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Seán’s Christmas concerts mark launch of new CD set

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Caherlistrane singer Seán Keane is celebrating the launch of a new three-box CD set, featuring 45 of his favourite songs with a national tour which sees him play the city’s Town Hall Theatre this Friday and Saturday night, and Clifden’s Station House Theatre on Sunday, December 15.

Along with many familiar songs, the release contains six new tracks including the title track, Never Alone, which he first heard Colm Kirwan play in Nashville for a couple who were celebrating their wedding anniversary.

The album marks Seán’s lengthy career which began at the age of seven when he won his first All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil title and as such, it features songs like May Morning Dew and O’Reilly, which he learned as a child at home. These are mixed in with songs which he has gathered over the years and some which are new to him, most notably beautiful versions of Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love and Beyonce’s Ave Maria.

“I love them. And from now on, any song I come across that I love, I am going to sing it and record it and do it my way,” he laughs.

“The way I see it the songs find me,” he says, adding that’s what happened with Never Alone – he just happened to hear it in Nashville and knew right away he wanted to record it. 

Kentucky writer Arthur Leroy Phipps’ song, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem is among the new songs as is Bury Me Beneath the Willows, which both reflect Seán’s ongoing relationship with Irish music in America.

Seán is giving 22 concerts countrywide between now and the middle of January to coincide with this new release. He’s being joined on stage by band regulars Pat Coyne and Fergus Feely on guitar, mandcello and vocals, as well as Stephen Doherty from Foxford on accordion, flute and keyboard and Úna McLoughlin from Moycullen on fiddle, cello and violin.

Fourth, fifth and sixth class children from various schools locally are also taking part in all the concerts – fourth, fifth and sixth classes from Bullaun near Loughrea  on Friday night and from Castlehackett Saturday night. In Clifden, the choir will be from Tullycross School.

The idea of getting children involved in his shows first struck Seán during the Gathering when he went to local schools, Belclare and Castlehackett and saw the amount of talent and enthusiasm among young people.

 “It’s great to get them involved, to get them hearing the music and becoming familiar with it,” says Seán, explaining that he has been visiting the various schools and rehearsing with the children for the concerts. “I get a lovely buzz out of their energy and enthusiasm,” he adds.

The youngsters will be seated in the audience for the part of the show they aren’t involved with, so that they can listen to the performance. It’s all part of allowing them to enjoy the concert experience.

Seán’s New Year’s Eve concert promises to be a special one, as he and the band will perform on the Jeannie Johnston replica famine ship, which has a capacity of just 65 people.  Then it’s off on a boat of a different kind early in the New Year, on a cruise out of Florida, specialising in Irish musical acts, with Ronan Tynan also included in the line-up.

• Tickets for Seán’s Town Hall show are €20 from tht.ie, 091-569777 and from the box office. For the Station House concert contact 095-30303.

CITY TRIBUNE

Work for children of all ages in extended Baboró programme

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Grand Soft Day, a new co-production from Branar is for children aged three to six.

The 26th annual Baboró International Arts Festival for Children will take place from Friday, October 14, to Sunday, October 23, in theatres, galleries, schools and communities in Galway City and County.

This year’s extended 10-day festival will have more than 50 live events, presented by companies from all over Ireland and Europe, including Belgium, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Scotland and England.

These will include a special collection of European work made for children up to six years, as well as residencies in special schools and child-led projects.

Children aged eight and older are invited to join the surreal world of Der Lauf, where nothing is quite as it seems. In this show, two circus performers from Belgian company Le Cirque du Bout du Monde, compete in a series of bizarre challenges as they juggle blindly, spin plates and stack glasses, while wearing boxing gloves. As the glasses rise, so do the stakes. The children are their only guides and will either help lead the clowns to order or towards further chaos.

Ballet Ireland will present The Glasshouse, a dance performance for children aged six and older. It is the story of Fiach, an earnest youngster who is on a mission to repopulate the world with plants and turn it green. This fun, compelling show, by exciting young choreographer Róisín Whelan, is about human courage, friendship and the determination to survive. The Glasshouse promises “moments of suspense and joy, exhilarating dancing, vibrant costumes and magical music”.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

A feast of Butlers at the Kenny Gallery

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The Butler family, from left: Liam, Ronan, Lisa and Davin.

Sculptor Liam Butler will return to the City’s Kenny Gallery this Friday night, August 12, for his first exhibition in more than 10 years. The new show, Copper Roots, is an even more special occasion for Liam as it will be his first time exhibiting alongside his children, Davin, Lisa and Ronan.

Liam is a self-taught sculptor who has been creating and exhibiting work for almost 30 years. He has passed on his craft to Davin, Lisa and Ronan, teaching them the techniques he developed throughout his career, as well as his love for copper and its artistic possibilities.

In 2020, during Covid, the Butlers were all together, back home in Galway for the first time in many years. They rekindled their passion for sculpture, spending time in Liam’s workshop, creating   new work, alongside each another.

There was learning, creativity and experimentation, they say. The resulting exhibition at Kennys’ celebrates reconnecting with family roots, and passions passed on from generation to generation.

A welder by training, Liam grew up on a small farm in Kilkenny. He worked in Germany and America for years before returning to Ireland, settling in An Spidéal where he began experimenting, using the skills he learned as an industrial welder to create simple sculptures from steel.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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

Sisters in perfect tune for unique musical snapshot

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Breda and Claire Keville, photographed by Nutan. (Inset) The sisters, as depicted by artist Isabel Alegria, on the cover of the album.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

“A snapshot in time,” is how musician and composer Claire Keville from Claran, near Headford, describes Music from Galway, the new CD which she and her sister Breda have just released.

With Breda on fiddle and Claire on concertina, it’s a gorgeous collection of music from all parts of Galway and beyond, a mix of slow airs, gigs, reels and marches. The sisters are accompanied by guitarist and longtime musical friend Terence O’Reilly on several tracks, which they recorded in the studio of his East Clare home in April of this year.

Claire, a French and Music teacher in Coláiste Iognáid (the Jes) in the city for the past decade, and Breda, who works as a radiation therapist in UHG, have previously released solo albums. Breda’s, The Hop Down, was released in 2006 and The Daisy Field, from Clare came out in 2009. Each guested on the other’s album, but this is their first joint recording, a project they’d been discussing for years.

When it did finally happen, it came together a lot more quickly than either of them had anticipated.

“I didn’t think we’d have it done this year,” says Breda, as Claire recalls that they discussed its timeframe in April, while driving from Galway to Terence’s home in Clare.

After that first day, when they recorded 10 tracks and realised that most of them would make the album, they reckoned it was achievable. Another session in An Spidéal with musician, ‘talented engineer and general all-rounder’,  Ronan Browne, convinced them it was and Music from Galway was launched at the Willie Clancy Festival in Miltown Malbay in July.

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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