Brian O hEadhra "An t-Allt"
Brechin All Records, 2011
Originally from Dublin singer/songwriter Brian ” hEadhra today lives in Inverness and writes Songs in Scottish Gaelic and English. The accomplished acoustic guitar player has invited his wife Fiona MacKenzie (vocals), Sandy Brechin (piano accordion), Chris Agnew (double and acoustic fretless bass), Pat Garvey (banjo) and Richard Werner and Louisa Rafferty on piano to record six original tracks, four cover versions and two traditional Irish songs.
It starts off with the intoxicating banjo rhythm of "Fathainn" (rumour), an original song in Gaelic about the evacuation of St. Kilda island off the Outer Hebrides; hauntingly beautiful singing together of Fiona and Brian as well as the accordion create the fine harmonies. The sad piano ballad "Take this Moment" was written when Brian was with the band Anam, guitar and piano play the fine melody and Brian adds his soulful singing. My favourites are "Peigi is Peadar", a traditional Irish song performed by Brian and Fiona a capella with Brian beating the bodhr‡n rhythm and Fiona MacKenzie's "Now you're gone", another song about St. Kilda from the viewpoint of the island. Fiona begins with a brilliant Gaelic lament before the band takes a traditional Bluegrass tune and accompany the virtuoso singing of the two singers with a fantastic Blues vibe. The Gaelic bard Donnchadh MacDhomhnaill wrote "Cha Tig MÚr Mo Bhean Dhachaigh", a sad song about a man's grieving brought forward perfectly by a modern bard. The only instrumental track is "Fonn Fhinn/ Fionn's Tune", a mesmerizing piano tune presented by Louisa Rafferty on piano and Sandy on accordion.
Brian O hEadhra's second solo album is a wonderful collection of Gaelic and English songs featuring some excellent musicians and brought forward perfectly. The two extraordinary singers and the fine musicians have recorded breathtaking contemporary folk music from Celtic lands. A must for friends of Gaelic songs.
© Adolf Ñgorhandì Goriup
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