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World: Celtic Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Strange Turns

by Beyond The Pale

If you like fiddle, pipes, flute accordion and great vocals and like to dance, you'll love this eclectic mix of Celtic oriented traditional and original songs and tunes with influences from around the world.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Julia Delaney/Jolene/Jerusalem Ridge
4:29 $0.99
2. Drunken Piper/Glass of Beer/Dick Gossips
3:39 $0.99
3. Green Among The Gold
4:04 $0.99
4. Travelling North America
5:43 $0.99
5. The Fate of the Children of Lir
4:18 $0.99
6. With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm
3:50 $0.99
7. The Hoochie Dance
4:07 $0.99
8. Old and Strong
2:46 $0.99
9. Chicago Jig/ Andy Dejarliss/ The After Dinner Irish Jig
3:52 $0.99
10. The Red Haired Boys/Garret Barry's
5:50 $0.99
11. Honest Work
2:01 $0.99
12. The Earl's Chair/Baltimore Salute/Martin Wynne's
4:35 $0.99
13. The Widow/Out on the Ocean
4:43 $0.99
14. Sputnik's Lullaby
3:17 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Beyond The Pale produces music so beautiful and captivating, you can scarcely believe these people have created sounds this lush and full.".....( M.R. Jones,E-Guide Magazine)

"...a good showcase of talent...A band with a promising future"....( Dirty Linen Magazine).

"These people are high energy performers who put their hearts and souls into the music. A truly unusual and fascinating group." ( Bob Bryant, E-Guide)

"Beyond the Pale made there debut appearance at the Pineknot Music Co-Op in Nacogdoches Texas this past Friday
the 25th(Oct 2002) and what a debut it was. This group of top shelf Celtic musicians from Tyler Texas wowed the crowd with expert playing and genuine enthusiasm for their music that was pure joy.
( John Hazelwood , music coordinator Pine knot Music co-op , Nacogdoches , Texas

"I just can't stop listening to it. The vocals are wonderful, the arrangements are fantastic and i just can't get enough of it!" --Catherine Sherer

" If you're listening to Beyond The Pale, your feet are moving!"

"Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful music with us at the Pineknot. I just loved it. You have mastered the art of the Irish through your innovative musical mix. Your new CD STRANGE TURNS has stayed in my car player ever since the concert. Great songs, expressive instrumentation, & smooth
transitions into tunes that make me want to cheer! And you put it all together with gentle grace
and a sense of humor.

This is what Beyond The Pale's reviewers have said about their records and performances.

Beyond The Pale have taken their celtic oriented traditional roots and mixed them with such a varieyt of instruments, world influences and vocal styles that they have created something totally new.

Their CD " STRANGE TURNS" covers a lot of beautiful ground, from a set of Breton An Dros based on bagpipe and fiddle duet backed by elcetric bass and trap drums to a four part a capella cover of a Todd Rundgren song.

Here's something about the tracks:

Julia Delaney/Jolene/ Jerusalem Ridge ( Julia Delaney-Traditional Irish reel; "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, Velvet Apple Music; "Jerusalem Ridge by Bill Monroe, Bill Monroe Music) This could be the soundtrack for the story of an Irish woman named Julia Delaney who moves to Appalachia... her man takes up with another woman and a cat-fight ensues. Lead vocal - Christy McLeod

Drunken Piper/ Glass of Beer/ Dick Gossip's ( Traditional Scottish and Irish reels)

Green Among the Gold (by Steve Barnes, used by permission). By the turn of the nineteenth century, thousands of Irish prisoners were being transported to the "Fatal Shore" of Australia, then England's penal colony. True to their spirit, the Irish brought their culture, their music and dance with them. 200 years later, it's still thriving. Betsy first heard this lovely and poignant song at the North Texas Irish Festival from the singing of Sean Keane. Lead vocal - Betsy Cummings

Traveling North America Set (Mouth of the Tobique/Kitchen Girl/Viva el West Side). This set is aptly named as it starts with a French Canadian Reel, then travels to the Appalachian Mountains and ends up with a conjunto Tex-Mex polka.

The Fate of the Children of Lir ( by Gordon McLeod). An ancient Irish legend inspired Gordon's retelling of this sorrowful tale with this song. A widowed king, beguiled by beauty, chooses a truly wicked stepmother for his four children, Fingula, Aod, Fiachra and Conn. Thanks to Matt Cranitch for his expert help with the pronunciation of the Irish names(hope we got them right!). Lead vocal - Christy McLeod; guest musician: Dirje Smith on cello.

