4 to the Bar | Another Son

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World: Celtic Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Another Son

by 4 to the Bar

Strong songwriting, emotional sweep from tragic to comic, resonant vocals. This album has been called "a watershed," "one of the best [Celtic collections] since the Waterboys' Fishermans Blues recording," and Four to the Bar's "masterpiece."
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Newry Highwayman
4:28 $0.99
2. Another Son
4:30 $0.99
3. The Western Shore
5:02 $0.99
4. Shelli Sullivan's/Passing My Time/Marie Harvey's Delight
4:18 $0.99
5. NY's for Paddy
4:45 $0.99
6. Something's Come In
4:23 $0.99
7. Catch the Wind
2:55 $0.99
8. World Turned Upside-Down
2:34 $0.99
9. The Shores of America
5:21 $0.99
10. The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water
2:46 $0.99
11. Skibbereen
5:10 $0.99
12. Getting Medieval
3:57 $0.99
13. No Matter Where You Go
3:47 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
On June 23, 1995, Four to the Bar officially released Another Son, its second full-length album, with a record-release party at New York City folk landmark Tommy Makem's Irish Pavilion. It would turn out to be a standing-room only event, and the beginning of a national tour during which they would share billing with acts like Freddie White, Cherish the Ladies, Trisha Yearwood, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

The album received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. Dirty Linen magazine called the band's original songs "powerful" and "profound." Rock 'n' Reel said the recording was "haunting." The Daytona Beach News-Journal called it "an eclectic mix of ballads, reels, and uptempo story songs."

But in spite of this success and the band's fast-rising star, Four to the Bar stopped performing together in late 1995, and distribution for this celebrated CD came to a halt. Not surprisingly, the band's influence did not:

--Saratoga Springs' hugely popular Celtic group The McKrells covered Four to the Bar's "Something's Come In" on both 1997's Better Days and 1999's The McKrells Live

--Irish trad supergroup Solas included a unique version of "The Newry Highwayman" on its self-titled debut in 1996

--Even as late as 1999, for their contribution to Bleecker Street, an homage to early-1960's folk, Black 47 chose "I Ain't Marching Anymore," the Phil Ochs song that Four to the Bar resurrected on Craic on the Road.

Now, the Irish Side has arranged for a limited re-release of this classic recording. If you're familiar with this album, you already know about the strength of the songwriting, the emotional sweep from tragic to comic, and the resonant vocals of David Yeates, quite possibly the best folk singer since Liam Clancy.

Whether the band will ever be back on stage again is a question only the lads themselves can answer. In the meantime, though, we have the recordings. The Irish Side is proud to be able to make this dynamic, soulful collection available once again.



to write a review

Dirty Linen (February/March 1996)

Top honors...a step forward...powerful songs...fiery fiddling...resonant vocals.
Top honors this time go to New York-based Irish group Four to the Bar for their third album Another Son [FTB003]. Their last album, Craic on the Road, was a good live set of old songs, but it didn't thoroughly transcend the ballad- group style of the Clancys and the Irish Rovers.

Another Son is a step forward in many ways. for one thing, there is more variety to the material. The band members wrote about half of the songs, took others from Donovan, Dick Gaughan, and William Butler Yeats, and added some energetic sets of tunes. Several of the original songs- -notably Pat Clifford's "The Western Shore," "Martin Kelleher's "The Shores of America" and David Yeates's "NY's for Paddy"--refer to the experience of emigration, which is still one of the biggest issues facing Ireland and Irish America. All three are powerful songs that demonstrate the profound ambivalence felt by most emigrants caught between a homeland they love and an adopted land where opportunities are better.

Only two traditional songs appear, "The Newry Highwayman" and "Skibbereen." The former is one of the "good night" ballads relaying a criminal's last words from the gallows-- in fact it's the only "good night" ballad I know that actually contains the words "good night"! The latter is a heartbreaking tale of the famine and subsequent exodus from Ireland. Both, also, are emigration songs--The Newry Highwayman does his robbery in London's Grosvenor Square, and the narrators of Skibbereen have left Ireland behind.

Each song is given an appropriate, contemporary, mostly acoustic and very Irish arrangement featuring guitar, fiddle, bouzouki, banjo, flute, whistle, bodhran, piano, bass... the usual Irish instruments. Keith O'Neill's fiery fiddling is a highlight (he's 1985's All-Ireland champion), as is David Yeates's resonant lead vocal. Check these guys out, they're here to stay.

Rock 'n' Reel Magazine (Cumbria, England)

Four to the Bar are a very talented bunch indeed.
A New York Irish Celtic based Four to the Bar is made up of Martin Kelleher, David Yeates, Pat Clifford, and Keith O'Neill. Their first studio CD and third album, Another Son begins with a slow haunting "Newry Highwayman." The ghost of early Spirit of the West inhabits the title track while "Shelli Sullivan's" and "Getting Medieval" show their instrumental talents. "Catch the Wind" and "World Turned Upside-Down" show their interpretive side and "NY's for Paddy" has a commentary of the emigrants practical experience in New York. Another Son alludes to a band that have not had their fair share of acclaim. Four to the Bar are a very talented bunch indeed.

karen coulon

pure pleasure ! i'm so happy to hear ya !!!!!
when i heard the cd the 1st time i loved it and everytime i listen again it means even more. thank-you for a great irish outlook.

McKrells Newsletter (January 2003)

One of the best collections ... since the Waterboys' Fishermans Blues...
A few years ago a band called Four to the Bar crashed into the Celtic music scene and for several years they burned a trail through clubs and festivals across the country, and there are still to this day spots where the grass has not grown back. A recording called Another Son was their legacy and is still in my opinion one of the best collections of contemporary original and traditional Celtic songs since the Waterboys' Fishermans Blues recording. The McKrells cover one of their songs on This Past Year and Live. Sad to say, this trend-setting group is no longer performing, but you can get this CD.... check it out--you will not be disappointed.


"Something's Come In" is a true ballad, gentle and beautiful...
"Something's Come In" [by Four to the Bar's Martin Kelleher] is a true ballad, gentle and beautiful.... evocative and simple, as the best ballads should be.

Mark Johnson

Another Son
outstanding Album!! As a long time guitar picker and piano player and lover or the Irish, my wife and I were fortunate enough to have seen the boys live at Finnegan's Wake in Key West, Florida in August 1995. We bought the Another CD and have cherished it like gold since. I even taught my wife the chords to Another Son. We're extremely saddened to know the fellas stopped playing. Wish we knew where they were these days, especially if they're back in the emerald isle. We'd go there to hear them!!