Irish music recording has for some time been going down an avenue of collaborative ventures with mainstream musicians turning up in various groups and duets. In addition to the mainstream albums there is a significant amount of music being recorded by various artists under independently funded recordings. On Make The Circle Wide we have Maurice McGrath from Caedan getting involved with a family project involving the direct descendants of Michael and Ellen McGrath and their spouses and partners.  As with a lot of families they have been spread across the globe from Australia to New Zealand, USA, Canada and the UK. Two craic-filled family get-togethers recently held in Dublin provided the inspiration for recording a CD reminiscent of a family tradition of house hoolies with party pieces and all that goes with it.  The recording also features another Tradconnect member in the shape of Fergus O' Byrne who also provides a number of tracks.

The recording is a mix of traditional Irish ballads and tunes, with songs from Newfoundland, Australia and America.  It also features three new songs by Maurice McGrath and for that alone it is worth the purchase. We have become fans of his songwriting as part of his musical partnership with Caoimhe Hogarty in Caedan.  That should not detract from the superb input by the rest of this clan.  The voice of Fergus O'Byrne on Glenties, one of Maurice's compositions is powerful and traditional, as is that of Bríd McGrath on a beautiful traditional song called Tráthnóna Beag Aréir. Maurice himself sings Winds of Change, a self composition that reflects our present economic predicament. The album also includes Aoife Kenny on Black is the Colour, Maria McGrath on Rainy Night In Soho and Eoghan McGrath with Raglan Road among the tracks. With some traditional tunes as well this is a very enjoyable recording that shows what can happen when a very talented family get together to put something down on record. 

Proceeds from the sale of this CD are being donated to St Francis Hospice, Raheny, Dublin, Ireland and Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Bliss Cancer Care Foundation, St. John’s, NL, Canada.

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Comment by Maurice McGrath on January 13, 2013 at 23:13

Thanks for the review we had a real giggle making the album and a massive party in the studio on the last night. So it was a real one-off experience!

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