From Seamus Creagh, Colin Carrignan, Aidan Coffey, Mick Daly, Graham Wells, Billy Sutton, Jason Whelan & Paddy Mackey
"This fine collection of music represents the coming together of two traditions, which have much more in common than might appear at first sight.
Newfoundland and Ireland are separated by two thousand miles of ocean water but this is a sea journey which has been undertaken by brave people since the seventeenth century. Indeed, Tim Severin successfully demonstrated with his replica Brendan voyage that such a crossing could have been made as early as the sixth century.
Tom Billy Murphy's:
Who Stole the Miner's Hat?:
- Quinn's Polka / The Church Polka
- Cook in the Galley / Pussy Cat Up in the Plum Tree
- Lizzie's Jig / Sam's Jig - Doubles
- Johnny Doherty's / The Ravelled Hank of Yarn
- The Job of Journeywork / The Moneymusk
- Captains and Ships / Newfoundland Spring / West Bay Centre
- Padraig O'Keeffe's / Many's a Wild Night
- Like You Would / Kitty Jones
- Tom Billy Murphy's / Brennan's Favourite
- The Flying Reel / Hound's Tune
- Who Stole The Miner's Hat? / Hughie Wentzell's / Mussels in the Corner
- Kilfenora Jig / Thomond Bridge
- Billy Dinn's / Jig & Reel
- McGrath's Reel / Martin Mulhaire's # 9
FolkWorld CD Reviews
Traditional Music from Ireland and Newfoundland off the east coast of Canada. "Talamh an Éisc" (land of the fishes) as the island is known in the Irish language.
Legend has it that Saint Brendan undertook the voyage across the Atlantic in the 6th century. Seriously recorded Irish settlement began in Newfoundland in the 17th century, mainly from the South-East, the counties Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary. Indeed, by the late 18th century, the Irish were the 2nd largest group in Canada.
Today about 4 of 30 million Canadians claim Irish ancestry. Placenames, phrases, accents, a traditon of house dancing and lilting clearly indicate the Irish connection. The fiddle is the predominant instrument regarding traditional music, the button accordion is popular as well, usually accompanied by the piano.
So it's a meeting of cousins: Bodhran player Paddy Mackey (Black Dog Bodhrans), guitar players Mick Daly (Arcady, Four Men and a Dog, Lee Valley String Band) and Jason Whelan, banjo player Billy Sutton, accordeon players Aidan Coffey (De Dannan) and Graham Wells, fiddlers Colin Carrigan and Séamus Creagh. Concerning the latter, "Island to Island" actually is almost a Séamus Creagh album in disguise. Originally from Westmeath but residing in Cork, Séamus is one of the best exponents of the Sliabh Luachra style. Not many traces here, straightforward jigs and reels prevail.
Séamus spent five years in Newfoundland (1988-93), during which he taught and played traditional music with a number of St John's musicians. "Island to Island" is the meeting of two traditions sharing an ample amount of common ground, energy and fun. Walkin' T:-)M
The Living Tradition Dec/ Jan 2004
This is a very interesting CD, bringing together the music of traditions separated by 2000 miles of ocean. The traditions in question being the Irish and that of Newfoundland, are nowhere near that far apart musically. Irish emigration to Newfoundland has a long and fairly unique history. According to the information contained in the notes the first Irish settlers in Newfoundland were from the southeast, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary, many left before the Great Famine.
Newfoundland's isolation has meant that until recently the Irish musical influence has been left uncontaminated.
So most of the music on this CD is very Irish in both sound and structure.
Some of the musicians, the Irish ones, Seamus Creagh, Aidan Coffey, Mick Daly among others are known to me and
I am sure to readers of L.T. The Newfoundlanders are new to me.
However, everyone is a fine musician and on top form. The tunes are a mixture of old and new, bet you couldn't tell which is which without referring to the notes, from both Ireland and Newfoundland.
Island to Island is a most enjoyable CD of well played traditional music, some from one of the most well known of traditions, some from a tradition that may sound familiar but is much less well known.
Island-to-lsland is an unusual project and worthy of support buy it and enjoy the music;
the academic interest is a bonus. Danny Saunders
The Irish Music Magazine Aug 2003
The word, reflections, or alternatively, retrospectives, could be useful subtitles for this new CD, which brings together the music and the musicians of the two Atlantic Islands, Ireland and Newfoundland.
Anyone who has been a reader of this magazine over the years will know of my personal interest in Talamh an Eisc as Newfoundland in known in the Irish language, so I'll admit right away a definite pleasure in just seeing the CD appear on my desk. That pleasure was greatly added to by listening to it later.
