Traditional Irish Music
For St. Valentine's Day we are delighted to be working with Belgium based band, Shantalla on the release of an exclusive single called “A Band of Gold”. This beautiful song, composed by Dublin songwriter Maurice McGrath, is a love story centred on a couple who cannot marry because the man is not wealthy enough and the woman's father forbids it. The 'band of gold' of the title is the wedding ring which he cannot afford to buy. Shantalla discovered this song as part of our 2014 Songwriter Showcase with Christy Moore. It was short-listed by Christy in his final selection.
The release of this track is also the start of a new series of stand-alone singles that will be released on Tradconnect. It allows artists to get immediate radio airplay worldwide via our Download Centre. Broadcasters can download the tracks for free.
Although Shantalla are based in Belgium, the five male band members are all Irish and singer Helen Flaherty is Scottish. Since 1996 they have built a reputation as a must-see band. Helen’s charming presence on stage engages audiences and the band’s live performances are powerful and passionate, yet also full of good humour and interaction with the audience.
Shantalla's singer Helen Flaherty says: "I found this song by going through dozens of entries in a songwriting competition organised by Tradconnect. There were some good ones in there but 'A Band of Gold' stood out for me, even if it didn't eventually win the competition! It's a modern song but it's composed in such a traditional style that you could think it was written in the 19th Century. When I brought it to the lads in the band they loved it too and we very quickly came up with an arrangement and started playing it in our live show. We played it last year in Switzerland, France, Russia, Belgium and The Netherlands and it went down really well everywhere. We thought it was high time to record it and bring it to a global audience."
Songwriter Maurice McGrath says; "Shantalla's recording of 'A Band Of Gold' has a beautiful honesty to it. The purity of Helen's voice is matched by the haunting instrumentation. It has a quiet passion that is quite disarming. As a songwriter, it's a great pleasure to know that Shantalla are bringing 'A Band Of Gold' to life by sharing it with diverse new audiences internationally."
Shantalla has played major theatre and festival stages around Europe, including headlining in 2015 the Siberian ethnic music festival Mir Sibiri to over 10.000 people – one of very few Celtic acts to do so. They have released three CDs to date that have been unanimously well received by critics and public alike, with many commenting on how surprising it is to hear such fresh, well-played and well-arranged music from a band based in Continental Europe. The music is drawn from many sources – Ireland and Scotland obviously, but also the USA, Canada and Brittany – and includes original compositions, new arrangements of contemporary material and reworkings of traditional music.
They state that their success over a long period of time is down to “the unique voice and charm of Helen Flaherty, the driving rhythms of Simon Donnelly and Joe Hennon, and the multi-instrument attack of Michael Horgan, Gerry Murray and Kieran Fahy, making Shantalla quite unique in the world of Celtic music. As far as we know, no other band currently combines the lead instruments of uilleann pipes, accordion, fiddle, flutes and whistles under one roof.”
The band is currently working on its fourth CD which will be released in Spring 2017, and “A Band of Gold” will no doubt be a featured track.
For broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre the single is available as a free download for immediate airplay on St.Valentine’s Day.
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