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Elias Alexander & the Bywater Band | Bywater (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Parks & Patrick Bowling)

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World: Celtic Folk: Scottish Contemporary Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Bywater (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Parks & Patrick Bowling)

by Elias Alexander & the Bywater Band

Debut album of fresh and exciting original music in the Scottish and Irish traditions from Boston based Bywater Band. One of the most exciting new albums on the traditional music scene.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bywater (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Parks & Patrick Bowling)
4:05 album only
2. Grammy's Trip to Oregon (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Parks & Patrick Bowling)
4:54 album only
3. The Reclamation (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Parks & Patrick Bowling)
4:42 album only
4. Trying Not to Die (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Parks & Patrick Bowling)
5:12 album only
5. Murray's (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Pakrs & Patrick Bowling)
5:53 album only
6. Sìleas (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Parks & Patrick Bowling)
4:57 album only
7. Lilly's Welcome (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Parks & Patrick Bowling)
3:21 album only
8. Sunset Run (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Parks & Patrick Bowling)
4:39 album only
9. Earth and Stone (feat. Eamon Sefton, Kathleen Parks & Patrick Bowling)
4:20 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Elias Alexander-Border pipes, lead vocals, fiddle (track 5), low whistle (track 6), cajon (tracks 2 and 4)

Eamon Sefton-Guitar, backing vocals

Kathleen Parks-Five string fiddle

Patrick Bowling-flute, whistle, bodhrán (tracks 1 and 5)

Nate Sabat-bass

Neil Pearlman-accordion (tracks 3, 5, and 9)

Jake Galloway-trumpet (tracks 2 and 5), trombone (track 2)


All arrangements by the band, except
tracks 3 and 8 by the band and Neil Pearlman.

Recorded at Wellspring Sound Studios in Acton, MA by Matt Hayes.
Mixed at Castlesound Studio in Pencaitland, Scotland by Stuart Hamilton.
Mastered in Charlotte, VT by Lane Gibson.

Photography by Louise Bichan.
Design by Audrey Landry.

Produced by Elias Alexander.

Elias plays border pipes by Nate Banton with drone reeds by Will Woodson, a Shaw whistle, Colin Kyo highland pipes, and a fiddle made by a very special but unknown person in China.

Eamon Plays a guitar by Jean Larrivee.

Kathleen plays a five string fiddle by Gary E. Bartig.

Patrick plays a flute by Patrick Olwell, Whistles by Michael Burke "D" and Jerry Freeman tweaked alto generation "A," Uilleann Pipes by Bruce Childress, and bodhrán by Brendan White

Nate play basses by Emmanuel Wilfer, Germany (tracks 1-7, 9), and My Shen (China), set up by Jed Kriegel (track 8).

In 2009, whistle in hand, I sat by a little stream in Glen Affric, Scotland, which I call Allt nan Clach Bhreac. The stream made such beautiful music that I played along until it gave me a tune. And somehow, some barrier snapped there, and and I gave myself to traditional music as a major part of my life.

A few years later, mired in depression, I took a break from college and landed miraculously in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. That city caught me, set me on my feet, and put me on a path towards making music my main work.

My tunes on this album have come from years of fun, struggle, and concentration. They are my contribution to the stream of traditional music.

I’ve learned so much from Patrick, Kathleen, and Eamon, about how to play with Irish freedom, about improvisation, and about arranging, and I’m very lucky to have been able to work with them on this album.

I dedicate this recording to the many waters that my music has flowed from--Allt nan Clach Bhreac, Randolph’s Leap, Ashland Creek, and the Big Muddy.

I'm so happy to share these tunes with you. It's been an adventure to learn, arrange, and grow with each and every person during and after the making of this album. I really love the tunes Elias has written, and I know you will too. 

Growing up, every time I'd go and see my Mamo, Masie Mannion O'Brien, she'd have her favorite Irish tunes playing throughout the house while she would put on a delicious chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, and the best gravy this side of the Atlantic. She's given me such wonderful memories and stories of her early life by 'the sea' filled with love, laughter, and strength. And I've loved her every step of the way. So, I'd like to dedicate this album to the ninety-four year old lady, all the way from Rosmuck, County Galway, Ireland. My little rose bud, my little tulip, my only sunshine, my Mamo. 

This album represents a passion of mine that finds its way into every part of my life. When I'm playing music from Scottish and Irish traditions I am the happiest I can be. I've spent the greater part of my life going to fiddle camps, playing in sessions, performing on stage, and enjoying Celtic music in every other way possible. I feel that the music on this album is a window into some of those experiences and a summary of my growth as a musician.

When Elias first approached me a few years ago about joining him on a recording project, I was immediately intrigued. Learning his original tunes, being inspired to write my own contribution, and collaborating with everyone on this endeavor has been a truly enjoyable and rewarding experience.


