Stellar collection of contemporary folk and traditional songs from Coda on 'Train of Spirits'

It is rare to find a group of singers and musicians who can combine strong backgrounds in Irish traditional, folk and contemporary popular music with an a capella singing ability developed through classical choral music. This is the potent mix Coda bring to their music.

Drawing on vocal talent from the west of Ireland, Coda are seven singers who started developing their own approach to vocal performance several years ago. Their first album entitled ‘Mouthmusic’, released in 2013, was produced by Maurice Lennon. Coda have performed at home and abroad at various music festivals, Westport, Wales, England, Spain, Tradfest, Electric Picnic and others and at various venues throughout Ireland.

Though all of the group now reside in or near Westport, Mike Cannon is the only native Mayoman of the group. Steve Bryant is from Wales, Alan Drumm from Dublin and Leonard Kelly from Oranmore in Galway. Declan Askin hails from Ballyshannon and has played with many musicians and was a member of Céide with fellow Coda member, Brian Lennon. 

Brian is from Kiltyclogher in Leitrim, part of the Lennon musical dynasty, son of Ben, nephew of Charlie and brother of Maurice of Stockton’s Wing fame. Conall Ó Domhnaill originally from Kells, Co Meath is brother of singer Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill. His other siblings, Tríona, and the late Mícheál, were both members of the legendary Bothy Band, Nightnoise and Relativity to name but a few.

Coda offer an exciting new perspective on traditional and contemporary folk songs, original compositions and popular songs. Their wide-ranging repertoire comprises both a cappella arrangements and self-accompanied songs with a traditional Irish twist.

Their second album ‘Train of Spirits’, is now available. The album was produced by the legendary Dónal Lunny and recorded in Clew Bay Recording Studios, Westport. Following a Coda gig on Inishbofin, Dónal and Coda members chatted about the possibility of collaboration. “I was initially worried about the potential problems of 7 different vocal parts and up to 4 instrumental parts happening together,” says Lunny, “but I needn’t have worried. It all made elegant sense in the end”.

This is track 11 from the album called Casadh Cam na Feadarnaighe. The notes with the album say that it tells the story of the strange and wonderful people who inhabit Casadh Cam na Feadarnaighe. “It’s a place of witches and devilment and is full of fun. Conall gathered this song from his father Aodh Ó Domhnaill from Rann na Feirste, Co. Donegal.”

The album features an eclectic mix of self-penned and contemporary folk and traditional songs all superbly arranged by Coda, skilfully engineered by Bartholomew De Boer and exquisitely produced by Donal Lunny.

This is a live version of another track from the album called 'Mingulay Boat Song'.

The album title ‘Train of Spirits’ comes from an original Coda song ‘Greenway Days’ which refers to tragedies involving the first and last trains to run on the Westport to Achill line. The first train, in 1894, carried the bodies of over 30 people who were drowned in Clew Bay. The last, in 1937, carried 11 young boys from Achill, who had been working in Scotland. They lost their lives when their bothy (shed) caught fire.

The album is now available to purchase from and will shortly be available for digital download along with their first album ‘mouthmusic’.

This album is also available as a free download to Irish radio broadcasters that are members of our Download Centre here on Tradconnect. Contact us for details.

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Comment by Bruce Cameron on January 26, 2018 at 13:12

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


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