All instruments played by Brendan McAuley
Uilleann pipes Flutes, B-Flat and D - Anglo concertina Tenor banjo Guitar - Bazouki, Mandolin, Keyboards
Vocals Bodhran, spoons and other percussion - Whistles low-C, D, E, Soprano D, C, B-flat
All tracks composed by Brendan McAuley
except tracks 7 and 8 (traditional), and track 3, written by Jackie McAuley and Brendan McAuley
All arrangements Brendan McAuley.
Instruments made by Brendan McAuley:
Uilleann pipes (Chanter and drones)
Flutes, B-Flat and D. Whistles, low-C and E.
All tracks mixed by Jackie McAuley and Brendan McAuley.
The Phaeton Carraige:
The Three Kings:
- The Last McCartney of Pennyburn
- The Phaeton Carraige (to Church and Back)
- The Men of Arranmore
- The Derry Magistrate / Pennyburn House
- The Pennyburn Windmill / The Three Kings
- John Takes on the Railway
- When My Love & I Parted
- After The Rally ( The Crooked Road/Temple an Ghleanntain)
- Cassie's Farewell to Parnell
- Rattle the Keys/Pennyburn Gates
- John's Victory
Brendan McAuley — Biography
Brendan McAuley is one of seven children, six boys and one girl. He was born in 14 Ross Street, just off the Falls Road in west Belfast, in 1953. lt was a musical family, his mother (Margaret) and father (John) travelled around Ireland in the 1040s and 50s, performing in variety shows. In the 50's they settled in Belfast, playing at weekends in pubs and clubs. As a child, Brendan was exposed to all kinds of music - including lrish trad from his Dad, a multi-instrumentalist, and his uncle Charlie, who played tenor banjo. His Mum, a singer and pianist, added classical music to the mix, while Blues and R&B came from his two older brothers, Patsy and Jackie, who, with Van Morrison, Billy Harrison and Alan Henderson, became the successful band, THEM, who reached their peak in 1965.
Brendan's interest in lrish trad grew when he moved to London in 1969, and with his family background it seemed inevitable that music was going to play a significant part in Brendan's future. Brendan has developed a breadth of musicianship and is an accomplished player of many instruments. The uilleann pipes are his particular hallmark and he has played them in a range of live music contexts as well as as a session musician. Brendan enjoys working with others and has developed an eclectic track record, including Celtic rock with bands such as his brother's own band, Jackie McAuley's Poormouth; and traditional popular lrish music with several bands including Schooner's Rig and Guy Ritchie's Punchbowl Band.
Brendan has played many folk clubs and other venues and enjoyed working alongside talented singers Oliver Mulligan, Mick Sands, Tommy McCarthy and Lisa Knapp as well as instrumentalists Gerry Diver (recently playing uilleann pipes on Gerry's innovative album Speech Project), Clive Carroll and others.
He has also worked with professional musicians and children of a wide range of age and ability to produce some stunning and moving music composed by Pete Churchill and commissioned by Soo Bishop of Merton Music Foundation. The piece, 'The Journey', was performed at The Royal Albert Hall in 2009 and 2013. In 2009, Brendan had the opportunity to record on Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for Guy Ritchie's film Sherlock Holmes at Air Studios, London, notably on the track 'Psychological Recovery,
ln this current venture, he has developed an existing interest in composing, to produce a musical narrative around his maternal Grandmother's early life. His brother Jackie has given him encouragement and has himself embarked on significant historical research to find out more about the McCartney family, which he is using as the basis for a historical novel.
More detail at www.brendanmcauleymusic.com
About the Album
The McCartneys Of Pennyburn 1865-1912
Patrick McCartney (1804 to 1874) was my great, great grandfather. This year will mark 150 years ago since he bought the lease for the 66 acre Pennyburn estate in Derry at an auction for £1505 in 1865 just after the ruins of the windmill were demolished.The old Pennyburn windmill dated back to the middle of the 17th century and was a strategic stronghold for the Jacobite troops and can be seen on 'The Neville Map' of 1689.
Patrick restored the remaining flour mills (water mills) to their former glory and Pennyburn again became a thriving business.
The music on this album is inspired by events mainly from the period 1865 until 1912 when John McCartney JP died and my grandmother Catherine McCartney left for England.
The album contains a booklet which goes into detail of the McCartneys history and the impact they had in Derry. There are 11 tracks each with notes on the musical interpretation.
Posted by TradConnect on April 23, 2015 at 10:00 View Blog
Quality release from London musician Brendan McAuley
This is quite an exceptional album from London based musician Brendan McAuley. Brendan, one of seven children was born in west Belfast, in 1953. His mother Margaret and father John travelled around Ireland in the 40s and 50s, performing in variety shows and in the 50's they settled in Belfast.
