Altan - Local Ground

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Music samples


(June 2005) 13 tracks: Eirigh 's cuir ort do chuid éadaigh * Tommy's Peoples / The Road To Cashel / The Repeal of the Union / Richie's Reel * Is The Big Man Within? / Tilly Finn's Reel * Adieu, my lovely Nancy * Bó Mhín na Tiotean / Con McGinley's Highland / Seanamhach Tube Station * Amhrán Phaedair Bhreathnaigh * The Roseville * As I roved out * Sport * The Humours of Castelfin / Nia's Dance / An Dúidín * The Wind and Rain * The Silver Slipper * Dún Do Shúil.

Local Ground is Altan’s 10th studio album in the 20 years since they first came together as a band. An album of beauty, energy, grace and finesse, retaining the enthusiasm that originally shaped their music.

No Irish traditional band in the last dozen years has had a wider impact on audiences and music lovers throughout the world than Altan. With their exquisitely produced award-winning recordings, ranging dynamically from the most sensitive and touching old Irish songs all the way to hard hitting reels and jigs, and with their heartwarming, dynamic live performances, Altan have moved audiences from Donegal to Tokyo to Seattle.

Throughout, there has been the unwavering commitment of the band to bringing the beauty of traditional music, particularly that of the Donegal fiddlers and singers, to contemporary audiences in a way that brings out all its qualities and destroys none. In fact, Altan have always believed that Irish traditional music is a modern music in every sense and its growing influence and popularity have proved them right.

For the recording of Local Ground, Altan invited a few of their friends in music to play on the album. Former Bothy Band founder Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill plays piano on guitarist Daithi Sproule's composition The Roseville, a kind of a slip-reel. Steve Cooney guests on bass and Donal Lunny adds guitar.

Altan were delighted to be able to ask the great Galician piper, Carlos Nunez, who they have shared stages with on many occasions in the past, to contribute some Gaita (Galician bagpipes) to two tracks. Bodhrán maestro Jim Higgins provides the rhythmic pulse on many of the tracks while Graham Henderson adds some touches of keyboard colour to a set of reels.

Since Altan were last in the studio they have been honoured to win the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards' Traditional Band of the Year, and the TG4 (Irish National Television) inaugural presentation of The Traditional Band of the Year at the Irish Traditional Music Awards. Irish Music Magazine readers voted them Best Live Band and Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh was named Donegal Person Of The Year 2003.

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