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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

Sharon goes global for lockdown album The Reckoning

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Sharon's new album will be available from this Friday.

Despite Covid-19 travel restrictions, Sharon Shannon has gone global for her latest studio album, The Reckoning, which is being released this Friday, November 27.

The Reckoning, which was composed, written and recorded during lockdown, features more than dozen remote collaborations from locations across the world.

All the twelve tracks have been co-written by Sharon and band members and various guest collaborators.

The full-on method in which it was recorded marks a new departure for the Clare-born musician who lives in Galway City, she says.

“Normally when we work on an album, we do one track at a time,” Sharon explains. “But with this, it seems to be an avalanche when you’re working on 13 or 14 tracks every day. It’s like a minefield!”

One of the key tracks, The Jolly Roger, resulted from a challenge which rugby player Robbie Henshaw presented to Sharon during the first Covid lockdown. Issued via Facebook, her task was to learn a new skill. And she did. After five days of intense practice, she created The Jolly Roger Facebook video . That clip of Sharon and her electric guitar has attracted more than 289,000 views since it was uploaded earlier this year.

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

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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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Artists going to dogs in aid of annual auction

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Work donated to MADRA by Galway artist Grace Cunningham and Achill Island’s Padraig McCaul.

Works by some of Ireland’s top artists, including Grace Cunningham and Finbar McHugh from Galway as well as Padraig McCaul from Achill Island and Charles Harper from Valentia Island, will go under the hammer at this year’s MADRA Dog Rescue Charity Art Auction.

The popular event, which kicks off for viewing next week, will take place online year due to Covid restrictions.

The event, will open for registration and online bids next Thursday, December 3 and will remain available to view and bid online until Monday, December 7 .

The goal is to raise €3,000 to contribute towards vet bills for the Connemara-based dog rescue and adoption charity. MADRA is facing major bills, all without the financial support that’s normally generated by its two charity shops – they have been closed for months this year due to the pandemic.

“We have stunning artworks available with an amazing variety of subjects and styles,” explains MADRA co-founder and director, Marina Fiddler, adding that the organisation is “honoured that so many talented artists have donated such beautiful pieces to support the homeless dogs in our care”.

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

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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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Celebrating Romania on Great Union Day

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ConTempo, will perform a programme from thier native Romania for next Tuesday's lunchthime concert.

The next instalment of the lunchtime music series, From Europe with Love, will take place next Tuesday, December 1, at 1pm. Hosted by Galway Music Residency, it’s the last one for 2020.

It promises to be a special event as Galway’s Ensemble in Residence, the ConTempo Quartet, who are from Romania, celebrate their homeland on what’s known as Great Union Day. This national holiday marks the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.

ConTempo will perform a varied programme, showcasing the best of Romanian music. This will feature works by celebrated composers George Enescu and Theodor Grigoriu alongside lesser-known musical treasures. There will be a strong folk theme throughout, making for a lively lunchtime show.

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

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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