With Her Head Tucked Under Her Arm (R.P.Weston & Bert Lee; Francis Day & Hunter Ltd). This is a song from the Thirties poking fun at Anne Boleyn and Henry the 8th. As a child , Gordon learned this from his father, H.F. McLeod. Lead vocal - Gordon McLeod

The Hoochie Dance (a set of traditional Breton dances called "AnDros" followed by "Leaving Port Diedrich" by Richard Kean). Christy named this the Hoochie Dance because, well...it makes you want to dance the hoochie-coo . Thanks to E.J. Jones for the 'clan-dros'. Guest musician: Morgan McLeod on drums.

Old and Strong ("Like a Mountain" by Naomi Littlebear, 1975/ "Mountain Song" by Holly Near, Hereford Music, 1978, used by permission). Betsy first heard these two songs from the singing of Janet Russell and Christine Kydd of Scotland. "Like a Mountain" is a peace march sung as a round and " Mountain Song" was written as a protest against strip mining. Vocals : Betsy Cummings and Christy McLeod

Chicago Jig/ Andy DeJarliss/ The After Dinner Irish Jig A traditional jig followed by a tune composed by the Canadian fiddler, Andy DeJarliss. The last jig comes from a 1908 tune book by J.W. Pepper, possibly compiled for minstrel shows....it is probably neither Irish nor appropriate for dancing after a big meal...but fun to play! Modulation to A minor by courtesy of Betsy.

The Red-Haired Boys ( by Gordon McLeod, followed by traditional jig Garrett Barry's). Tales of charm and dealings with the supernatural are often found in Irish folklore. Gordon's song brings to life the story of Biddy O'Muckcross, an aspiring but untalented fiddler, who is aided by "two wee red-haired boys" toward musical renown. The story comes from Caoimhin MacAoidh's delightful book " Between The Jigs and Reels". To quote the late Irish fiddler, Bobby Casey, "not much is known about Garrett Barry..." however, this well-known jig bears the name of the renowned piper from County Clare, Ireland. Lead vocal - Christy McLeod

Honest Work (by Todd Rundgren; Fiction Music/Humanoid Music). This contemporary song deals with the pertinent subject of work ( and lack of it) and adapting to change ( a subject to which we all must relate). Lead vocals - John Delaney and Betsy Cummings

The Earl's Chair/ Baltimore Salute/ Martin Wynne's ( Irish reels- the first traditional, the last two composed by Josie McDermott and Martin Wynne)

The Widow (by Mick Ryan, used by permission/ Out On the Ocean; Traditional Irish jig) The Widow is a humorous and charming tale of a strong woman battling it out with the Devil. Her "war" tactics are intriguing.
Lead vocal - Betsy Cummings

Sputnik's Lullaby (by Richard Kean...a lovely tune for his toothless cat) Guest musician: Dirje Smith on cello.

Beyond The Pale are:

Gordon McLeod: Fiddle, guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, clarinet, piano, percussion and vocals

Christy McLeod: Guitar, percussion, vocals

John Delaney: Flute, whistles, hammered dulcimer, saxophones, concertina, vocals

Betsy Cummings: Accordion, percussion, vocals

Richard Kean: Highland bagpipes, Scottish small pipes

Guest Musicians: Dirje Smith on cello and Morgan McLeod on drums

Strange Turns was produced by Gordon McLeod.

Cover art and design by Kevin Muldoon

For more information & bookings, visit www.beyond-the-pale.com

Special thanks.....
To guest musicians Morgan McLeod and Dirje Smith ... to Matt Cranitch, Travis Ener, Andrew Trube for their creative support...to our families : Isabel Nieves (for patience & support), Liam & Ryan Delaney (for comic relief); Melanie Fox Kean ; Brent George, Cle & Ray Youngblood (for all the pet care), Robbie (the cat) Cummings... to our friends: Mike Hryekewicz & John Burleson (for the great tunes & grins), Susan Owen , Jerri Brown , John & Sandi Hebley, Lee Kelton & Lybo Buchanan , Matthew Williams, Debbie White, Legacy, Catherine Sherer & Chuck Bishop, Ed Williams and to all of our friends and fans, especially the unwaivering support of The Southwest Celtic Music Association.

