Caedan - Live at The Mercantile, Dublin, 2nd October 2012

In the cosy environment of the backroom at the Mercantile Bar in Dublin city centre, Caedan took to the stage for one of their initial gigs in Dublin.  For those unfamiliar with these newcomers Caedan are a collaboration between traditional singer Caoimhe Hogarty and songwriter Maurice McGrath. Caoimhe is an exceptional new talent that has been fortunate enough to have the likes of Niamh Parsons in her corner guiding her to her present position. With the late great Frank Harte having instilled in her the joy of folk and traditional songs she has started to make a name for herself.  Paired with the song writing skills of Maurice McGrath they make a very potent force. Joined by Pauline Burke on mandolin and bodhrán and Con Woolrich of In Tua Nua on fiddle they gave a fine performance displaying new material that references back to our distant past involving coffin ships and new lands in continents far away. The ballads of Caedan could very easily apply to Ireland today and to our people, shackled not with chains but with gold and silver, or more correctly,  the lack of it.  In fact Maurice should shift his writing gaze to Ireland's present plight and find inspiration or more importantly, encouragement in his words to provide a modern soundtrack to the narrative that unfolds as our youth leave for foreign shores.

Caedan as a partnership are therefore anchored by the dual pillars of Maurice's exceptional song writing and Caoimhe's honest traditional rendition of the material. On the basis of compositions like the The Ghostly Fleet he could easily rank alongside any of our great writers. Their material is heavy on emigration, slave ships and banished citizens. They lighten the affair with more modern  material like The Strawberry BedsShe's Like A Swallow and As I Roved Out. The Mercantile as a venue works well for groups like Caeden to display their wares.  It's intimate surrounding create a gathering not unlike a singers club and on the basis of tonight's partnership of words and voice, they have a very bright future indeed.  Some lighter happier material to cheer us up on these dark nights and they will no doubt complete a very interesting package. Good venue, good show and away happy. Not bad for a Tuesday night in October.

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Comment by Maurice McGrath on October 3, 2012 at 16:53

Tony, thanks a million for coming out to Caedan on a tuesday night... for the review,  and for being so supportive of the music. Tradconnect really is a fabulous resource.


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