We'd all like to thank all our kickstarter supporters. Especially Gair and Rick, Cheryl McCarthy, Trisha Mandel, Tracey Long, David and Elizabeth Cowie, Carolyn Shaffer, Katherine Hanson, Michael Danforth, and Susan Grandt. We could never have done it without you!
Thanks to Stuart Hamilton for his patience and dedication to his art form.
Thanks to Audrey for her patience and incredible design work. Sin thu, a chaileag!
Thanks to Matt Hayes for his patience and support.

Thank you so much to my family, friends, teachers, Brian O'Donovan for helping me get my first show in Boston and supporting me with many others after, The Burren, Club Passim, BCMFest, all of our Kickstarter backers, and the continuous supportive fans.

Thank you to all of my teachers, especially those I've met at the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School, who have shaped me to be the musician I am today. Thank you to all of my fiddle friends. You make the joy in my life possible. And thank you most of all to my parents; my father for putting a guitar in my hands, and my mother for bringing me to my first fiddle camp where, together, we discovered the beauty that is fiddle music.

Thanks to my mom, Shoshana Alexander, and to my Grammy Carol Berry.
To Murray Huggins for all the encouragement and support. I could never have done this without the foundation you gave me. To Alasdair Fraser for believing in my journey and for giving me a place in the communities you have created. To Tim Cummings for convincing me not to give up on piping. To Neil Pearlman for the advice, encouragement, and second ear throughout. To Gillebride MacMillan, for the tunes. To Adhamh O'Broin for the help with Earth and Stone, tha u nad ghaisgeach!To Dorcas and Edmund Sefton for the use of your house for the week in August. To Mikhail Pinyo for being my brother. To my cousin Frank Berry. Rock on! To Hanneke, Laura, and the BCMFest crew who first welcomed me into the Boston scene.

I also want to thank Eamon, who started Fresh Haggis with me, Patrick, who went over these tunes so many times and taught me so much, and Kathleen, for her patience and incredible musicality.

There's no great way to acknowledge everyone in a liner note who helped, inspired, and taught me along the way, but I'd like to thank everyone from Boston's Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley CCÉ, and in particular my flute teachers - Shannon Heaton, Jimmy Noonan, and James Hamilton. An extra big thanks to all my family, and especially my parents - Cheryl McCarthy and Michael Bowling.

1. Bywater 4:06
I Wish the Wars Were All Over-by Tim Eriksen (BMI), timeriksenmusic.com. Words based on the Timothy Connor manuscript republished in A Sailor’s Songbag: An American Rebel in an English Prison, 1777-79, by George G. Carey.”
The Bywater Jig-by Elias Alexander
The jig was written on a porch in The Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans.

2. Grammy's Trip 4:54
Grammy's Trip to Oregon-by Elias Alexander
Antrim Rose-trad.
The Knowledge Drop Karate Chop-by Elias Alexander
The first tune was written to commemorate my Grandma's move to Oregon at the age of 97. She looked out the window and remarked how beautiful the clouds were, as she drank her beer. ~Elias

3. The Reclamation 4:41
by Elias Alexander
In support of all those taking back their culture and their land.

4. Trying Not to Die 5:11
Trying Not to Die-by Patrick Bowling
The Sea-by Kathleen Parks
Trying Not to Die was written by Patrick and named by Elias after Patrick admitted to having written the tune on the whistle while driving...

5. Murray's 5:53
Oran nan Giomach-by Seonaidh Caimbeul
Alice Piel Walkway-by Murray Huggins
Eveleth Farm-by Fresh Haggis
The Best Session Ever-by Elias Alexander
The first tune is originally a Gaelic song, which we learned from Gillebride MacMillan. Murray Huggins is an amazing artist from Southern Oregon who makes Colin Kyo bagpipes. He was Elias's first pipe teacher. Eveleth Farm in Stow, Massachusetts, is where Eamon grew up. The Best Session Ever happened in Boston after Hanneke Cassel and Mike Block's wedding.

6. Sileas 4:57
by Dougie Hunter
I first heard this tune played by the band Dochás in Canada around the age of 15. The show was one thing that inspired me to turn away from competition piping and toward traditional music. ~Elias

7. Lilly's Welcome 3:21
Lilly's Welcome to Vermont
by Elias Alexander
Written for Lilly Pearlman.

8. Sunset Run 4:38
Sunset Run-by Elias Alexander
Enemy Feminine Anemone-by Elias Alexander
A tune to commemorate running up in the daylight and down in the dark. Followed by one in honor of silly phrases that are hard to say.

9. Earth and Stone 4:19
by Elias Alexander
Dedicated to Grammy Carol Berry, whose experiences inspired the second verse.



to write a review

Tasha Harmon, co-director of Kendálin

Bywater has become one of my favorite albums
It's rare to find an album with this combination of skill, energy, and feeling. I saw Elias Alexander and the Bywater Band live, at one of the best shows I've ever seen, and immediately bought the album, fully prepared to be disappointed, since albums almost never capture the energy and chemistry of live shows, but Bywater does not disappoint; there is grief and joy and mischief and a lot of amazing playing. The writing and arrangements draw richly on traditional Celtic tunes, but are original and wonderful. This music will open up your heart, and make you grin. Don't miss it.