Gordon McLeod plays fiddle, guitar, bodhran, tin whistle, sings lead and backing vocals and composes original tunes and songs that the band performs. Gordon has been performing and composing music all of his life as a solo artist, a member of several bands and as a recording session artist. BTPs latest CD Strange Turns features two of Gordon's original songs. His original composition " The Wild Geese" is featured on the North Texas Irish Festival's compilation CD " In The Tradition' featuring the music of the past performers at the Festival.

Betsy Cummings plays piano accordion and bodhran and sings a wonderful array of traditional and contemporary songs. Betsy has been performing Celtic music for many years and is also President of the Southwest Celtic Music Association. Formerly with the renowned group Lost Tribe, Betsy's wonderful voice combined with her sensitive feeling for the music, skillful fingers on the accordion keys, along with her knack for picking the most captivating songs add a new dimension to Beyond The Pale's sound.

Christy McLeod's natural soulfulness shows not only in her beautiful singing and guitar playing but in her wit and instant rapport with her audiences as well. Christy began performing in her early teens. She inherited her Dad's love of bagpipe and fiddle music and so naturally ended up in a bagpipe and fiddle band. She plays guitar, harmonica, bodhran and percussion and sings lead and backing vocals. Christy is also a gifted and witty songwriter. Her composition "That Rakish Fiddler Hardiman" can be heard on Beyond The Pale's first CD " Life is All Chequered".

John Delaney brings a wealth of talent to Beyond The Pale. John plays flute, hammered dulcimer, tin whistle, concertina and saxophone and adds his dulcet baritone to the band's vocal performances as both a lead and backing vocalist. John has been performing Irish, Scottish and other traditional music for many years with several well known groups including Lost Tribe and Rakish Paddy. His multi-instrumental talent has added a depth and texture to Beyond The Pale's performances that will delight old fans and inspire new ones.

Richard Kean hails from Edinburgh, Scotland and plays, what else, the Highland bagpipes, as well as the Scottish small pipes, Border pipes and tin whistle. Richard joins the band for most of their performances as his other musical commitments allow. His power grace and technical ability are astounding but what makes his performances with Beyond The Pale standout is his ability to blend his piping musically with the band's sound and style. Two of Richard's original compositions are featured on BTP's latest CD Strange Turns . Richard spent many years in Canada before returning to Edinburgh and finally settling in Houston Texas where he currently resides.

Beyond The Pale have been featured performers at numerous traditional music festivals including The North Texas Irish Festival (Dallas), Celtic Heritage festival (Bedford), and The Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games (Arlington), Houston Highland Games as well as frequent concert and club performances throughout Texas and the region. Band members make frequent trips to Ireland and Scotland to study and perform traditional music.



to write a review

Hot Press Magazine ( Ireland)

This five piece band hail from Texas and play an eclectic blend of Irish, Scottish, Breton, Canadian and
American and original tunes plus contemporary songs by everyone from Holly Near to Todd Rundgren. The first
track on the CD sets the pace, with the Irish session classic “Julia Delaney” segueing into an alt-countryish
rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”, which is in turn followed seamlessly by the old Bill Monroe bluegrass number
‘Jerusalem Ridge”. Two strong female singers -Christy McLeod and Betsy Cummings- handle most of the lead
vocal duties, but happily the splendidly gravel-voiced Gordon McLeod is on hand to relieve any excess sugar.
Highland piper Richard Kean adds a fine Caledonian element to the mix.
SARAH McQUAID--Hot Press Magazine March 13, 2003

Catherine Sherer

The vocals are wonderful, the arrangements are fantastic, and I just can't
From: "Catherine M Sherer"
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 2:00 AM

Subject: Strange Turns

I just wanted y'all to know i really love this album! I just can't stop listening to it! The whole album is really good, it actually moves me! The
vocals are wonderful, the arrangements are fantastic, and I just can't
get enough of it. What y'all've done is really impressive. and i just thought you should know . . .

Catherine Sherer

Dirty Linen

--mesmerizing--a band that likes to blend genres, and does it well
Beyond The Pale, a quintet from Texas incorporates a little bit of everything on Strange Turns (self-produced BTP 3059 ( 2002)).

