Samhain – A New Moon Harvest

New Moon Harvest by Shane Ó Fearghail

It is almost Samhain. Samhain in the Irish language (Gaelic), denotes the month of November and so much more. A time for harvest, for music, for change; it is also the Gaelic and Celtic new year. A time where the balance between light and dark is equal, and where spirits past and present come to the fore. An ancient tradition where we celebrate our Irish culture with the festival of Oiche Shamhna — the night or eve of Samhain and summers end. Many of you will know this time as Halloween (links below for more reading).

For me this time has always felt a little special. Yes it is my birth month, but so much more is happening. As animals turn to nature for shelter in winter, the Irish in turn and in times past would turn to the fire. They did so with music, stories, poems and banter; for community and the darker nights ahead. It’s no wonder then that I tend to write more in the month of November than at any other time of the year. It is not planned. It just happens this way. A circadian rhythm on an annual scale.

So, it is also no wonder that these weeks, as the seasons change, feel right and make sense to record new music and change things. Well, that my friends is exactly what is about to happen. The good news is, for this year’s harvest I will myself gather new creations, new songs that have been written, along with older songs that have been rehearsed, to harvest and package for nurture over the winter months and release them in the year to come. For in two weeks time, work will begin on a new album. Now not the writing nor the dreaming of said album, not even the ideas or the scheming… But the “actual” recording of these set of new songs. Come November I’ll be jumping right in at the autumnal deep end so to speak. Sure and why not. The full moon has passed.

A Brand New Album
Yes the songs are written and I am delighted to tell you that ”The Host”, along with special guests, will back me on these new tracks. The band — Dave, Claudia, Johnny, Emily, are at the ready, and our producer — Christian Knollmüller, is in place. Once more we have joined forces with Sad Opera Entertainment to drive the bus, not to mention a brand new addition, the fantastic Arge Music family here in Austria. More to follow on this soon. Safe to say we are all excited about these new moves and shimmy’s, that’ll help to fire us out of this Covid-19 madness and into a new day and a new year.

The timeline itself, will look something like this. 

Recording starts 8. November — Finishes mid January. First single will be mid March — to streams and hard sales, where we will have a special first single release show in Vienna. The album will be released and available on hard copy for the Midsummer Solstice 2022 — delivered by lovely postwomen and postmen. It will be followed by online singles over the summer and autumn, with the albums full stream release being set for Christmas 2022.

If you’d like to pre-order your copy, show support, or get involved in some way shape or form, you can and we’d love to invite you. All the information on how we might do this will be available soon. For now however, this is just about sharing good news.

Born From Tradition
Yes, the most recent album “Born From Tradition” is still doing the rounds. All too quickly it has become the “last” album. It has been a quick turn around to be sure, but believe it or not, it will almost be two years between the these two albums when you consider production and duplication etc. No problem at all says you — “Sure the Beatles were putting out albums every other week”. So in reality it’s not that strange or unusual looking back, he says comparing himself to The Beatles.

Anyway, “Born From Tradition” has been a great interlude in these recent times and a segue between two worlds. It is an album I’ve always wanted to make and has been very well received in Irish quarters at home and around the globe. Even as we speak, two tracks have been selected for the Irish Music Magazine’s annual CD.  And outside of the Irish, Gaelic, folk realms, the album has been adopted and nurtured too. This has been the real bonus. Radio play in Germany, Canada, the US, Scotland, England, Wales, Australia… even Ireland. Now we weren’t expecting that!

You will also be aware that the album was shortlisted for “Best Album”, and “Ná Bí Buartha” for “Best Song”, in the CeltCast annual music awards in the Netherlands. Now we didn’t take the first slot but came in the top ten in both categories, which was pretty decent. A massive thanks a million to all the CeltCast crew for keeping music alive and my music relevant in these scary times.

Other News

Things are also opening up on the live front which is great and… there is a brand new video coming out soon for “Alive Alive O”, a track from the “last” album.  Animated and directed by Sabine Mann, (I’ll be involved in art direction as well as props and backgrounds), it’s turning into a lovely piece. I’ve seen the rushes… and I am excited. So keep your eyes peeled.

We’ll also be doing a once off  Born From Tradition Full Album Live Show, which is in the pipeline. What that means is – a full on traditional Irish music event with the songs from the album as well as some surprises. With the pandemic, I never got to christen this wee collection; which has been a tradition with my other albums. The show itself will take place in a hidden Viennese venue and will be an all ticketed event. Spaces will be limited and by invitation to Frans & Family alike. Safe to say… it will be underground.

Speaking of live shows, and to keep your whistle wet in the meantime, there is a Shane Ó Fearghail & The Host “live gig”, taking place in the Keller of Charlie P’s Vienna.  The band and I are being flown in especially to help Charlie’s celebrate their 24th Birthday and, their 24 years serving sessions and gifting us stories — of which I think, many of us have in fact, our own Charlie P’s story. 

For more information on the event click this link RIGHT HERE. Put it in your calendar — we’d love to see you there. This is a 2G event.

Sin É
Well… that’s the craic for now. Watch this space for more new album updates, new video news, and general developments over the coming months as we folk and roll up to Christmas. I would like to thank you for your continued support as well as our sponsors: Sad Opera Entertainment (and our team), Arge Music, Reinhardt Best Acoustics, Elixir Strings, Fusion Bags & Share Me Transporters, ISSA & Logjam for their continued support and encouragement (links below).  To you… Mind yourselves until next time and take care out there.

Go ndérí an tadh libh ages béir bua
Slain go foill


Live Photos – © Sabine Mann Photography

Sad Opera Entertainment Holda Design / Reinhardt Best Acoustics / Arge Music / Fusion Bags / Share Me / Shadow Guitars / Elixir Strings / ISSA / Logjam Stompboxes /