Review Archive

‘The Cleggan Bay Disaster’ fron Fleadh

(April 10, 2013)

Working with the endearing Irish folk tradition, blending original arrangements and compositions, Fleadh are in many ways an archetypal Irish folk band. Their latest album ‘The Cleggan Bay Disaster’ shows their abiding respect for and skill with Irish folk but also demonstrates their eagerness to The Cleggan Bay Disastermove within the tradition to create their own particular sound. The fact they abide in Germany has little to do with it. The essence of Irish culture and tradition has a habit of appearing all over the world with the wanderings of its people - the search for a future, the Flight of the Wild Geese, escaping famine and the clutches of absentee landlords - Irish culture, mythology, stories and music have travelled far and wide.

On this album, ‘The Cleggan Bay Disaster’ the band show off their considerable ability combining songs and instrumentals to deliver a fine collection. There’s a sequence of reels ‘Castle Kelly / Sligo Creek’, a set of majestic marches ‘Return from Fingal / Heaton Chapel’ a blistering quartet of jigs with ‘Trip to Brittany / Sliabh Russel / Scarce o' Tatties / Lost and Found’ and a superb set dance ‘Ace and Deuce of Pipering’. Their touch with songs is augmented by Saoirse Mhór’s Irish lilt and include the eponymous ‘The Cleggan Bay Disaster’ which tells the tale of a 1927 October Storm that devastated two Connemara Communities; with ‘The Ballad of John B. Whistlin’’ they allow an Americana edge to creep into the mix and there’s also classic seafaring song with ‘Sally Brown’.

For all fans of Irish folk ‘The Cleggan Bay Disaster’ is definitely one for the collection.

Undergoing a few changes in their years together, Fleadh are currently Saoirse Mhór (vocals, guitar, percussion, songwriting) Tommy Gorny (guitar, bass, backing vocals) Marcus Eichenlaub (fiddle) Frank Dürschner (banjo, mandolin, harmonica, backing vocals) and Frank Weber (uilleann pipes, low whistle, bodhrán). On the ‘The Cleggan Bay Disaster’ they’re aided by guest musicians: Uli Schmidt (banjo) and Isabel Eichenlaub (cello).

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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