The Baileys are
Michael Banahan - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bodhrán
Anthony McDermott - Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals.
The Irish World. "This debut release of twenty traditional favourites is a delightful revisit of some classic Irish tracks"..
"From Jackie Sweeney's beautiful painting on the cover you should get the vibe that this album is something special, then when you hear the beauty in the grooves, you are full aware that this is a labour of love. For their first outing, these two well established Irish musicians have chosen 20 of Ireland's favourite songs and given them a beautiful and very considerate treatment. Nothing is overplayed, in fact understatement is the order of the day. With the musicians being a conduit for the songs and with some consideration you will agree with us that the reason these songs (so often bullied and underrespected) have become part of the Irish physchee is they are bloody great songs!
In the hands of The Baileys they are allowed to shine (and bring you their magic) in the spotlight once more". Copperplate
A Song for Ireland:
The Fields of Athenry:
- Homes of Donegal
- Rocky Road to Dublin
- Danny Boy
- Star of the County Down
- A Song for Ireland
- Arthur McBride
- Black Velvet Band
- The Ould Triangle
- I'll Tell Me Ma
- Peggy Gordon
- The Wild Rover
- The Fields of Athenry
- Sullivan's John
- Dublin in the Rare Ould Times
- Spancil Hill
- Mountains of Mourne
- Dirty Old Town
- Fiddler's Green
- Raglan Road
As soon as they were old enough to acquire a dubious-looking brown van, Michael and Anthony began touring the country, passing on great ballads in the time honoured folk tradition. By now, there's hardly a village hall or pub in any hamlet of Ireland that hasn't yet played host to their electrically-charged performances.
Michael is a founding member of Rig the Jig and Anthony joined Rig the Jig two years ago. Rig the Jig released four critically-acclaimed Celtic music records. PASSING THROUGH débuted at #5 on Billboard's World Music chart. Rig the Jig has been heard on more than 60 NPR stations and performed at the Country Music Hall of Fame, CMT and dozens of festivals across America. Rig the Jig are currently recording their fifth album.
Times have changed, however. With the music industry awash with complex fusion works and variations of Irish music, demand for a truly organic Irish sound has soared. Michael and Anthony caught the crest of this wave, enjoying a success that has seen them play to massive audiences in theatres and folk music clubs across Ireland.
Where The Baileys go, true aficionados follow. Theirs is a gift that transcends national boundaries.
Attention music lovers everywhere. If you've been noticing a yawning gap in your current musical diet, worry no more. Irish folk singing sensation The Baileys are about to enrich your diet by unleashing a sensational new album onto the World stage. Brace yourselves for a taste explosion. The Baileys, all the way from the heart of Ireland, have a plethora of musical ingredients to dazzle the palate. And well they might. Life-long friends Michael Banahan and Anthony McDermott boast an impressive pedigree, steeped in the folk tradition since the embryonic stage. Now, to the delight of their ever-increasing fan base, they've put their unique energies together to create an album that perfectly encompasses the beauty and history of Irish folk songs. Make no mistake; this collection of 20 songs is a vital addition to the collection of any discerning folk song lover.
From the timeless ballad 'Fiddler's Green' and the sorrowful yearning of 'Raglan Road' to the pithy and humorous 'Colcannon' and the aching beauty of the sports anthem The Fields of Athenry, this new offering from The Baileys is an aural patchwork of all that is great about the Emerald Isle. Throw in the fast-paced 'Rocky Road to Dublin', truly a song with a rhythm of its own, and it makes for an album that is truly a balm to the music lover's ears.
It's a recording that has been stewing for a long time in the minds of these two talented troubadours. For over a quarter of a century, they've been honing their talents along the highways and byways of Ireland. From their childhood days in the midlands town of Roscommon, they eschewed fairytales and nursery rhymes in favor of learning some of the best folk songs their country has to offer. 'Sullivan's John' was one of the first songs ever carried by Michael's compelling voice, accompanied by the pulsating chords of Anthony's hard-working guitar. Of course, no self-respecting Roscommon musicians would reach adulthood without their own well-practiced rendition of 'The Mountains of Mourne'; the lilting ballad penned by the county's most famous writer Percy French.
Whether or not you've been to Ireland, this 20-track CD will have your heart longing for its shores.
The Baileys are the real thing. Sure, the Irish music tradition these days is saturated with world-music influences and glitzy electronics, but these two gents -- Michael Banahan and Anthony McDermott -- are the true, pure sound of Irish songcraft. Having honed their art over more than two decades of touring the pubs and venues of their lush green countryside, they now offer their music to the world with A Song for Ireland.
Both men sing, with Banahan on lead. Both play acoustic guitar, and Banahan sometimes adds bodhran. For this recording, they've added several welcome guests: Paul Gurney on piano, bass, accordion, guitar and percussion, Noel Carberry on uilleann pipes and whistles, Aoife Kelly on fiddle, Johnnie Duffy on banjo and Danny Sheerin on backing vocals. It combines for a full sound that is never crowded or overproduced.
