Diverse selection of tunes on one of this year's finest duets - Alan Reid & Rachel Conlon

A Quare Yield is the new debut album from Irish traditional music duo Alan Reid & Rachel Conlan. The duo have researched and recorded a diverse selection of tunes from field recordings and old manuscript’s, with many previously unrecorded tunes appearing on the album. Their tight arrangements  and steady rhythm prevails, with sparse but inventive use of ornamentation and variation. Highly detailed liner notes by Alan accompany the album which is now available to Irish radio broadcasters as a free download via our Digital Download Centre.

Alan and Rachel met whilst studying music in University of Limerick's Irish World Academy where Alan now teaches. Over the years they have played countless gigs together while honing their driving style of unison playing. New and interesting repertoire was utilised as a method to maintain their musical fitness and this album represents the survivors; the tunes that caught on and remained in their collective memory when performing.

Alan Reid hails from Killargue in north county Leitrim. A highly adept multi-instrumentalist he can be heard here playing banjo, bouzouki, mandolin and oud. Alan featured on the compilation CD, Leitrim Equation 3, a few years ago. In a more musically progressive setting he can he heard rocking out with the band Arum whose album we launched on Tradconnect in March 2016.

Rachel Conlan is a fiddler from Blessington, county Wicklow with musical roots in North Connaught and West Clare. She is in demand as a performer and teacher around the country. On tracks 10 and 11 we get to hear Rachel's hardanger fiddle. On the Norwegian instrument one can hear the ethereal resonances and harmonics created by the sympathetic strings which would not be audible on the standard 4 string fiddle.

The Burren in County Clare which is now home to both musicians is beautifully represented on the album cover. A sense of place has always filtered its way into their music as can be heard on the varied track list. As a sample we include an exclusive listen to Track 2 from the album featuring The Craoibhín's Salute and The ‘98.  

 

The Craoibhín's Salute is a march from Limerick collector Francis Roche which appears in the second volume of The Roche Collection of Traditional Irish Music published in 1912. It was composed by Giollabhríde Ó CatháinThe '98 is a rousing 1798 rebellion era march they learned from John Carty during their university years, and recently rediscovered via P.W. Joyce's unpublished manuscripts digitised by the Irish Traditional Music Archive. 

In the liner notes Ronan Browne states that “the music is welcoming, warm and engaging; it is gently dynamic, and in no way brash; its dynamics are subtle, refined, totally unpretentious; it has a unified coherence and comfortable pace - we are never jolted by sudden surprise moves which might break the spell cast by Rachel and Alan.”

He goes on to say that “The duo have taken confident ownership of these tunes, harvested from such diverse sources. Over and over I find myself being surprised at tunes origins - listening to The Pride of Kildare, for example, I cannot conjure up how Padraig O’Keeffe might have actually sounded playing it, yet it sounds just like Alan Reid and Rachel Conlan! Equally, The '98 march is something I could picture being played on 2 fifes but it would have sounded completely different to Rachel and Alan's approach, so much so that again I find it difficult to hear that 'other view’ of it, much preferring how it is played here. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this track as part of the soundtrack to an open-skied scene in a western film.”

The album was recorded in Maree, Galway with Sean Horsman at the desk. Alan's Arum band-mate Marty Barry was also drafted in for guitar backing on a couple of the tracks.

The album is now on release and can be purchased from Bandcamp

The album is free as a download for broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre.

 

Musicians

Alan Reid - Banjo, bouzouki, mandolin, oud

Rachel Conlon - Fiddle and hardanger

Marty Barry - Guitar

 

Recorded and mixed by Sean Horsman, Maree, Oranmore

Mastering by WAV Mastering

Photography by Eileen Reid

Artwork by Lizzy Doe

Contact alfranreid@gmail.com

Tradconnect's Worldwide Launch Articles are commercial articles that mark the addition of an album to our Download Centre, where broadcasters can access the album and download it for free to play on their various radio stations. Content for these articles is sourced from the artists press release and liner notes, supplemented with additional content from the artist as required. If you would like to find out more about this initiative

 

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Comment by Bruce Cameron on June 29, 2017 at 7:07

Downloaded for airplay on Come All Ye.  Thanks from Australia.

Comment by Alan Hossack on May 14, 2017 at 2:59

Downloaded for Airplay on Jock"s Celtic Calamity on Blues and Roots Radio. Great Album 

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