Donegal Gaeltacht. They play a mixture of music interspersed with songs in English and Irish, many from their family repertoire. Being siblings, they achieve a close blend on fiddle, flute and uilleann pipes.

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Their second release is called Before The Sun, and on it they deliver one of the best traditional albums of the year thus far. Featuring Hajime Takahashi on guitar and Cathal Ó Curráin on bouzouki, the sisters brought in another household name in the form of Ciarán Ó Maonaigh to produce, with Clare concertina master Jack Talty on the engineering and mixing desk. The album was launched at Celtic Connections in Glasgow in January 2018, following the announcement that Clare would be the recipient of TG4’s Gradam Ceoil Ceoiltóir Óg/Young Musician of the Year 2018 award.

Listen to a track that includes The Ranafast Jig, Statia Donnelly and My Former Wife:

 Regarding the track, they say: "We learned this first tune from the playing of Ciaran Ó Maonaigh and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, and were drawn to the name as well as the melody, as Ranafast is the next townland to Doire na Mainsear, our family home in Donegal. The second tune, Statia Donnelly, is a great piping tune that Sheila learned from Mick O'Brien (from his May Morning Dew album) and My Former Wife is a tune that was collected by Francis O'Neill from James Early, and put into his book Music of Ireland (1850), without the third part that Early was known to play. Early recorded a great version of this, and his playing is transcribed in the book Ceol an Piobaire, issued by Na Píobairí Uilleann in 1981. Another version is on the record The Piping of Patsy Touhey, taken from the playing of that great piper."

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On the recording process, Clare said: "Making the second album for us was a lot of fun. We went to Grouse Lodge in Westmeath, which is residential, so we had Jack Talty and Ciaran Ó Maonaigh with us. There were amazing amenities at the studios, a swimming pool, sauna and loads of animals, which was fantastic. Ciarán produced the album for us, and was very organised and ready for work. He's known us since we were young so he really knows how each of us play. The boys are both very talented musicians and very skilled and patient to work with - it was a total delight for us."

"This time we were in a studio, whereas last time we recorded in our home in Donegal. It was definitely different for us. We really enjoyed it, and with very little (by way of a) phone signal and being in a very remote location, it was lovely to focus purely on the music for the days that we were there. It's great because everyone that was involved with the album, from production to photography and camera work, was fantastic. It was a really great experience for us."

Find out more about The Friel Sisters here. For all your trad music and news, visit www.tradconnect.com