On the Bright Road - Barbara Callan & Lynn Saoirse
Review of "On the Bright Road" in Irish Music Magazine
- June 2003
tracks, 51 minutes
On the Bright Road is
a collection of new songs "of and about Connemara " written by the
late Barbara Callan, and it's mixed with tunes old and new featuring
the harp playing of Lynn Saoirse who is co-producer (with Garry
O'Briain) of the CD. It seems that Barbara became too ill to continue
recording for the album, and Rosanna McCafferty was asked to step
in and sing the remainder of the songs. So this CD can really be
regarded as a memorial to Barbara Callan (1949 - 2001), and a fine
one at that.
The songs are written in English and Gaelic, and
deal with quite a range of subjects; Granuaile, also known as Grace
O'Malley, "The Pirate Queen" who was based off the Mayo/Connemara
coast in the 16th century; Barbara had a great love of the myths
and legends of the west and this is seen in her song Inis Bó Finne
(Isle of the White Cow, a reference to a Celtic goddess), and in
An Féileacán (the Butterfly; the ancient Irish believed that the
spirit of the dead could return at times as a butterfly to people
and places they had loved).
Na Beanna Beola is in praise of the Twelve Bens,
the mountains that give Connemara, Co. Galway, its distinctive appearance.
Oileán Choill Dara (The Island of the Oakwood) is a macaronic love
song; and there's a second love song too, called The Flower of Killary
Bay, based on the true story of two young lovers who eloped. The
last song on the CD, Summer of Macha, returns to the theme of myth
and legend, and treats of the Macha Nocht, one of the Twelve Bens.
Lynn Saoirse's harp playing has been described as
"rhythmically precise and clear in tone"; and it has soul and feeling
too, and is a joy to listen to. She provides a selection of hornpipes,
a waltz, a Danish quadrille, jigs, reels and a slow air. Session
musicians include Mairtín O'Connor on the accordion, and Tommy Hayes
on the bodhrán.
For more information on the CD
please click here