(Lore, Tradition, Mythos)
1. An Staicin Eornan (The Stack of Barley) (Song)
2. The Glen Cottage, John Brosnans, Peata An Mhaoir (Polkas)
3. Cailin na nUrla Donn (Song)
4. Snug in the Blanket, Patsy Geary's (Jigs)
5. The Boys Of Barr Na Sraide (Song)
6. Murphy's Hornpipe, Lord Gordons (Hornpipe, Reel)
7. Malai na gCuach Ni Chuilleannain (Song)
8. Fiona's Arrival, O'Connells Trip to Parliament (Jig, Reel)
9. Clancy's Farewell To Whiskey, An Dro des Petits Bateaux (Air, An Dro)
10. Never Tire Of the Road, The Green Fields Of America (Song, Reel)
11. Apples In Winter, The Frost is All Over (Jigs)
Click on underlined titles to hear MP3 sound bites
are delighted to announce our release of this brilliant CD.
(Lore, Tradition, Mythos)
Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh: (Flute & Vocals)
Benny McCarthy: (Accordion & Melodeon)
Oisin McAuley: (Fiddle & backing vocals)
Donal Clancy: (guitar, bass, vocals track 11 & backing vocals)
Eamon Doorley: (Bouzouki, backing vocals)
Tom Doorley: (Flute tracks 10 & 6, backing vocals)
Donnchadh Gough: (Bodhran)
Ciarán Ó Gealbháin: (Vocals on Track 3)
Martin O'Neill: (Piano track 5, shaker & Snare Drum on track 10)
Yes, they're back with their first recording since 2005's When All Is Said & Done.
Utube clip of Danú & Caladh Nua playing together at UCC Tradfest 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNzHEK6JTU0&feature=related
The Living Tradition Jan/Feb 2011
It's an often-remarked by-product of getting older that time seems to pass by more quickly, so it's maybe no coincidence that Danu are releasing this CD on my birthday, and I really do find it hard to take in that they have been around for a decade and a half. Maybe one of the reasons for this reluctance on my part is the fact that this band always manages to sound fresh, dynamic and innovative, without compromising any of their commitment to their roots.
The line-up for this latest venture is Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, vocals and flute; Benny McCarthy, accordion and melodeon; Oisin McAuley, fiddle and backing vocals, Eamon Doorley, bouzouki and backing vocals; Donal Clancy, guitar, bass, vocals and bouzouki; and Donnchadh Gough, bodhran, with Tom Doorley. flute: Ciaran O'Gealbhain, vocals and Martin O'Neill, piano, shaker and snare drum helping out.
The CD has a grand mixture of songs and tunes, including an inspired blending of Andy Irvine's Never Tire of the Road with the traditional reel The Green Fields of America, which here seem like they were written for each other. Clarity is a key feature throughout this recording. The instrumental arrangements are layered in such a way as to bring out the maximum musicality, and the interplay is delightful, and every note is discernable. Add to this the fact that Muireann has one of the
best-articulated voices not just in Ireland but anywhere you care to mention, and the overall effect of the album is stunning.
Pace countered with control, energy countered with sensitivity, it's all in here, as Danu show that the ageing process is doing them no harm whatsoever, rather the converse! Gordon Potter
Earle Hitchner's Top 30 of 2010 in The Irish Echo, Ceol column.
17. "Seanchas" by Danu (self-issued): Still among Ireland's elite traditional bands, as this splendid album proves.
Danu is out with a brand new treat, Seanchas. The group has had some personnel changes. This is their best album, showing total musical maturity and understanding. The early leader for Vocal/Instrumental Album of the Year. The tunes are sensational, deeply trad and played to perfection. It also has the added benefit of featuring the best female singer in the trad business right now, Muireann nic Amhlaoibh. This album is just about perfect. Bill Margeson
Chicago Irish American News
Danu is out with a brand new treat, Seanchas. The group has had some personnel changes. This is their best album, showing total musical maturity and understanding. The early leader for Vocal/Instrumental Album of the Year. The tunes are sensational, deeply trad and played to perfection. It also has the added benefit of featuring the best female singer in the trad business right now, Muireann nic Amhlaoibh.
This album is just about perfect. Bill Margeson
Irish Music Magazine Aug 2010
On speaking in a recent interview with Sean Laffey for IMM, Benny McCarthy commented that We like to call Seanchas the mature album. An appropriate description for Danús musically mature latest offering entitled Seanchas. The title refers to an album rooted in lore, tradition and mythos and this theme weaves a thread through each of the eleven tracks on the album.
A variation to the up tempo releases previously associated with Danú, the tone throughout Seanchas portrays the thought provoking, reflective side of the bands image. The songs mould to Muireann Nic Amhlaoibhs honeyed timbre perfectly especially in Eithne Ní Uallacháins version of the traditional Malaí na gCuach Ní Chuilleanneain and Sigerson Cliffords The Boys of Barr na Sráide in which she manages to contrast a soft sweetness with raw compassion that enchants the listener and is ably accompanied by Martin ONeill on piano.
