It’s halloween and the sacred ‘Oiche Shamhna’ to Gaels and Celts alike. A time when the veils of this world and the next (otherworld in Irish mythology), are closest. A night for the ancestors and remembrance as we gather and harvest,  hold close those who are dear, ideas, and songs, to warm us for the winter. It is the cycle of light as our beautiful planet makes her way around our sun.

It is because of this light, and the time in which we find ourselves, we thought it best to release the new album online now; as we drift and spin swiftly into the darkness. Not to mentioned, for the time that is in it, when you consider what is going on in the Middle East, it might just shed some well needed light. If so, as a songwriter, my work is done. Songs can keep us.

Originally earmarked for the 6th of April, the album’s release was put back due to the passing of my mother. It was a time for family and thankfully we were all with her when she departed these earthly realms. Since then it has been a hard time, with a lot of work to keep me busy. Maybe distracted. As the nights grow longer my Mammy’s light continues to shine and guide me through the darkness. I miss her every day. These songs keep her close.

Lessons in Light: The New Album

Recorded between Dublin (Ireland), Passau (Germany), and Vienna (Austria), ‘Lessons in Light’ contains twelve new songs along with two old time covers.

Partnered with Arge Music Austria & Sad Opera Entertainment Ireland, Shane’s fifth studio album takes Shane and the band down the Appalachian trail. Through songs in stories, they delve deeper into Irish-Appalachian traditions; Dark Folk and Celtic soul, and a relationship and culture that has been fostered over time, across continents and the Atlantic Ocean.  

LIGHT: Time Travellers

So why ‘Lessons in Light’, as a title? It is a question I have been constantly asked. Alliteration aside, I have always been fascinated by light, and our connection to it; be it our sun, moon, the stars, their speed, information, your eyes, reflections, mood and magic. All of it in fact, as so much is carried through light, in it  and upon its sound. Just look at Rainbows and the old stories. Dare I mention  the croc of gold… In light, we travel through it.

Sum of ALL parts: Ireland

Growing up in Ireland has been necessary. On the island you are constantly reminded of our connection to nature. It is in our word speak. My mother had always a good word to say to the moon and sun. A kind word. She had beautiful appreciation for the majesty of such mercurial companions. This appreciation was passed on to me. 

As a person, because of this, I am spell bound by light. As a songwriter its aura reverberates through my songs. It took some time before I became aware of the relationship, and just how much I use light as a reference, a focus and comapanion in my songs and my music.

The word is everywhere through my lyrics. “Look at the light” – Line of Fire,  “Sunshine on the light you drive me home” – Bounce, in Star – “Sun like a shining star”. Then there’s the new album, title aside, Valley of Coincidence – “the good light late sunshine”, – in Sum of All Parts – “With your light, please don’t waste it”, “Starlight”, “Mr Lights”… I could go on. Safe to say, I am enamoured by the sun our star (an ghrían), and of course the moon, “an gealach”, as we would say in the Irish. The shining one.

Newgrange: An Ancient Clock

Light is nothing new in our culture. Newgrange, or Brugh na Boinne, as it is known in the Irish language, is a testament to the sun and how we, as Irish and early Eureopeans were locked in to its celestial dance, for light, sustenance and survival.

Here in this amazing temple, which is over 6,000 years standing, on the 21st of December every year, the sun rises over the hills east of the Boyne river valley, as it has done for millennia, to share its morning glory to pierce light and legend deep into the heart of this ancient mound. It is here that the light illuminates this magical passage tomb and the carvings that grace the mighty orthostats; themselves revealing spirals and hidden gems and ideas, brought to light and life once a year by the sun.

Sun Gods: Further Reading

This wee blog merely touches on my relationship to light. Its coding, its sound, its truth; and the lessons we learn. In my book, which will be available next year, I will broach the idea of light and hopefully shed, excusing the pun, more illumination on what that light actually means to me. Its magic, it’s warmth and knowledge. Something that I think modern society in general, has lost. Our connection to the source!

Brú na Bóinne: New Grange

Lessons in Light: All in one place

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Magpie – Dark Folk fused with Celtic Soul.

Magpie – Definition: A long-tailed crow with boldly marked (or green) plumage and a noisy call. A person who collects things, especially of little use or value, or a person who chatters idly. A thief.  In traditional belief, it was also sometimes regarded as a bird of ill-omen, as in the saying one for sorrow.

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