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Caladh Nua are,







The Commodore:

Cad e sin don te sin:

The Humours of Ballyloughlin:

Track Listing

  1. Reels: The Windmill, Larry's Favourite, The Commodore
  2. Song: Craigie Hill
  3. Jigs: The Wishing Well, Condon's Frolics, The Lisagun
  4. Hornpipes: Flaherty's Favourite, All 65 Pounds of It
  5. Song: Cad É Sin Don Té Sin
  6. Barndance: By Heck
  7. Reels: The Templehouse, Andy McGann's
  8. Song: The Banks of the Lee
  9. Reels: Ril Gan Ainm, Humours of Westport
  10. Hornpipes: Gort Na Mona, The New Century
  11. Reels: The Jolly Beggar Man, Mayor Harrison's Fedora
  12. Song: Beeswing
  13. Jigs & Reel: The Humours of Ballyloughlan, Whelan's Jig, The Gravel Walks

Caladh is an old Irish word meaning "Harbour" or "Shelter place". Caladh Nua means a "New Harbour" or "New Shelter place". Caladh Nua could also refer to a new comfortable place where music and song sets a warm lovely atmosphere. With all this in mind, this is "Caladh Nua", the traditional Irish band. This very unique band was founded in early 2009. Like many of the great Irish traditional bands Caladh Nua simply formed as a result of great musicians crossing paths, realising a special connection and then wanting to share it with the world audience. The ensemble comprises of five qualified musicians from three beautiful regions in Ireland, counties Carlow, Waterford and Kilkenny. The tasteful musical arrangements of Caladh Nua include traditional Irish dance music, traditional songs alongside some more recently composed pieces. Caladh Nua has a perfect balance between innovation and preservation of Irelands wonderful music and song tradition, the bands special repertoire and energy is guaranteed to capture an audience of any generation

Press Reviews


Caladh is an old Irish word meaning "harbour" or "place of shelter"; thus the band name signifies a state whereby they've found a new comfortable place to showcase their musical talents in a warm and convivial atmosphere. And that turns out an apt description of the genially energetic music on offer from this fairly new young five-piece band who hail variously from Counties Waterford, Carlow and Kilkenny.

Although there's no shortage of musicianship, the band members don't force the issue, preferring instead to concentrate on letting the music speak for itself. Theirs is an easygoing style, as demonstrated on this collection that readily intersperses tune-sets and songs in sensibly varied and clean, uncluttered arrangements that let the individual musicians have their say without fear of being drowned out or interrupted mid-flow. And yet, considering that the lineup sports two fiddlers (Paddy Tutty and Lisa Butler), the overall texture isn't always as rich as you might expect — but this isn't ever a problem when the playing is so deliciously pointed and the arrangements kept so simple. The lineup's completed by Eoin O'Meachir (banjo, whistle, mandolin), Derek Morrissey (button accordion) and Colm O'Caoimh (guitar, bouzouki), who together provide a fortuitous balance of timbres that's impeccably judged, with melody line and harmony support well proportioned at all times.

The opening set of reels is a good illustration of the band's flair for balance between sensitivity of internal dynamics and outright energy, although there are instances on later sets where one feels that a little more capital might have been made out of the tunes (for example The Jolly Beggarman, which flits by in just under three minutes) and that a touch more loosening-up might have helped in dispelling the hint of "by rote" that just occasionally creeps into the rhythm of the ensemble. Interestingly though, one of the most appealing of the instrumental tracks is a swinging ragtime-cum-vaudeville-flavoured piece By Heck (which originates from the playing of the Flanagan Brothers, who emigrated to America in the early 1900s).

The rest of the tune-sets contain a nice mixture of jigs, reels and hornpipes and barndances, and the chosen pace is well managed but never too frantic even in the concluding head-of-steam stages of a set. Colm gives us a delightful solo performance too, the Gort Na Mona set (comprising a jig and a hornpipe): light and lyrical guitar picking at its finest (and, like his rendition of The Humours Of Ballyloughlin on the disc's final medley, inspired by the duetting of Paul Brady and Arty McGlynn). As far as the songs are concerned, Lisa takes the vocals for three out of the four, and she has a pleasing, warm, generous tone with a good sense of line without resorting to over-use of ornamentation; I particularly enjoyed her rendition of Cad É Sin Don Té Sin, a Donegal song dealing with the issue of personal freedom and individuality, although her treatment of Banks Of The Lee is a little too much on one level to rise above the standard. The fourth of the songs is the odd-one-out in two respects: it's the only contemporary composition - Richard Thompson's Beeswing - and it's sung (albeit rather attractively too) by Colm, but it ends a little abruptly and in the end doesn't add anything to the song's already massive discography.

Overall, then, Happy Days is a pretty impressive debut, for these musicians are undeniably talented and have already learnt some key lessons in the successful presentation of Irish traditional music. And even though I'm left with a feeling of being ever so slightly shortchanged, it proves an enjoyable listen. David Kidman October 2010

Caladh Nua is another young group out with a stunner, Happy Days. What a quintet! Fab songs meet wonderful, wonderful tunes

Price: £13.99

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