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We are delighted to announce the release of this fine recording

The Lonesome Jig:

Batt Henry's Barndance :

The Boys of Ballisodare :

Also available from Copperplate Mail Order
Ben Lennon and friends: Within A Mile of Kilty
Ben Lennon and Tony O'Connell: Rossinver Braes

  1. Memories of Ballymote /Gurkin Cross
  2. The Enchanted Lady /The Holy Land
  3. The Donegal Mazurkas
  4. The Blackberry Blossom /McFadden's
  5. Song: Flora
  6. Maguire's Fiddle /O'Donnell's Hornpipe
  7. Rattigan's /The Collier's
  8. Mick McNamara's /Touch Me If You Dare
  9. Return of Spring /The Mountain Pathway
  10. Johnny Henry's /Ryan's Rant
  11. Cathleen Hehir's
  12. Song: The Banks of the Clyde
  13. McDermott's Hornpipe
  14. The Lonesome Jig /The Tenpenny Bit
  15. Batt Henry's Barndance
  16. The Boys of Ballisodare /The Five Mile Chase
  17. The Primrose Polka
  18. Farrell O'Gara /Lucy Campbell
  19. The Flax in Bloom

Press Reviews

Irish Music Magazine. July 2000

Originally released in 1999 it's taken a while to pecolate it's way through our review pages, but like that famous water, it's the pure drop bottled. The wait only increased the thirst and pleasure from subsequent quenching. For some of us, who have already clocked up four decades, this music will recall the past masters and the sound we grew up with. Remember those old 78's of Coleman, Morrison and Kiloran? Theirs was a regional style but was that qualitythey had just a little to do with the recording equipment? Not a bit of it, this album proves that gool old-fashioned music is as good as ever. And it can still be made.Proof too that there is a lyrical voice from Leitrim that's accented and eloquent. Ben Lennon, the elder statesman of Leitrim music, brother of composer Charlie, and father of fiddler, Maurice and fluter, Brian, (all of whom guest on this album), is joined here by Garry O'Briain, John Carty, Ciaran Curran, (Altan) and Seamus Quinn on piano. Gabriel McArdle who plays concertina gives us a song, The Banks of the Clyde, collected from John Redhill, on an island in Loch Eirne. The acompanying 20 page liner notes area a tastefully designed store of information. I've now another classic recording to add to Milestone at the Garden, Paddy in the Smoke and The Long Strand, The Natural Bridge links the tunes and styles of two generations ago in a seamless road without a halt in the step, rising above the turbulent waters of fashion with elegant grace. An architectural treasure if ever there was one. You won't really know the tradition until you number albums like this in your collection. Sean Laffey


There's a wonderful lilt to the tunes, especially the polkas and the barn dances, and a tremendous sense of fun and enjoyment. Not only is this CD a natural bridge between the traditions of north Leitrim and south west Fermanagh, but also between the present and the music of the past, like Paddy Kiloran, Johnny Doherty and Batt Henry.

The Folk Diary #178 Aug/Sept 99

One of Ireland's best loved, most respected old fiddler's offers a wonderful selection of his playing, mainly in the Leitrim/Sligo style of his birth. Though the fact that he has lived in Donegal (and played regularly with Johnny Doherty) also shines through. There are only a few solo moments as Ben immerses himself in what sound like a variety of different sessions, featuring his brother Charlie and friends. Mostly recorded in one takes and using an empty pub as a studio, this is fine, varied playing. Ben also shows himself to be a fine singer in a style that seems to derive from the same inspiration as that of Cathal McConnell. Another triumph for the company that are becoming THE company for Irish traditional music and song. Vic Smith.

The Living Tradition #34

Ben and Charlie Lennon together should be enough to make you listen: add Brian and Maurice Lennon, Gary O'Briain, John Carty, Ciaran Curran, Gabriel McArdle and Seamus Quinn, and you really sit up and take notice. This is a typical Clo Iar Chonnachta production; well balanced and with twenty pages of comprehensive notes. There's one particular Irish label that ought to take heed of CIC's thoroughness in that regard. "The Natural Bridge" is north Leitrim style at it's best; flowing and unhurried, giving the music elbow-room, yet with a strong assured rhythm. Maybe maturity in traditional music comes when you don't play floridly and fast just because you can? As the title implies, there's feeling for the styles of near neighbours from South Leitrim, Sligo and Fermanagh. The bridge is also with the past, because Ben pays tribute to the older musicians whose records influenced him; Coleman, John and Mickey Doherty, Killoran, James Morrison, etc. There are also tributes to musicians who are still with us, like Michael McNamara of Aughavas, south Leitrim. McNamara's influence shows through on the reel named for him. Instrumental balance in varied throughout 17 tracks of reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas and a great barndance, as well as two songs from Gabriel McArdle. An inspired idea is Maurice Lennon's fine Viola. It fits really well; "Rattigan's and The Collier's" rarely sounded so good. There are rarely played tunes as well as old favourites; and the best version of "Cathleen Hehir's" I've heard yet. This is great stuff; definitely one for the ready-for-use rack. Mick Furey.

Price: £13.99

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