But at its heart, this recording is a couple of guys who love their musical tradition and offer it up with touching sincerity. There are no surprises in the song selections here; almost all are familiar, from the opener "Colcannon" through "Rocky Road to Dublin," "Danny Boy," "Black Velvet Band," "The Ould Triangle," "Peggy Gordon," "The Fields of Athenry" and "Spancil Hill," right into the closing track, "Raglan Road."
The songs are slow, sweet and simply presented. They are often sad, mournful but never maudlin. The more sentimental listeners may find themselves misting up every now and again as Banahan and McDermott sing. And, oh, I want to be there, listening to these men sing from a Guinness-soaked bench in a dark Irish pub. And when they're done, I want to shake their hands and tell them they made me miss Ireland so much, I just had to come.
In the meantime, I'll be listening to A Song for Ireland fairly often -- if I can collect it again from my father, who would never forgive me if I didn't loan it to him as soon as I'm done writing this review.
Celtic Music Magazine
The title of The Baileys debut album 'A Song for Ireland' sums up the entirety of this record. This album acts as a who's who of favorite, traditional Irish songs. It unabashedly takes the reader through many of the classics with the driving purpose to once again put the songs themselves in the spotlight instead of the performers. Listening to this album instead makes you feel as if you are in a warm, relaxing pub listening to true Irish folk music the way it was meant to be played, with sensitivity and emotion.
While this is their first album as a duo, Michael Banahan and Anthony Mc Dermott are no strangers to this style of music. Originally, both Michael and Anthony were two members of another well-acclaimed band, Rig the Jig, and they have both been playing sessions for years. As such, their skill and familiarity with these tunes is highlighted on this album with each successive song.
In 'Rocky Road to Dublin' and 'Spancil Hill' Michael and Anthony both showcase their dexterity with the fluidity and cleanliness of their instrumentation. In 'Arthur McBride,' 'Raglan Road,' and 'The Fields of Athenry' the beautiful harmonies and stories instead take the center stage. Furthermore, on this album The Baileys treat us to some of the rarer classic as 'Colcannon,' 'Peggy Gordon,' and 'Dublin In The Rare Ould Times.'
In short, if you love traditional Irish music The Baileys album 'A Song for Ireland' will be a wonderful addition to your collection.Stephen McSweeney
The Baileys have been around for a number of years, but are not widely known on my side of the Irish Sea, mainly in Ireland. However, this could all change soon. I understand this is their first album as a duo. The experience they have gained on the road (having gigged extensively in Ireland), and their ability to 'read an audience' shows not only in their choice of material but also in the way it is played. This is a superb album of favourite Irish songs that won't offend anyone. It simply entertains from start to finish.
Sometimes these days artists trying to be too clever often spoils good songs, It is almost like a step back in time listening to the arrangements and delivery of the songs; true Irish pub folk as it used to be played when I was a lad.
The Baileys are Michael Banahan on vocals, acoustic guitar and bodhrán and Anthony McDermott on acoustic guitar and backing vocals. So why are they called The Baileys? Damned if I know! Perhaps they wanted to call themselves The Dubliners, but that name had been taken! They are joined on the album by guest musicians Paul Gurney, piano, bass, accordion, acoustic guitar, and percussion; Noel Carberry on Uilleann pipes, and whistles; Aoife Kelly playing fiddle; Johnnie Duffy on banjo and Danny Sherrin singing backing vocals.
The songs, 20 tracks in all, are mostly traditional Irish ballads such as 'I'll Tell Me Ma,' 'Rocky Road to Dublin,' 'Black Velvet Band,' 'Arthur McBride,' 'The Wild Rover,' and 'Colcannon' to name but a few, and contemporary material such as 'Fields of Athenry,' 'A Song For Ireland,' 'Fiddlers Green' plus many more. If you are looking for new arrangements and treatments for these songs, you will be disappointed. This is not what the album is about. Instead, the songs are sung as they are supposed to be with sensitivity and taste, very much as you might expect to hear at any folk club or session. In short they are enjoyable and entertaining letting the lyrics and melodies speak for themselves.
To sum up, this is the debut album from the Baileys, and it won't be their last. Here is a band that is commercially viable. It won't be long before they start to appear on folk club and festival guest lists. They have a web site here with more information, plus you can hear, and buy the album on-line. Good entertaining Irish folk at its best. Peter Massey
Piping It In - Irish American News Chicago USA Nov 2009
While I'm talking about talented duos, I have to mention what is rapidly becoming one of my favourite CDs this year, A Song for Ireland by the Baileys. The Baileys are Michael Banahan and Anthony McDermott, two experienced, talented, traditional musicians who have created, in this CD, a classic. It contains 20 popular songs that we all know and have heard many times, but never played and sung this well. I've recommended this to many folks looking for a traditional CD that they can use to learn traditional songs and everyone has loved it. It's seldom that you get this much music performed this consistently well. Some of the tunes, you ask