His Mum, a singer and pianist, added classical music to the mix of influences that were part of his youth, while Blues and R&B came from his two older brothers, Patsy and Jackie , who, with Van Morrison, Billy Harrison and Alan Henderson , became the successful band, THEM , who reached their peak in 1965.
Brendan's interest in lrish traditional music developed during his time in London which he moved to in 1969. What is remarkable about this album is the breadth of musicianship that Brendan displays. He plays all the instrument on the recording including pipes, flutes, concertina, banjo, guitar and keyboards and all the compositions are his own, with the exception of two traditional tracks. It really is one of those albums that could quietly slip under the radar. It deserves a little more exposure such is the quality and creativity displayed.
Brendan provides his own background notes to the album. ' Patrick McCartney (1804 to 1874) was my great, great grandfather.' he says. ' This year will mark 150 years ago since he bought the lease for the 66 acre Pennyburn estate in Derry at an auction for £1505 in 1865 just after the ruins of the windmill were demolished. The old Pennyburn windmill dated back to the middle of the 17th century and was a strategic stronghold for the Jacobite troops and can be seen on 'The Neville Map' of 1689.
Patrick restored the remaining flour mills (water mills) to their former glory and Pennyburn again became a thriving business. The music on this album is inspired by events mainly from the period 1865 until 1912 when John McCartney JP died and my grandmother Catherine McCartney left for England.'
We will hopefully get to a review. In the meantime here is Track 2 from the album called T he Phaeton Carriage (to Church and Back) . About the track Brendan says 'My grandmother, Kathleen McCartney used tio tell us that as a child, Sunday was the highlight of her week, when the family travelled to Church and back in a Phaeton carriage. This track has a strong rhythm of the carriage, with a short solemn part halfway through to represent the Mass, before returning to the carriage for the journey home.'
The Irish Post 25.3.15 ***** (out of five)
Brendan McAuley is unquestionably one of London's top traditional Irish musicians and it is great to see an album from one of the stalwarts of the London scene — something that frankly we don't see enough of.
This is a concept album about his ancestors and dedicated to his grandmother Kathleen Griffith (the last McCartney of Pennyburn and her daughter Margaret McAuley — his mother) with all the music composed by Brendan, apart from a traditional track, When My Love and I Parted and the excellent anthem-like Men of Arranmore which he co-wrote with his brother Jackie.
Jackie is well known on the London scene from his days with his own terrific band Poormouth. The album covers the period 1865-1912 in relation to the family and was obviously a time-consuming labour of love for Brendan. The result was worth the effort because some beautiful music emerged with Brendan playing all the instruments — too many to mention. A smashing album from an incredibly talented musician, it is distributed by Proper/ Copperplate so watch out for it.By Joe Giltrap on March 26, 2015
There is a long back-story behind this record. In 1865, one Patrick McCartney bought the lease of Pennyburn House near Derry and his family lived there until 1912. They were an important family in the area by all accounts and played host to Charles Stewart Parnell at the invitation of Patrick's son, John, an ardent Land Leaguer and one of Ireland's first catholic magistrates. In 1904, John won a legal battle in the House Of Lords against The Londonderry And Lough Swilly Railway Company although you'll be hard pressed to find many details of the case without diligent study. All these incidents became inspirations for the music on this record.
Brendan McCauley is a descendant of the family and his grandmother, Kathleen, styled herself, as the title of the opening track records, 'The Last McCartney Of Pennyburn'. Brendan comes from a musical family and is a composer, musician and instrument maker — he made the flutes, whistles and pipe chanter and drones that he plays on the album — and his elder brother, Jackie, was a member of Them alongside Van Morrison.
That's a lot of history, I know, but this record is a sort of family scrapbook. There are big stories and small memories like 'The Phaeton Carriage (To Church And Back)' with its rhythm of hoofbeats and 'Cassie's Farewell To Parnell' remembering his great-great aunt's love of playing the piano. There are two songs among the instrumental pieces. 'When My Love And I Parted' is a traditional song of emigration while 'The Men Of Arranmore', written by Brendan and Jackie, is a tribute to the lifeboatmen of the Donegal island. It's a lovely song and Brendan's reasons for including it are valid but it seems a little out of place here. I can envisage a whole song cycle about rural life at the turn of the twentieth century.
