Irish Music Magazine Review by Seán Laffey

Líadan is Irish for Grey lady. Whether we take this to be a ghostly spirit or a girl of a certain age is unclear, but she has a poetical nature. On this the second album by the ladies called Líadan I can assure you they are lyrical, far from grey and they make spirited music. As I listened to the album I began scribbling on day-glow post it notes, one circled word that is looking at me is ‘Presence’. What does that imply? Well it’s in the recording, the delivery, the impeccable choice of tunes, the making of sets and the fill of new compositions between older melodies. There’s something really remarkable about this album, it has an ambition, clarity of purpose and an ambiance that exudes confidence.

The band has large palette of vocal and instrumental sounds to play with, but chooses them wisely, often sparingly, it’s not a headlong rush where everyone lashes away at the same time, it is more disciplined. The girls realise that certain tunes work better on some instruments then others, slower airs lend themselves to the vibrato and legato only the flute and fiddle can deliver, whereas if you need a bit of deep resonance then the ringing strings of the harp are the tones to paint with. Líadan have produced an album that is far from a high octane in your face drag race fuelled by some rhythm doctor injecting nitro to go faster at every turn of a reel. Neither is it a warm lazy day in hammock. Like the baby bear’s porridge this is just right.

A few details: I loved the a cappella Ócum an Phríosúin, steadily upbeat, something which the purgatory of picking the rope to bits mustn’t have been at all. I can also recommend the tune selection, much of which comes from Munster, with Limerick naturally featuring as a source of the big numbers. Track four begins with Bualadh an Chasúir a darkly modal pulsating reel composed by the by the band’s fiddler Valerie Casey. The tune moves lightly into a major keyed concertina led number before rounding out with The Eel in the Sink/The High Road to Glin, where Brian Morrissey’s bodhrán anchors the work with a fluid bass. Catherine Clohessy does a wonderful job on Samuel Lover’s The Angels Whisper; this has every right to filter into singings sessions up and down the country within the next two years.

There are new tunes too, including the Trip to Blackpool from IMM’s Donegal correspondent Edel McLaughlin. Modern slants on the music in Claire Dolan’s Bold Atlantic Ocean, a song which reminded me of Solas at their best. They close the album with The Mist Covered Mountain, I wrote on the post it note, “a bit safe” (having been weaned on De Dannan’s wildness) then I had to cross that out as the final selection in is the Shetland tune Da Lass Dat Made Da Bed for Me. Only one word for that: Wow!

In Juliet Marilliers’s Celtic fantasy novel, ‘Son of the Shadows’, Líadan is the young woman who discovers that fate cannot be planned, but is a gift of magic, as the tide turns in this band’s favour look out for Líadan, the magical daughters of the light.
 Seán Laffey

Líadan Newsletter July 2009

5 Jul. 2009 by  
Filed under Newsletter

 
Líadan Newsletter July 2009
Hello and thank you for joining us at The Líadan Newsletter!
 
First of all, we are all very excited to have been recently nominated in two categories for Ireland’s Music Awards 2009:
‘Best Young Irish Traditional Act’ and ‘Best Newcomer’.
If you´d like to vote or see more about the awards, please go to   www.irelandsmusicawards.com/nominees.php
Closing date for voting is 15th July 2009.

It´s been a busy year to date for the Líadan Ladies, with April seeing the launch of our much awaited second album, Casadh na Taoide/Turning the Tide at Dolan´s Warehouse in Limerick on the 18th of April. We have been delighted with the response to date and have really enjoyed the launch concerts around the country. Thanks to all of you who came along and supported us for the gigs, we had a great time!
 
If you would like to have a listen to some tracks from our new album, go to www.myspace.com/liadanmusic. for a taste of our new music.
Casadh na Taoide/Turning the Tide is available for purchase at our website www.liadan.ie
 
We´ve had a great time touring abroad also over the past months in  France, Belgium and most recently at the Fort Collins Irish Festival in Denver, Colorado. Last Sunday saw a most enjoyable performance  in the grounds of Leinster House, Dublin for The Oireachtas Family Day. Well done to all our wonderful dancers who took to the floor/grass.
 
We’re really looking forward to performing as part of The Bunratty Folk and Variey Club at Bunratty Folk Park on Saturday 25th July. This new summer concert series features a great line up of acts performing in an intimate concert setting.
For further details , see www.shannonheritage.com or phone 061 360788.
News of up and coming Liadan events is available at www.liadan.ie or check out www.myspace.com/liadanmusic .
 
Competition Time!
 
To celebrate the release of our new album, we have three copies of the new CD to give away.
If you would like to be in with a chance to win, answer the following question:

What is the name of the  Limerick venue where our album Casadh na Taoide/Turning the Tide was launched?
 
Send your answer to us, along with your postal address at liadanmail@gmail.com by midnight GMT on Saturday the 25th of July and a shiny new CD could be on its way to you.
If you have not yet subscribed to our newsletter online and would like to do so, just log on to www.liadan.ie and enter your details at  ‘Líadan email Newsletter’ on the home page. Please add this address to your safe senders list to ensure you continue to receive our messages.
 
If you would like to drop us a line at any stage, feel free to email us at liadanmail@gmail.com, it’s always good to hear from you.
 
Thats all for now,
 
With Best Wishes,
Líadan