Stoneybatter Band’s new album has arrived! You can get one directly from us, or you can get one online at CDBaby.
Mining the traditions of fiddle, flute, guitar, bouzouki, uillean pipes, bodhran, and song, these talented and versatile musicians have created a tightly wrought and warmly genuine sound, reminiscent of the great Irish band Planxty.
However, just when you think you’ve pegged Stoneybatter Band as having a traditional Irish “pure drop” sound, they waltz into a chantey that can carry you like the swells of the ocean, or surprise you with a bouzouki solo that feels like a brisk Sunday drive on a leaf covered back road somewhere in the hills of Vermont. The slip of the jig and the lift of the reels, however, can raise the hair, beat the heart, and make that pint taste just a wee bit better. After all, it is the rich tradition of Celtic music that originally brought this bunch together.
Driven by a three headed rhythm section and textured by the sonorous melodies created by wind, reed, and bow, Stoneybatter are most at home weaving tunes or warbling songs of lost loves and longing for the comforts of home. Whether it’s a smokey set of reels, the lore of a ballad, or a bluegrass inspired tale, Stoneybatter’s sound is infused with innovation, while remaining respectful of tradition.
1. Roaring Barmaid / Scotsman Over the Border / Willie Coleman’s
Roaring Barmaid was written by banjo player from Manchester England named Tony ‘Sully’ Sullivan in 1976. Tony has been gracious to let us record his tune.
2. Eileen Curran’s / Peeler’s Jacket / The Torn Jacket
Eileen Curran’s is a favorite of Jim Gleason, who first heard this tune on Galway flute player Paddy Carty’s album “Traditional Music of Ireland” (1974). Hopefully we haven’t gone too far astray.
3. Mingulay Boat Song
Greg learned Mingulay from the singing of Kevin Brown in the Ancient Mariners. The song was written by Sir Hugh S. Roberton. Mingulay is an island in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland. Though the song sounds as if it could be a traditional sea chantey, Roberton wrote it as a choral piece long after Mingulay had been abandoned.
4. Kick the Cat / The Eavesdropper / Hag With the Money
In a bit of family history an ancestor of Jim Gleason’s mother, Patrick Dolan from Old Castle in Co. Meath. was a flute player and his daughter wrote that one of his favorite tunes was called “Whist the Cat from Under the Table”. There are a few tunes that go by this or similar names, this one seems to suit us. Maybe it is similar to what Patrick played. Patrick Dolan settled in Nashua New Hampshire in the 1850s.
In a lighthearted moment we renamed it, probably after a few pints, and the name has stuck.
5. The New Leaf
This is one of the many great tunes written by our very own George Arata. This was his first take. Sometimes the magic just happens. The rest of us just stayed out of the way for fear of messing it up.
6. Farewell to Fiunary
This song is part of traditional Scottish tradition. Some attribute it to Dr Norman the elder. The English translation is attiuted to Rev Dr Tormod MacLeòid (1783 to 1862).
7. Miss Susan Cooper / Humours of Carrigaholt / Gan Ainm
This is a set of tunes that Pelham brought to the table. We always have fun with ’em. Miss Susan Cooper was composed by the late Shetland pianist and accordion player Ronald (Ronnie) Cooper of Lerwick, Shetland.
Carrigaholt is a small fishing village on the Loop Head Peninsula in West Clare.
8. Home Ruler / Plains of Boyle / Home Ruler
Home Ruler was written in the 1960’s by Frank McCollum, a fiddler and composer from Ballycastle, Co. Antrim.
9. The Marlin Spike / The Donaghmore / Billy Brocker’s
Everything we had planned to record was recorded. But we were having fun in the pubs with this one. So, fairly late in the mixing process we decided to go in and just play it a few times to see what would happen. This is one of those rare tracks that has no edits. Just four guys playing. We liked it. So we added it to the album.
10. Elephant’s Wing / Australian Waters / When Sick, is it Tea You Want?
Jim Buchanan wrote Elephant’s Wing. I guess he has some strange animals in his neighborhood.
11. Peggy’O / Maids of Mt. Kisco
There are many versions of this song perhaps originating with “The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie-o” since it is originally a Scottish Song. The Clancy Brothers recorded it as the “Maid of Fife”. There are many 19th and 20th century American versions of this song, including one by Bob Dylan. Ours is a bluegrass-flavored adaptation of a version Jerry Garcia did with the Grateful Dead.
Maids of Mt. Kisco just works well after Peggy ‘O and is a fun tune to play. The only Mt Kisco is in Westchester county NY and word has it that this is an old tune renamed by the great fiddler Paddy Killoran.
Stoneybatter Band is:
Jim Gleason ~ Flute, Penny Whistle, Backup Vocal
Joey Sullivan ~ Bodhrán, Snare, Backup Vocal
Pelham Norville ~ Uilleann Pipes, Harmony Vocal
George Arata ~ Bouzouki, Harmony Vocal
Greg Bacon ~ Guitar, Penny Whistle, Banjo, Lead Vocal
Jim Buchanan ~ Fiddle
Anna Arata ~ Harmony Vocal on Mingulay Boat Song
Mark Evans ~ Concertina on Farewell to Fiunary
Eric Kilburn ~ Harmony Vocal on Mingulay Boat Song
Luke Stark ~ Bass on Mingulay Boat Song, Peggy’O & Farewell to Fiunary
Special thanks to our friends and family for their support and giving us someone to play for other than the microphones:
Patrick Gleason, Debbie Gleason, Monica Hamilton, Katie Pakenham, Anne~Marie Duffy, Laura Norville, Ned Gulley, Donna Sullivan, Diane Bacon, Taylor Bacon & Max Bacon
All tunes and songs are traditional with the following exceptions:
The Marlin Spike was written by Greg Bacon
The New Leaf was written by George Arata
Elephant’s Wing was written by Jim Buchanan
Mingulay Boat Song was written by Sir Hugh S. Roberton, courtesy of Goodmusic Publishing Ltd.
Roaring Barmaid was written by Tony ‘Sully’ Sullivan
Home Ruler was written by Frank McCollum
Miss Susan Cooper was written by Ronald Cooper
Recording and Mixing Engineer ~ Eric Kilburn
Recorded and Mixed at Wellspring Sound in Acton, MA
Mastering Engineer ~ Toby Mountain
Mastered at Northeastern Digital in Southboro, MA
Band Photo ~ Craig Milner
All other photos & artwork ~ Greg Bacon
Assistant Producer ~ Joey Sullivan
Producer ~ Greg Bacon
©2013 Stoneybatter Band