The story so far...........the Trad albums of 2014

In 2014 we undertook to create an online space for traditional album launches and it has proven to be a great success.  In total we launched 22 albums online. This launch series refers to the online environment only and not to radio or live launches.  As we progress, the advantages of an "Official Online Launch" are becoming even more apparent.  

1. If you are an artist it will immediately allow you to tap into our news stream and readers.  We now have up to 1,000 unique visitors every day.
2. Our Official Launch is now recognised as the first official listen to a new album.
3. Our readers include many writers and broadcasters from the US/UK/Europe who follow us to find out what is happening.
4. In addition to the launch we also track your progress and are more likely to write about you on the site.

We strongly believe that introducing your fans to your music for the first time is a very important moment.  For that reason we are making Tradconnect the home of new releases and will continue this into 2015.  It will be the first place that you can hear a track from new albums, even ahead of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.  So wherever you see the words Tradconnect Official Album Launch check it out.  There is also something special about being part of new release, for us as a site, and for our readers. 

Detailed below is a summary of the albums that we covered in 2014. If you have a traditional album in production and want to take part then please contact us. 

The following albums have been launched


Caladh Nua - Honest to Goodness

Online launch 9th December 2014

Honest to Goodness is the new release by Waterford based band Caladh Nua.  It’s their third release since 2009 when their debut Happy Days was released to critical acclaim. They followed that debut in 2011 with Next Stop which further established their reputation as one of the most exciting live bands around. 

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Skipper's Alley

Online launch 22nd November 2014

Skipper’s Alley is the self titled debut release by Dublin band Skipper’s Alley. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work for this 7 piece band.  We have been following their progress since they released an EP last year and spoke to them again about the process of recording this debut.  They said that the recording process itself was a huge, but rewarding learning curve involving eight long days in the studio.

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Áine Heslin - The Tunes Foundry

Online launch 17th November 2014

The Tunes Foundry is the new album from Co. Clare based flute player Áine Heslin.  She has been immersed in the music of west Clare from childhood and takes her musical  inspiration from the locality that has been so much a part of her life. Playing led to composing and a number of her own compositions found their way onto a cassette-tape that she recorded in 1994 called ‘Breaking Ground.’  

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Cassie & Maggie - Sterling Road

Online launch 20th November 2014

Sterling Road is the new album by Cassie and Maggie MacDonald who hail from the rich musical province of Nova Scotia. To many people this will be a new name on the musical landscape, especially on this side of the water. In their own homeland however their reputation has been steadily growing and this album will surely make them a household name. 

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Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha - Draíocht Na Feadóige

Online launch 23rd October 2014

Draíocht Na Feadóige, is the debut recording by Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha.  Her name and traditional music go hand in hand as a result of her outstanding work with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.  Neansaí presents three, two hour programmes on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday called "Ceol Binn ó na Beanna" on RTÉ RnaG as well as the Sunday morning show.  

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Josie Nugent & Brian Stafford - The Caves of Cong

Online launch 14th September 2014

The Caves of Cong is the debut album from Josie Nugent and Brian Stafford.  Josie is a Clare native and Brian originally comes from Derry.  He comes from the great piping tradition that centered around the uilleann piper Finbarr McLaughlin who taught him and also made his concert set of pipes. Both now live in Belfast. In the notes to the album they state that “the album pays homage to music from the collections, much of which dates from before the Great Famine.

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Our Dear Dark Mountain with the Sky Over It

Online launch 27th August 2014

Our Dear Dark Mountain with the Sky Over It has just been released and a number of live launches have already taken place over the summer months.  This has provided the musicians involved with the opportunity to try out the material in a live setting. The reception they have received has been tremendous and seems to justify the work that has gone into the project over several years.

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Brendan Hayes - A Visit to Ireland

Online launch 16th July 2014

A Visit To Ireland is the new album by Brendan Hayes.  Brendan states in his album notes that it is "a collection of songs and instrumentals which trace my musical history to date. While each song tells a personal story, evokes a particular scene, a time, a set of memories, I would prefer to see this collection as a tribute to the musical giants on whose shoulders we stand”  

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Tonnta Ceoil - Lucky for Some

Online launch 9th July 2014

Lucky for Some is the debut album by a new Clare based group called Tonnta Ceoil.  Young, enthusiastic and creative their lifelong interest in music has culminated in this release.  It shows that they have a confident streak when it comes to playing music that reflects both their lives and their broader influences. 

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Justin Bonar-Bridges - Truth Be Told

Online launch 2nd July 2014

Truth Be Told is the new album by Cincinnati based musician Justin Bonar-Bridges.  He has been very clear with regard to the type of album he wanted to make and where his inspiration came from. He talks honestly about the musicians from the past and what they mean to him.  They, like him, found solace in the music and were rarely obsessed with technical percision and dazzlement, but rather an outpouring of the heart.  

