Well it is safe to say it’s been an incredible few months. And I know we’ve all been through our own solo experiences. Isolation has been something we have all had to live through like it or not. And we’ve all been through it. Together. Alone. Strange times and weird things for us all maybe. Hopefully now we are on the other side. We can begin to open up. Fingers crossed.
For me personally. It’s been social differencing all the way. I have been isolated from my family back in Ireland. Like so many, the “what if’s” have hung heavy. I am fortunate that all of my people are okay. I am also lucky that I have a great partner and that I have had this new album to focus on. I got stuck in. This current situation gave me time to really think through this new collection of songs. Yes some are old, some even older. But the presentation is new. Working on an album about Ireland and my connection to her, the people, and the culture, through this dark time has really helped me understand what that connection really means. And how, like so many others before me, would have felt. With that information comes a new found admiration.
Born From Tradition – Volume One
And so, here we are. Exactly four years to the month that “They Might See Dolphins” was realised and released. My new album. And I am delighted to say it is finished. It’s been an amazing four years and I have no idea where the time has gone. During the shenanigans this album snook up on me. The first of two volumes (which may well become more), Born From Tradition has had a very unusual genesis. It started out as a simple idea. Just me, my voice, a guitar… and the songs.
Recorded in Dublin in September 2019 with the Maestro Italiano Antimo Puca at the helm – we recorded thirteen songs that just fell out, and in one session. Their was no fuss, no fanfare, just a feeling. The plan was just to put down some folk tunes and ballads. Songs that were self penned, along with others I grew up with. I’d oft times talked about doing my “Irish Album”. So having some time back home last year I booked in some more time, at the wonderful AP Studios up there in the Dublin hills; to hit the record button and just see what happens. What did happen would become more apparent as the months rolled by, listening back, with headphones, over quiet winter nights in Vienna. With just voice and acoustic, we managed to capture something lovely. A sound and a sweet sentiment. I have no idea how it happens. It just does. It’s human magic. Being open to it and ready to grab whatever is the real mastery and mystery. And then… after that, some songs do as they will. They have their way.
The songs sat quietly and softly and began to make their presence felt early in 2020. As a writer and performer you are left with no other option but to follow. And that’s what I did. With the help of good friends, a lot of down time, cool musicians and a great engineer, the timing felt right. Turns out it was. Alongside my partner in crime Sabine, we set up our apartment as music/art studio and set to work. Wine was purchased, with some cheese (not great for singing), as mics, guitars, mandolin and bodhráns took up residence. Sabine took care of the artwork and cooking, inspiring me at every twist. I in turn set about driving her, and the neighbours round about us mad.
Strangely enough and all things considered, Born From Tradition is a quiet affair. It’s nice music. With good songs. As already mentioned, no real fanfare. No real fuss. This album is simply about sounds and a reconnection. A collection of songs that have traveled with me. Some of these songs I have written, others are older, some much older and have helped me to write, sing and to learn. They have helped me to find my voice and in some cases, unlocked the magic they hold in their melody. My first foray into Irish traditional music production and recording, I have been guided all the way by my great friend and mentor Antimo Kelly Puca. An Irish mountain man from Napoli. Who knew! And we will say nothing about the rugs. But someday soon… pictures will surface.
This album has been a joy and wonderful experience to make. It has scared me at times but never let me forget my association. That grá drove me on. It inspired me as I was joined by wonderful friends and cool musicians, Claudia Heidegger, Emily Velasquez, Antonia Wernig, Fergus Mckay and of course Sabine Mann. This record feels easy, calm and care free. Born From Tradition is the one album I wanted to make first. Life, Punk, Dublin and other stuff got in the way; having had their say, and it’s taken me some time to find my way back, up stream, to play around in the rock pools of my own culture and the country where I was born. The place where my music comes from. My source. Éireann (Ireland).
So here we go again. New doors and new journeys abound. The dance goes on. A huge thank you to all of you who have helped, played, pre-ordered, booked and supported me and my music thus far.
Mo bhuíochas faoin gach rud i gconaí.
Tá a lán brodúil agam. Ar aghaidh linn.
Is mise le meas… faoin grásta
Shane Ó Fearghail
Due to some delays re licensing for the tracks, the album release will be put back two weeks. As promised the album pre-order hard copies will be in the post mid July whereby there will be an official Album launch and song presentation at Schloss Lebenberg in Kitsbuehel, Austria.
For those on streaming sites, the album will be made available in Autumn 2020. I know you won’t hate me for this. In this modern world of singles and easy listening, I am simply trying to encourage the “Album Moment”. i.e. buying an album and taking the time to listen. That funny feeling you got when you bought records. Believe you me, it’s worth far more to you and me in the long run. So if you want to get the album as a physical copy simply follow the links below.
The Irish live concert launch is planned for September 2020.
Artwork – Sabine Mann
To pre-order your copy of the new album click this link and leave your address – and a short note if you wish.