The production was made possible not only through the efforts of the musicians and the producers themselves, but also through the backing and support of An Chomhairle Ealaion, (The Arts Council of Ireland) and the Ireland Newfoundland Partnership. Over the past few years, the latter organization has done great work in creating opportunities for business, educational, research, and cultural groups and individuals in Ireland and Newfoundland to promote and develop mutual interests and joint projects. Long may it flourish.
But to the recording itself; in an introduction to the detailed and very useful CD notes, musician and broadcaster, Peter Browne, observes that listening to the music "suggests a comfortable meeting of cousins who have not seen one another in a while". He adds, "tunes from both traditions blend easily together and there is a unity of sound that could not be contrived". Exactly; and what I like also is the pace and the delivery of the music is easy and fluid, no trick o' the loop stuff, but just letting the music speak for itself, as it were, which allows the listener to identify who is playing what and how.
Fiddle player, Seamus Creagh spent five years in Newfoundland (1988-93) and while he'll no doubt acknowledge
That he gained a lot from his time there; it has to be said also that he has made an enormous contribution to the Newfoundland as a player and teacher. The other Irish musicians with him on this CD are Aidan Coffey, (accordion), and Mick Daly, (guitar). The Newfoundlanders are Graham Wells, (accordion), Billy Sutton, (banjo), Jason Whelan, (bouzouki/ guitar), Colin Carrigan, (fiddle) and Paddy Mackey, (bodhran). Aidan O'Hara.
The Irish Post 12/7/03
The culture and music of Newfoundland is remarkedly similar to Ireland --- even though 3,000 miles of ocean separates the two areas.
Indeed, the accent of the average Newfoundlander is so similar to the Irish that there is one celebrated case of an Irish musician being especially irked on arriving in this corner of Canada to discover that people enjoyed mocking him by imitating his accent.
It was only the hapless musician turned on the local telly that he realised this was the way they spoke in the area.
The accent of the music is similar --- mainly because there has been a Celtic presence in Newfoundland since the 17th century.
Here in the north east corner of Canada, traditional music has been transplanted some 3000 miles from its Irish roots.
However, instead of being in anyway watered down by new world influences, if anything the music seems closer to the original form than most you might happen across in Ireland today.
In Island to Island, the links between the two music cultures is explored by a crack outfit of Irish and Newfie musicians.
Fiddle and accordion are the two dominant melody instruments, backed by bodhran, bouzouki, guitar and even the odd tenor banjo.
The fiddling of Seamus Creagh, a Westmeath fiddler, not only employs some of the characteristics of the Midlands (of Ireland) --- he also uses some of the Scottish influences of nearby Cape Breton: short bow, lots of that characteristic Scot's "snap",
and with the triplet often being preferred to the more languid Irish roll on the notes.
The CD is packed full of traditional goodies --- a great job is made of two particularly attractive double jigs, Lizzie's Jig and Sam's Jig, written by the respected Newfoundland fiddler, Rufus Guinchard (1899 - 1990) --- but really the standard throughout is exemplary.
The only criticism might be that a little light and shade could have crept into proceedings --- the odd air or song might well have been a welcome contrast to the wall-to-wall reels and jigs.
But that's a small criticism. You'd have to recommend this album to anyone who loves Celtic music.
Or indeed to anyone who just enjoys a one-night stand with the tradition. Malcolm Rogers. 3/5
The Irish World 27.6.03
Two thousand miles of ocean water may separate Newfoundland and Ireland, but the two communities have m ore in common than you would imagine, especially musically.
This beautiful collection of music represents the meeting of two traditions sharing an amount of common ground. Newfoundland and Ireland have many similarities in both the dance and music tradition and this album demonstrates a "meeting of cousins". Broadcaster and folklorist, Aidan O'Hara has conducted considerable research into the music and songs of Newfoundland, finding similarities such as the importance of house dances known as "sprees" or "times" during the lengthy winter nights and even a tradition at one time of dancing masters.
Island to Island album features some of the finest musicians from both islands. Seamus Creagh, Mick Daly abd Aidan Coffey, all highly respected traditional Irish musicians combine with Graham Wells, Billy Sutton, Jason Whelan, Colin Carrigan and Paddy Mackey from the Newfoundland tradition to give us this unique album containing both historical depth and musical dexterity. Xenia Poole.
