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CD silverbridge Jane Cassidy Price £12.50

Jane Cassidy is delighted to be releasing a new album, her first in many years. The evocative ‘Silverbridge’ title is taken from the Co Armagh birthplace of her paternal grandmother and sets the tone for this beautiful collection of 9 traditional songs from the north of Ireland and beyond and 3 self-penned songs.

Produced and recorded with acclaimed Belfast musician Rod McVey, Jane sings and plays piano and guitar with Rod adding Hammond organ, keyboards and percussion. They are joined on the album by fiddle player Nollaig Casey, Joe McHugh on uilleann pipes and whistle, Barry Carroll on hammer dulcimer, Jane’s brother Frank Cassidy on bouzouki and her daughter Anna Leyden on backing vocals and piano. This CD is also available for download via iTunes and Amazon Music.

  1. Silverbridge
  2. Wheel of Fortune
  3. Bird in a Cage
  4. The Cuckoo
  5. The Wager
  6. Johnny Scott
  7. Gathering Rushes
  8. Apron of Flowers
  9. Fair Annie
  10. Kathryn Jaffrey
  11. Naoise O’Haughan
  12. Last Man Standing

CD the tern and the swallow Maurice Leyden Price £12.50

For Maurice Leyden, this collection of traditional Ulster folk songs is the fruit of many years of researching, learning and singing songs from his native province. To his knowledge 5 of the songs here have never been recorded and he hopes they will now re-enter the local singing repertoire and be a resource for other singers. Recorded and produced with acclaimed Belfast musician Rod McVey, Maurice has brought together some outstanding musicians to accompany 7 of the tracks on the album, including Andy Irvine, Arty McGlynn and Dermot Byrne. Maurice is also joined by his daughter Anna Leyden on piano, harmonium and vocal, Trevor Stuart on uilleann pipes, Michael Clarkson on flute and whistle, Conor Caldwell on fiddle and his ‘dawn chorus’ features Paddy Finney, Jim McFarland and Liam McKervey on vocals. An accomplished unaccompanied singer, Maurice has chosen to perform 10 of the songs ‘raw bar’. This CD is also available for download via iTunes and Amazon Music.

  1. The Faughanside
  2. The Tern and the Swallow
  3. Sweet John is the Handsomest Man
  4. Green Grows the Laurel
  5. The American Stranger
  6. Baltimore’s Fair Plain
  7. The Lurgan Braes
  8. A New Song Called Paddy’s Evermore
  9. Young Kate of Glenkeen
  10. The Sweet Bogside
  11. The Emigrant’s Farewell
  12. The Rose of Moneymore
  13. The Wee Weaver
  14. A New Song called The Jug of Punch
  15. The Boys of Mullaghbawn
  16. The Virtual Lover
  17. Here’s a Health

CD Mary Ann McCracken 1770-1866 Price £12.50

In 1986 the Director of Belfast Folk Festival Geoff Harden asked Maurice and me to write a show combining local history and folk song. As soon as we read Mary McNeill’s wonderful biography “The Life and Times of Mary Ann McCracken” (Blackstaff Press), Maurice and I were determined to tell Mary Ann’s story. Like so many women in the past, she had been all but written out of history and it is left to the testimony of her own correspondence to prove the considerable achievements of her long life.

The ‘Mary Ann’ show was a great success at the Belfast Folk Festival and Maurice and I have continued to perform different versions of it ever since including a week-long run at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo with Nollaig Casey, Rod McVey, Neil Martin and Janet Harbison. It has also been recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio Ulster.

With the support of the Community Relations Council we were able to record the songs, music and extracts from the script to create this CD. Musicians featured are Jane Cassidy vocals, Maurice Leyden vocals, guitar, Rod McVey keyboards, accordion, Richard Parkes bagpipes, Nollaig Casey fiddle, Frank Cassidy bouzouki, Neil Martin uilleann pipes, cello, whistle, Ivan Gilliland guitar, mandolin, Colum Sands double bass, Brendan Monaghan uilleann pipes, whistle, bodhran.

Special thanks to Mark Adair and in memory of the late Morna Crozier of CRC. Remembering also Lawrence Thomson who produced the album and David Pentland for the cover portrait of Mary Ann and her niece Maria from an 1801 portrait. This CD is also available for download via iTunes and Amazon Music.

Book Belfast City of Song (Brandon) Price 15.50

The people who flooded into Belfast at the beginning of the last century brought their songs with them. Many lived for the first time in streets, with next-door neighbours only a wall’s thickness away, but as Belfast became home, town life began to percolate into folk-song and the images of mountains, rivers and lakes were replaced by the features of an urban landscape.

“Belfast town, now rich and great,
Was then a village small,
And flocks of sheep grazed on that spot,
Where stands the Linen Hall.”

Belfast Town. From The Cavehill Diamond to The Belfast Tram, from Campbell’s Mill to Roving Jack the Baker, the songs tell the story of Belfast as it underwent its dramatic growth from small town to industrial city. Maurice Leyden provides the background to the songs and describes the world from which they sprang. Over 40 songs, reproduced in full with music are included and the book is illustrated with engravings and old photographs. This CD is also available for download via iTunes and Amazon Music.

Book Boys and Girls Come Out To Play (Appletree) Price £15.50

A Collection of Irish Singing Games
Songs and games are an integral part of childhood. Oranges and Lemons, Dusty Bluebells, Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake: their lyrics are peppered with the rhymes and rhythms of poetry, while their melodies are instantly appealing and memorable. Yet for all their apparent simplicity, these songs and games perform many useful functions. They not only introduce children to love, courtship, marriage, illness and death, they also teach them to sing and dance, and to count and recite the alphabet. Skipping, ball and clapping games develop memory, dexterity and coordination, even leadership qualities!<

Each song in this comprehensive collection is accompanied by an introduction, music notation and detailed instruction. At a time when the ‘street playground’ is overrun with cars and the digital age is beckoning children indoors, Boys and Girls Come Out To Play presents a timely record of this important element of our cultural heritage and will also be welcomed as sheer entertainment by children and adults alike. This CD is also available for download via iTunes and Amazon Music.