A delightful surprise is the return of former Danú singer, Ciarán Ó Gealbháin who joins Nic Amhlaoibh on the macaronic song Cailin na nÚrla Donn. The tale of a couples flirty conversation is rendered impeccably and the duet of voices complement flawlessly. Danú dont disappoint with their foot tapping instrumentals. Drawn back into the fold are Donnchadh Gough on bodhrán and Tom Doorley on flute for a jaunty Murphys Hornpipe into the reel Lord Gordons and a beautifully executed Fionas Arrival written by McAuley and named for his daughter is one to watch out for. Clancys Farewell to Whiskey is an exquisite piece composed by Donal which deserves attention to the intricate nuances and flows seamlessly.
With Seanchas dedicated to Donals father, the late, great Liam Clancy, Danú have encapsulated the inherent tradition so aptly associated with Clancy without diminishing from their contemporary, entertaining edge. Would Liam be proud? I most definitely think so! Eileen McCabe
The Irish Echo
I wrote a short, two-paragraph essay on Danu for the CD insert of their "Think Before You Think" album in 2000, and in it I quoted Danu flute and whistle player Tom Doorley about the band's music. It's "tamed wildness," he told me.
From 1995, the year the group officially formed in Waterford, to 2005, the year they released "When All Is Said and Done" (studio CD and concert DVD), I considered Danu one of the hardest-working Irish traditional bands I'd ever known. Their stateside tours were legendary for combined indefatigability and insanity, as they seemingly zipped zigzag across America mainly in a van. I feared such hard, hectic touring would eventually wear out the band, even though every concert I caught by them was never less than impressive. By 2005, the dedication of Danu had them firmly entrenched among the top Irish traditional bands in the world.
A noticeable reduction, if not a break, in frenetic, heavy touring by the group, as well as various individual and side projects, such as button accordionist Benny McCarthy recording with Rattle the Boards and singer-flutist Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh recording with Scottish singer Julie Fowlis for their "Dual" CD in 2008, occurred during the years since 2005.
Now comes Danu's new recording, "Seanchas," on the band's own imprint, something that Lunasa recently did with its new album, "La Nua." And like "La Nua" for Lunasa, "Seanchas" (Irish for "lore, tradition, mythos") may be the finest album to date for Danu.
On their new album, the band's reputation for "tamed wildness" can be detected in such animated dance tune medleys as "Apples in Winter / The Frost Is All Over," featuring brief vocals from Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Donal Clancy in the latter, and "The Glen Cottage / John Brosnan's / Peata an Mhaoir" polkas, powered by McCarthy's box playing.
But what makes "Seanchas" so appealing and distinctive is Danu's delicacy more than their ferocity. A gifted singer and flute and whistle player from West Kerry, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh has never sounded better vocally on record. Her renditions of traditional songs in Irish are beautiful in texture and spellbinding in effect.
Previously covered by the Black Family, among others, "Malai na gCuach Ni Chuileannain" ("Molly Cullinan of the Cuckoos") was learned by Muireann from Eithne Ni Uallachain, who gave it a different melody. "An Staicin Eornan" ("The Stack of Barley") comes from the singing of Padraig O Se, and the album's two songs in English are Sigerson Clifford's "The Boys of Barr na Sraide" and Andy Irvine's "Never Tire of the Road."
That last song, which segues into "The Green Fields of America" reel, was composed by Irvine in quiet tribute to Woody Guthrie and other musicians who took the plight of the poor to heart: "They called us Okees, lowdown bums / And the police on us frowned." As Danu's track note admits, "This song has been sung in the bus on many's the long journey over the years and has lifted our spirits." Here it lifts ours.
The album's most outstanding song interpretation, however, is "Cailin na nUrla Donn" ("The Girl of the Brown Locks"), in which Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh shares vocals with the lead singer she succeeded in Danu, Ciaran O Gealbhain. Sheer brilliance, this track alternates their two voices to better convey the jousting dialogue of the verses, full of macaronic lyrics (part-Irish, part-English) about a male suitor with a "silver tongue" and a wary female.
The jigs "Snug in the Blanket / Patsy Geary's," the hornpipe-reel "Murphy's / Lord Gordon's," the jig-reel "Fiona's Arrival / O'Connell's Trip to Parliament," and the air-an dro "Clancy's Farewell to Whiskey / An Dro des Petits Bateaux" all bear the stamp of the band's formidable instrumental skill. ("Fiona's Arrival" is Danu fiddler Oisin McAuley's composition, and "Clancy's Farewell to Whiskey" is Danu guitarist Donal Clancy's tune.)
Not quite half over, 2010 has already produced such stunning albums as Karan Casey and John Doyle's "Exiles Return," Teada's "Ceol & Cuimhne," and Lunasa's "La Nua." Now add Danu's "Seanchas" to this growing list of luminous recordings for the year.
Of the six excellent
albums issued by Danu since 1997, none shines brighter or offers more warmth
and pleasure than "Seanchas." It's available. Pounce. Earle