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RUNA - Current Affairs

Online launch 20th June 2014

Current Affairs is the latest release from Philadelphia based RUNA.  Band members include vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de BarraCheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Dave Curley on mandolin, vocals, bodhrán, and step-dancing, andMaggie Estes of Kentucky on the fiddle.   

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Martin Tourish - Under a Red Sky Night

Online launch 5th June 2014

Under a Red Sky Night is the new album by accordionist Martin Tourish.  He is a musician, composer and producer from Donegal that has become a major force on the traditional music scene in Ireland and abroad.  His creativity as a musician has continued to flourish since his award as 'Young Musician of the Year' in 2008 by TG4.  His music touches the curve of the traditional idiom at several points.

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Peadar Ó Riada and Seán Ó Sé - Through Banks of Mist

Online launch 21st May 2014

Through Banks of Mist is the new album of song featuring lifelong friends Peadar Ó Riada and Seán Ó Sé.  While the name name Peadar Ó Riada is synonymous with traditional music in this country Seán Ó Sé will not be quite as well known. They have been friends for a very long time and have supported each other through good times and bad.  Peadar references the strength of that support, especially at the time of his parents death.   

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We Banjo 3 - Gather The Good

Online launch 3rd June 2014

Gather The Good is the much anticipated new album from We Banjo 3. Their debut album in 2012 called Roots of the Banjo Tree received critical acclaim, and they have been one of the most in demand bands on the concert circuit since then.  

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Kevin Madden - The Sugar Loaf

Online launch 14th May 2014

The Sugar Loaf is the debut recording by Manchester fiddler Kevin Madden. An All-Ireland senior fiddle champion from 1996 he would not be a recognised name as such on the traditional music scene outside of his hometown.  However that may change based on the quality of this recording because it sets a standard and approach to fiddle albums that is gloriously uncomplicated and laden with charm and finesse.

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Online launch 12th May 2014

This debut release by London band Crossharbour has been much anticipated and it lives up to all the promise. In their own words Crossharbour are "fusing well-loved traditional tunes and songs with self-penned material and original arrangements".  The band features some highly accomplished and award winning musicians.  

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Goitse - Tall Tales & Misadventures

Online launch 1st May 2014

Goitse are back and Tall Tales & Misadventures is their brand new album.  We saw them nearly a year ago at an intimate gig in Dublin where they were starting to road test some new arrangements.  Over the course of the summer they undertook a tour of the US and Europe.  In the process they tested a lot of their new material and the feedback helped them shape the album.

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ALDOC - From Tallaght to Halle

Online launch 1st May 2014

From Tallaght to Halle is the new album from ALDOC and it is not like anything that you will have heard in a while.  Ex-Gráda frontman Alan Doherty is at the heart of it and listening to the final cut you can't but marvel at the musicality of it all.  The album is years in the making and covers so much ground that attempting to describe it with words is quite a futile exercise. 

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Aoife Granville - Sáimhín Só

Online launch 28th April 2014

Sáimhín Só is the new album by Dingle native Aoife Granville.  It's a follow up to her debut Sráid Eoin Shuffle which was released back in 2006.  The intervening years have been taken up with a PhD which in her own words had “taken over her life.” The title Sáimhín Só translates loosely to “content” or “at ease” and describes the feeling she gets from working with the supporting musicians that appear on the album.

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Louise Mulcahy - Tuning the Road

Online launch 10th April 2014

Tuning the Road if the new solo album by Louise Mulcahy.  It features 14 tracks of inspired traditional music that demonstrates her mastery of flute, uilleann pipes and whistle.  She finely balances the tracks between ensemble numbers as well as some  solo tracks.  Keeping her company is sister Michelle on piano and harp and Colm Murphy on bodhrán. There is a strong adherence to the core values of the tradition throughout. 

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Matt & Shannon Heaton - Tell You In Earnest

Online launch 1st April 2014

Tell You In Earnest is the new album release by Matt & Shannon Heaton from Boston. Its their 5th album featuring 10 new songs that are centered around the theme of conversation.  This is a novel approach because not only does it give the album a strong identity, it also draws you into the story within the songs.  This theme evolved from Matt & Shannon's own belief that music is essentially about conversation.

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Michael Mc Cague - The Waylaid Man

Online launch 31st March 2014

The Waylaid Man is the new album release by Michael Mc Cague.  Together with some great guests that include Dónal Mc Cague, John Mc Sherry, Oisín MacDiarmada, Brian McGrath and Nollaig Casey he presents 13 new tracks that feature over 30 of his own compositions.  Included below is the first track available to listen to from the album.

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A Playlist of other releases this year

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