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Harmony reigns as The Henry Girls have fun

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The Henry Girls play Monroe’s Live on Thursday, July 21.

Groove Tube with Jimy McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

Hailing from Malin in Donegal, The Henry Girls make a welcome return to Monroe’s Live on Thursday, July 21, as part of this year’s Galway International Arts Festival. Fusing Americana with an Irish roots sensibility, sisters Joleen, Karen and Lorna McLaughlin have recently returned from a gig in Italy.

“We were playing in the north, in a place called Arizagno,” Lorna says. “We played one festival, and then we came back – so it was just two days.  It was great, an outdoor gig in a park overlooking the city. Warm weather, there was a great crowd – there must’ve been 350 people. It went really well.”

Overall, The Henry Girls project itself seems to be going well. Over the past five years, the sisters have played shows across Europe and the US. Is there any gig in particular that stands out for Lorna?

“We were up in the north of Norway, in a very rural area,” she says. “We’d been invited by the mayor, who’d seen us play in Iceland. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were blown away by the hospitality and the venue he had organised for us to play in. It was a sold-out show, 300 people. We just couldn’t believe it – it wasn’t a city or anything, just a peninsula – like Inishowen.”

The Henry Girls recently released the Sketches EP, which was recorded in their aunt’s house in Malin Head by their regular collaborator Callum Malcolm.

“The first time we recorded with him we went to Scotland, but Callum can now set up his studio anywhere,” says Lorna. “He’s got all the equipment, his computer, his hard drive, all that stuff – he can just bring it with him on the plane. It was really nice to be at home.”

There is a huge well of old songs to draw from in the folk world, but Lorna is proud that The Henry Girls has evolved into a band that pen their own tunes.

“To be honest, I’m a bit of a hoarder. I’m sentimental – I keep everything,” she says. “We’ve been playing together for over 10 years, and I was looking at old set-lists the other day. It used to be we did all covers, and one or two original set-lists. But I was looking at a recent set-list, and it was nearly all original songs.”

High Octane Lady is a number with a catchy chorus and a pop sensibility that you don’t necessarily hear in folk music. How did that one come about?

Connacht Tribune

Vivaldi’s “explosive” opera Bajazet comes to Town Hall

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Gianluca Margheri as Bajazet and Niamh O’Sullivan as Asteria. Photo: Kip Carroll

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Vivaldi’s opera, Bajazet, will be performed in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre next Tuesday, January 25, starting at 5pm. It’s a co-production between Irish National Opera (INO) and London’s Royal Opera House, in partnership with the Irish Baroque Orchestra (IBO).

The Artistic Director of the INO, Fergus Sheil, describes Bajazet as “an explosive opera with characters that are larger than life, inhabiting a world of power games, brinkmanship, violence, betrayal, impersonation, disguise, defiance and revenge”.

Lots of drama then in the three-act opera which was first performed in 1735 in Verona.  According to Fergus, that’s “matched with a musical score that jumps off the page. Vivaldi’s vocal writing is as colourful as you expect from the composer of The Four Seasons. He challenges his singers to perform with outstanding virtuosity and the vocal acrobatics drive the drama forward”.

This is the second Vivaldi opera to be staged by the INO – the first was Griselda in 2019, which was also the first time a Vivaldi opera was presented in Ireland.

It’s being conducted by INO Artistic Partner Peter Whelan, who is also Artistic Director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra. He is working with the IBO on this production, as he did with Griselda.

Set in the 14th century, this drama filled with powerful men and strong women begins after the Ottoman sultan, Bajazet, has been defeated by the Tartar prince, Tamerlano. Bajazet and his daughter, Asteria, are now prisoners.

Asteria is in love with a Greek prince, Andronicus, and Bajazet asks him to take care of her, although Andronicus is Tamerlano’s ally.

However, Tamerlano also has designs on Asteria. He’s engaged to another princess, Irene, but intends to break off that engagement to pursue the deposed sultan’s daughter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Covid closures force Echo to start his own Street Rebellion

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Echo Harte...adapting to pandemic restrictions.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Tuam native Echo Harte has been a regular performer in Galway venues for several years as part of a myriad of various acts. His latest – an alternating collective formed last summer – is a little more used to gigging on the street.  Street Rebellion was a project that found its niche in the restrictions-heavy period that prevented live music from happening indoors. Echo and his group took advantage by drawing huge crowds on Shop Street, initially playing popular covers but, over time, integrating original material in their set.

One such song is Separate Ways, a track that Echo has had since 2016 but one that has been revitalised by Street Rebellion’s participation on its new recording.

Separate Ways is a country-rock ballad set for release on January 28. The new version features drums from Zingro, bass from G Lynott and backing vocals from Echo’s sisters, Emma and Katie Harte.

The singer-songwriter released his debut album Masks in the last couple of years and there is a sophomore LP en route. With the impetus harnessed by Street Rebellion’s success, he is looking to kick on early in 2022.

“It was great to come at it from another angle and to give the song what I think it deserved initially,” he explains.

“I did all the instruments on the first versions, and I wouldn’t consider myself a skilled drummer. I met Zingro from Street Rebellion – he’s from Italy and he’s toured with Pantera. He’s toured Africa and Europe and America – he’s a very experienced and hands-on drummer and he really brought a new life to the song.

“Once we started playing it live, I had the confidence to revisit it. I first brought it out in 2016 and I didn’t have a lot of experience releasing music. I didn’t know how to promote it or give it the attention that it needs. After a few years, I decided it was time to re-release it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Piper Pádraic making mark on rich tradition

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Pádraic Keane from Maree who has just released his solo piping album, In Full Tune.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Pádraic Keane from Maree was seven years old when he began playing uilleann pipes – a learner set, he explains. His initial instrument had been tin whistle but he soon moved on to the pipes, which are a family tradition on both sides.  Pádraic’s father, Tommy Keane, is a renowned uilleann piper and member of na Pióbairí Uilleann, who worked with greats of Irish music, including Liam Clancy, Liam O’ Flynn and Alec Finn of de Danann, as well as with the likes of Elvis Costello.  Pádraic’s mother, Jacqueline McCarthy, plays concertina and her father,  Tommy McCarthy, was a highly-regarded piper, whistle player and concertina player from West Clare. He and his wife, Kathleen, spent many years in London, where they reared their family before returning to live in Miltown Malbay.

London-born Jacqueline and her husband, Tommy, who’s originally from Waterford, settled in Maree in the late 1980s and music was ever-present as they reared their three children.  Pádraic has an older sister, Siobhán, and a twin, Maisie, both of whom play fiddle and “a bit of concertina”, while fiddle is his second instrument.

Pádraic, a teacher in Coolarne National School, Turloughmore, has now added his link to the family piping chain with his debut album, In Full Tune.  He’ll have a formal launch in the city’s Crane Bar later in Spring when lockdown eases, but it’s available to purchase now.

Thirty-one-year-old Pádraic won Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana in the 2011 TG4 Gradam Ceoil when he was just 19, making him one of the youngest ever recipients of that accolade. He has toured all over Ireland and in the USA as a soloist with The Irish Chamber Orchestra and has collaborated with the late composer and pianist Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, who once jokingly described the uilleann pipes as “being like an octopus”, given the instrument’s many elements.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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