GATEHOUSE: TUS NUA
Gatehouse is a new Trad Irish band that primarily plays the music and song of Roscommon and North Connacht.
Martin Hayes has written of the new Gatehouse release: “This CD is beautifully arranged and recorded and everything happening here is authentic.”
John McEvoy - fiddle/viola.
John Wynne - flute/whistles
Jacinta Mcevoy -guitar/concertina.
Rachel Garvey - Vocals.
Tús Nua" is the title of the new album from Gatehouse, a recently formed Roscommon based group. Gatehouse is anchored by John Wynne and John McEvoy who first came together in 2007 for the recording of “Pride Of The West”, a critically acclaimed duet album. John Wynne has become established as one of the leading players and tutors of the North Connaught flute style and recorded and toured with "Providence" as well as releasing two acclaimed solo CD’s. John McEvoy is a renowned fiddler and noteworthy composer who is particularly drawn to the fiddle playing of the Sligo masters. He has played with many groups including "Flynn’s Men", "Bakerswell" and "Kelp" and released his long awaited second solo album entitled Traditional Fiddle Music in 2012
In an earlier discussion with John Wynne he said : “Myself and John McEvoy really enjoy playing together and have performed at many festivals and events over the years. In the last couple of years we thought about expanding and developing our sound so we decided to put the group together. We didn't have to look too far because in addition to myself and John, we had John's wife Jacinta on guitar and concertina. Jacinta is equally adept on guitar, concertina and piano and is also a sought after accompanist and arranger.”
When it came to a singer for the group John said : “We asked a young singer called Rachel Garvey to join us. She is fairly new to the scene and impressed us any time we heard her perform. She is also from Roscommon and is an All-Ireland winner in both Irish and English song, and recently appeared on an album called “Alone by the Wildwood,” which features songs from Roscommon.
This is Track 1 from the album called "Spailpín Fánach", an 18th century song that tells the story of a landless farm labourer, or spailpín, as he traverses the countryside looking for work following eviction from the family home.
The album has been receiving high praise, and received a 5 Star review from Siobhan Long in The Irish Times. She said “It infiltrates every molecule of the music, infusing it with a freshness that promises to propel this collection into that elusive ‘must have’ category for years to come.” Internationally renowned fiddler Martin Hayes says of the album that “it is beautifully arranged and recorded. Everything happening here is authentic. This recording proves that traditional music can be continually fresh and alive without being flashy or over produced.”
Gatehouse are still developing their repertoire according to John. They will continue to focus primarily on the fiddle/flute repertoire of North Connaught.
“We want to play our music in the rhythm and lift of the local style. The songs are in Irish and English with a focus again on local material. We would like to showcase the compositions of local composers like Josie McDermott, Turlough O'Carolan, Larry Redican and indeed John McEvoy. The focus is primarily on the quality of the tunes and songs and we are happy to present them in a traditional fashion as opposed to being under pressure to compromise and change the music to suit a broader audience.”
There are 14 tracks on the album, seven of which are songs. The material is from Roscommon and North Connacht but there are other influences from the Connemara sean-nós tradition, the Ulster song tradition, the Clare tradition and some Scottish influences.
The album includes a mixture of reels, jigs, flings a planxty (Tús Nua) and mazurkas. There are tunes by James Murray, Peadar Ó Riada and others, as well as two new John McEvoy compositions, the aforementioned Tús Nua and a jig called The Girls From The Gatehouse. Guest musicians on the album are Cyril O'Donoghue (bouzouki), Séamus O'Kane (bodhrán) and Dónal O'Connor (keyboards/harpsichord). The album was recorded in Dónal O'Connor's RedBox studio in Belfast
Also available from Copperplate featuring members of Gatehouse
Track 1: The Gneevgullia Reel
Track 2: The Laddie With The Pladdie
Track 3: The Laughing Spoons
Track 4: Come With Me Over The Mountain
- Spailpin Fanach
- Jimmy Giblin's/The Gneevgullia Reel/The Casagh Reel
- Slan agus Beannacht
- The Frost is all Over/The Mouse in the Cupboard
- Dobbyn's Flowery Vale
- Tus Nua
- Easter Snow
- The Laddie with the Pladdie
- Casadh an tSugain
- Joe Ryan's Mazurka/Buckley's Fancy, The Laurel Tree
- The Ploughboy
- The Girls from the Gatehouse/James Murray's/The Laughing Spoons
- Come With Me Over the Mountain
- The Bullock on the Bonnet/The Leitrim Thrush/Murray's No.1
THE IRISH TIMES
Every now and again, a collection sidles its way into the ether and stills the listener. Gatehouse’s aptly named Tús Nua (Fresh Start) does just that. It infiltrates every molecule of the music, infusing it with a freshness that promises to propel this collection into that elusive ‘must have’ category for years to come.
John Wynne and John McEvoy are a flute/fiddle duo with a rare reputation for finesse, and they’ve frequently shared tunes with Jacinta McEvoy on guitar and concertina. The remarkable voice of Rachel Garvey is the magical ingredient that raises the bar on this particular quartet’s set, as she interprets songs more and less familiar, with a staggering originality.
John McEvoy’s own tunes are a delight too, particularly the title tune, which embraces a baroque sensibility while still resting cosily in the belly of the tradition. An unerring delight. Siobhan Long