The first Irish settlers in Newfoundland were from the South-East - the counties of Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary and they were unique among Irish emigrants to North America in that they went there before the
Famine. Placenames, phrases and, most remarkably, accents in Newfoundland indicate strongly the Irish connections and I know of one Irish musician in recent times who, on arrival in St. John's, felt quite insulted by, as he thought, his own accent being imitated to his face. The truth of the matter only dawned when, after several conversations, he realised that the problem had been caused simply by the similarity of the local accent to his own
Aidan O'Hara, a broadcaster and folklorist, conducted considerable research into the music and songs of Newfoundland and made many valuable recordings there in the 1970s. He found similarities, such as the importance of house dances known as "sprees" or "times" during the long months of winter isolation, lilting and even a tradition at one time of dancing masters.
No wonder therefore, that listening to the music played by these Irish and Newfoundland musicians suggests a comfortable meeting of cousins who had not seen one another for a while. Tunes from both traditions blend easily
together and there is a unity of sound that could not be contrived. All of the musicians playing on this recording are highly skilled and in a perfect position to bring out the essential nature and feeling in the tunes. It is a unique experiment, which succeeds in providing both interesting and enjoyable listening". Peter Browne RTE MUSIC PRODUCER and uilleann piper.
Seamus Creagh (fiddle) is one of the most respected fiddle players in Ireland; He is originally from Westmeath, but now resides in Cork. his relaxed style has brought him to international prominence, particularly his duets with Jackie Daly and Aidan Coffey. He spent 5 years in Newfoundland (1988-93), during which he taught and played traditional music with a number of St John's musicians. He made regular appearances at the St John's Folk Club, and folk festivals. His solo album, Came The Dawn was recorded at Daydeen's Studios, (St John's) and also featured Don Walsh, Paddy Mackey and Rob Murphy. The album was released by Ossian (OSSCD90) in 1993. While in St John's, Seamus was also a member of the band, Tickle Harbour, and appeared on their album, The Brule Boys in Paris. He also worked as a session musician ona number of other Newfoundland albums. Since he has returned to live in Ireland, he has been visited by a constant stream of Newfoundland musicians.
Mick Daly (guitar) is from Cork City and is a long-time player on the shifting Irish traditional music scene. He has been a member of Arcady, Any Old Time, Four Men & A Dog, Mary Black Band and Lee Valley String Band. He has been
playing for many years with Seamus and Aidan in traditional sessions in Cork City. As well as being a much sought after
guitar accompanist, he is also a well-known vocalist and 5 string bluegrass banjo player.
Aidan Coffey (accordion) is from County Waterford on the south coast of Ireland. His early repertoire was derived from sessions of traditional music during the early 1980's around west Waterford. He uses the "press and draw" C#/D and D/D#.
For the last 10 years, he has been playing hand-made French accordions b Salterelle and uses the Salterelle Nuage ( three voice with stoppers and conventional 8- bass) model. He has played and recorded with De DANANN. with Frankie Gavin and Arty McGlynn as a trio, and also with Seamus Creagh. He plays mostly around Cork with Seamus and Mick.
Graham Wells (accordion) At 22 years of age, Graham has already logged 16 years behind the bellows in his hometown of
St John's, Newfoundland. While recent musical stints have seen him on stage with such groups as, The St Pat's Dancers, Connemara, and A Crowd of Bold Sharemen, he is perhaps most closely associated with the local session scene. Graham
has played as important role in establishing traditional music sessions in St John's, and currently hosts two weekly sessions downtown.
Billy Sutton (banjo) is a multi-instrumentalist, an excellent player on more instruments than we have ink to name. Raised in Harbour Grace, he has performed as a freelance musician throughout Newfoundland and has toured Canada extensively
with his group, The Fables. In his spare time, Billy has been known to teach, compose and produce albums.
Jason Whelan (bouzouki, guitar) has been playing music professionally in Newfoundland snce 1989, with such diverse acts as, The Roger Howse Band, Connemara, The Plankerdown Band, and The Punters. He also owns and operates, The Sound Solution Recording Studio. When not playing, he enjoys madrigals and interpretive dance (not necessarily in that order).
Colin Carragan (fiddle) has been involved in Newfoundland music for most of his life. Over the past decade, he has travelled
in Quebec, Ontario and Northern England, pursuing music professionally as a solo and group performer, while practising his trade as a violin and mandolin maker. Colin's commitment to Newfoundland traditional music hinges upon his repertoire of the fiddle tunes of Rufus Ginchard and Emile Benoit, and the dance tunes from around the island
Paddy Mackey (bodhran) is the brains behind Black Dog Bodhrans, Paddy, is perhaps the longest-standing instrument maker in St John's, Newfundland. He's also lent his tipper to many bands in town throughout the years, notably Tickle Harbour and Jeezus Murphy. As his building talents spill over into furniture making and house carpentry, so does his muse occasionally
draw a 4 stop accordion to his knee.