There's a huge variety of music in this set and Brendan plays every note, adding the modern sound of a synthesizer to the traditional instruments to complement imaginative arrangements. I've listened to The McCartneys Of Pennyburn whilst thinking hard about this review and now I'm looking forward to hearing it for pleasure. Dai Jeffries
FolkWords Reviews (March 20, 2015)
The McCartneys of Pennyburn 1865-1912 - Brendan McAuley "a rare privilege"
The opportunity to delve deeply into family history is a privilege not accorded to everyone, the ability to translate that history into a living testament of music and song is something altogether wonderful. Brendan McAuley has with 'The McCartney's of Pennyburn' created an album suffused with enchanting music inspired by experiences and incidents from the lives of his ancestors, turning their story into a musical treatise that brings their world into sharp focus.
In his own words: 'Patrick McCartney (1804 to 1874) was my great, great grandfather. This year will mark150 years ago since he bought the lease for the 66 acre Pennyburn estate in Derry at an auction for £1505 in 1865 just after the ruins of the windmill were demolished." The original Pennyburn windmill was a Jacobite stronghold in the Battle of The Three Kings during the Siege of Derry 1804-1873. Patrick McCartney rebuilt the remaining flourmills, restoring both the community and the business.
Inspired by events from 1865 until 1912, when John McCartney died and Brendan's grandmother Catherine McCartney left for England, the 11-track album and its accompanying comprehensive booklet details the McCartney's history, and through McAuley's sensitive interpretation leads the listener through paths of their lives. 'The McCartney's of Pennyburn' is more than a musical history it is a magical testimony, which for a brief moment in time, enables the wider world to share. 'The Last McCartney of Pennyburn' opens with the haunting Uilleann pipes, moving into the vibrant 'The Phaeton Carriage', echoing the rhythm of hooves and wheels, before the moving lyrics of ' The Men of Arranmore' tell of men risking their lives to save others.
With dignified and ominous tones, tracks like 'The Pennyburn Windmill/ The Thre Kings' and 'John Takes on The Railway' relive tempestuous times and hard-fought conflicts, while the ever-optimistic sorrow of 'When My Love and I Parted' longs for better days. 'After The Rally' blends two traditional tunes into an impression of dancing and celebration, and 'Cassie's Farewell to Parnell' softly recalls Charles Parnell (nationalist politician, founder and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party) having a fondness for hearing McAuley's grandmother play the piano.
'The McCartneys of Pennyburn 1865-1912' is one man's testament to his heritage, it is also stunning album and a momentous piece of social history. Brendan McAuley handles Uilleann pipes, vocals, flutes, whistles, Anglo concertina, tenor banjo, guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, keyboards, bodhran, spoons and percussion. Discover more here www.brendanmcauleymusic.com: Reviewer: Tim Carroll
Brendan McAuley, story teller, musician and artist has devised these beautiful pieces of enchanting music. All inspired by the events that happened to his ancestors (The McCartney's of Pennyburn) it is like a narrative in music, as each song that McAuley has created is like a separate chapter in a book.
A book that tells a story of the Pennyburn windmill which was a support for the Jacobite troops in the battle of The Three Kings during the Siege of Derry (1804-1873). The album tells us how the original windmill was destroyed and how Brendan McAuley's' grandfather (Patrick McCartney) was able to rebuild the remaining flourmills and bring back the community and thrive of the business.
The McCartney's of Pennyburn is like nothing I have heard before, it has been intertwined with traditional Irish folk instruments such as the Uilleann pipe, taking my breath away.
As soon as you open the page or listen to the first track of the album, you are hit with this intense and almost hypnotic sound of pipes. The Last McCartney of Pennyburn is about the hardship and struggle that McAuleys' grandmother, Kathleen had gone through during her life. The music fades away and suddenly eases back into the pipes; it's soothing yet commanding your attention. You don't need the side notes provided in the booklet to grasp the theme of this track, the music tells its own story.
It is not all doom and gloom, After The Rally is complimented by two traditional tunes that being Temple an Ghleanntain and The Crooked Road. The McCartney's were known for big speeches and parties; this song celebrates that party and dance atmosphere. You can picture children and families dancing and jigging around in fields and old town halls having a whale of a time to this set of Irish dance music.
McAuley should be proud of what he has created, especially with the track of The Men Of Arranmore. It is a story of how men who sailed at sea in a small rowing boat risked their lives to save others, together with accompanied vocals
"All my life upon the sea, and if not for the men of Arranmore, I would never know my home, Or have St Brendan watching over me" sounds a cliché but it brings a tear to my eye. It simply encapsulates what this album means to Brendan McAuley and connects nee communicates to us how special this album and story is to him.
With the power and emotion that the story brings, the music is almost secondary. The music brings the story to life and really hits you in the heart, you will find that your deepest and darkest emotions comes flooding out with this album. Gemma Hirst