The primary orientation is Irish-Scottish, but this is a band that likes to blend genres and does it well. There are a couple of highly effective bagpipe-led medleys, including a mesmerizing Breton tune set dubbed “The Hoochie Dance”, a surprising Celtified cover of Dolly Parton’s country hit “Jolene” that’s sandwiched between and Irish reel and a Bill Monroe tune, and a fiddle/squeezebox/hammered dulcimer track called “Traveling North America Set” that begins with a Quebec reel, jumps into an Appalachian clog dance, and ends up with a Tex-Mex polka. Other songs range from an Irish transport ballad to a music-hall ditty to a gospel-flavored a capella chorus.

The Ceili--John Hebley

Go get this one,! You’re gonna love it.
CD Review
Strange Turns – Beyond the Pale

Take components of two of the finest bands in North Texas, mix together and blend in one heck of a piper and one cannot fail to produce exceptional music. The newly reformed Beyond the Pale combines the talents of Gordon and Christy McLeod with Betsy Cummings and John Delaney from Lost Tribe and the very fine piping of Richard Kean. This, their first CD with this new five-piece lineup, is all that I expected it to be. Strange Turns, so named because of the way it suddenly changes gear and goes of in a new direction, is a mixture of old and new, jigs, reels, and even polka, traditional and modern. It contains some of the songs that we have heard in live sets for some time as well as new and original material.
Who but Beyond the Pale could combine the traditional Julia Delaney, played on the fiddle by Gordon, with Dolly Parton’s Jolene sung by Christy and then take another turn by ending with Gordon’s fiddle and foot tapping in Jerusalem Ridge. That’s the way this CD starts, and it continues with the same meanderings.
Betsy Cummings takes the lead as she sings one of my all time favorites, Green Among The Gold. A beautiful ballad telling the story of how the Irish prisoners who were transported from Britain to the penal colony of Australia, and how they took their own culture of music and dance with them to the new land. 200 years later the Irish influence in southeast Australia is as strong as it ever was.
The ancient Irish legend of the Children of Lir was the inspiration behind Gordon’s original composition, The Fate of the Children of Lir. The legend tells of a widowed king Lir, beguiled by beauty, chooses a wicked stepmother Aoife, for his four children. Over time, Aoife becomes jealous of the affection Lir has for his children. She decides to take them into the forest and leave them there. Once in the forest, she decides instead to cast a spell on the children. She transforms them into swans; swans that can sing. They are forced to endure this fate for 900 years.
Just when think you understand where the music is leading you it takes yet another strange turn. From the legends of ancient Ireland we are rapidly transported to the all to horrific truth of King Henry VIII’s England. With Her Head lucked Underneath Her Arm is a macabre piece of musical wit, by Bert Lee, R.P. and Harris Weston, referring to Anne Boleyn, the most famous of King Henry Vlll's unlucky wives. The King had her beheaded, but soon found that she wasn't through with him-for every night at midnight she walked the tower, her bloody head held underneath her arm. Gordon puts on a strong London accent, stressing the “‘ead tooked oonderneef ‘er arm” to sing us this tale. The Yeoman Warders of the Tower (Beefeaters) will tell you with an absolutely straight face that even today her ghost can be seen at midnight walking the high battlements.

There is hardly anything more stirring than a good pipe tune. Richard Kean’s pipes really sing in The Hoochie Dance, aptly named because that is just what this tune makes one want to do. Try it and see if you can sit still all the way to the end. And who could resist Sputnik’s Lullaby, Richard’s song to his toothless cat. Throughout the CD, the tunes are as much fun as the songs, even for someone like me who really gets “into” singing along.
For most of the CD, and for that matter during live concerts, John Delaney is the master behind the hammered dulcimer, or flute or whistle. On Honest Work, however, he walks to the front and delights us with an a capella version of Todd Rundgren’s all too timely tale of union workers who are not afraid to work, but who are sadly driven to drink and despair through lack of honest work.
A new song that I have never heard before I got a sample of this CD takes you on yet another strange turn. I’ll not spoil it by telling you the whole story behind the song. Suffice it to say that The Widow is an amusing tale sung by Betsy, of the battle between the widow and the Devil and, more importantly, which one wins.
If you don’t have a Beyond the Pale CD in your collection, shame on you; get out and buy this one! If you do already have one or more Beyond the Pale CD’s, go get this one, too! You’re gonna love it.
Beyond the Pale are joined on this CD by Morgan McLeod on drums and Dirje Smith on Cello. Production, recording and mastering is by Gordon McLeod.