IONA | A Celebration of Twenty

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A Celebration of Twenty

by IONA

Traditional pan-celtic pioneers celebrating 20 years with a double CD - one disk of 11 all-new tracks and one of 15 tracks from the previous 5 albums all digitally re-mastered. Music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Spain, Quebec & more.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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1. The Emigrant's Song
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2. The Ashplant - Reels
3:54 $0.99
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3. V'la Bon Vent
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4. Lily of the West
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5. Bachgen Bach O Dincer
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6. Campbell's Farewell - March/Reels
5:01 $0.99
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7. Cantos de Arriero da Fonsagrada
6:20 $0.99
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8. Seallaibh Curagh Eoighainn
4:32 $0.99
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9. The Highwayman
3:22 $0.99
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10. Marquis of Huntley - Strathspey/Reels
3:28 $0.99
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11. The Real Old Mountain Dew
3:58 $0.99
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12. Hills of Connemara
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13. Fosgail An Daras Dhan Tailleir Fhidleir
4:13 $0.99
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14. Fare You Well
5:25 $0.99
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15. Came Ye O'er Frae France
2:33 $0.99
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16. Gower Wassail
4:33 $0.99
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17. Atholl Highlanders/Kesh Jig
3:19 $0.99
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18. Lark in the Morning/Wild Geese at Night
4:09 $0.99
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19. Qu'avez-vous, oui, Belle Blonde?
4:13 $0.99
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20. Llongau Caernarfon
6:00 $0.99
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21. J'ai Vu Le Loup
3:10 $0.99
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22. Donald MacGillavry
5:34 $0.99
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23. Where Are You Going
4:05 $0.99
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24. Dacw 'Ngariad i Lawr yn y Berllan
5:40 $0.99
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25. Voici Le Mois de Mai
4:41 $0.99
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26. Te Traa Goll Thie
4:18 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
IONA has forged new directions in Celtic music since 1986. Having traced the roots of our ancestors, physically and musically, we’ve learned that some of the richest material is to be found on our own (US) shores. Through evolutions of wonderful musicians and friends, all of whom have led our steps in more and more challenging directions, IONA continues to grow and prosper. A Celebration of Twenty is a thank you to all those who have enhanced and appreciated our music. What an incredible journey it’s been... IONA in 2006 is: co-founders Barbara Tresidder Ryan (lead vocals, Celtic bouzouki, guitars, bodhrán and tambourine) and Bernard Argent (wooden flute, whistles, doumbek, vocals, shakers and bombarde) since 1986, Chuck Lawhorn (bass guitars, vocals and low whistles) since 2001, and Andrew Dodds (fiddle) since 2004; and was: Barbara Seymour, flute, whistles, guitar and vocals (1986 - 89), Alan Oresky, fiddle (1987 - 89), Diana McFadden, cello, mandolin and bouzouki (1991 - 98), Mary Fitzgerald, Celtic harp and vocals (1998 - 99), Bob Mitchell, Highland and Scottish small pipes (1998 - 2003), Nick Smiley, double bass, mandolin, bouzouki and vocals (1999 - 2001) Susan Walmsley (Hyams) on feet (2000 - 2004) and Ian Lawther, pipes great and small, concertina, whistles, clogging (2003 - 2004).
Disk 1 - NEW GROWTH
1. The Emigrant’s Song/Saltash/Kelenn(Holly Tree)Cornish trad 3:00
Thanks to Dalla, we found this song of an American returned to the homeland, which we sing in shape note style. Two traditional Cornish tunes evolve from the song, one a dance tune, the other a Christmas carol.
2. The Ash Plant/The Bean Sídhe(Banshee)/Brenda Stubbert’s Reel (Jerry Holland)/Concertina Reel Irish trad/Cape Breton 3:54
Andrew’s Blazin’ at Beauly workshops in Scotland are treasure troves for our repertoire! He rips through this basically Irish set, joined by Bernard on a side trip to Cape Breton on Brenda Stubbert’s...
3. Laridenn/V'la le bon vent (It’s a good wind)/Lexie McAskill Breton/Québécois/Scottish trad 3:52
A Breton dance tune leads to a popular Québécois song accompanied by Barbara on bottine souriante (traditional foot rhythm), and culminates in a wild Scottish reel. The song, reputed to have been sung notably by lumberjacks, is of Breton origin. It describes how the naughty son of the king shoots a white duck on the pond belonging to the narrator, and was probably a children’s song based on political satire. We interweave the tunes to demonstrate their similarity: it’s what we do best! Chuck still wonders why his 5/4 bass line never quite matches up...
4. When first I Went to Ireland (Lakes of Pontchartrain)/O’Keefe’s Slide/Lily of the West/Johnnie Cope Irish/American/Scottish trad 6:22
Sam Henry, a prolific collector of Northern Irish tunes, records a song that translated in Amerikay to one we now hear most frequently as Lakes of Pontchartrain, introduced here by Bernard as a waltz. Another offshoot traveled west where it evolved into the haunting song, Lily of the West, one that Barbara sang in her teens. Chuck gives the entire arrangement a bit of a jazzy blues beat: after all, we’re in America now! 5. She bosun dy row ayns Dover s’chie/Bachgen Bach o Dincer (Little Tinker Lad)/The Teapot Jig (Dick Lee)Manx/Welsh trad 3:31
An ancient Manx march precedes a Welsh song about a beloved tinker who for many years wandered through the land, doing his work cheaply and cheerfully, until one day he comes no more. The chorus is basically nonsense words that seem to echo an English song popular in the Victorian era, The Knickerbocker Line, which plagiarized the tune of the Welsh song. It’s probable that Welsh speakers parodied the English words that they imperfectly understood. Dick Lee’s Teapot Jig, actually a slip jig, seemed to fit in handily, after which Andrew plays with the time signatures of the march to lead us out of the musical maze we create. View the lyrics.
6. Campbell’s Farewell to Redcastle/Caber Fèidh (the Deer’s Antlers)/The Fourth Floor(Gordon Duncan) Scottish trad 5:02
Andrew starts out with a brisk march, often played as an Appalachian reel (Campbell’s Farewell to Red Gap) in A, and steps up the pace gradually to rip up and down the Fourth Floor, originally conceived as a pipe tune.
7. Foliada de Berducido/Nevado Esta (It’s Snowing)/Cantos de Arriero da Fonsagrada (Song of the mule driver of Fonsagrada)/Procesión del Inca Galician/Bolivian trad 6:20
In this unusual set, we seek to demonstrate the influence of the music brought by Galician and Asturian sailors from Spain’s Atlantic coastline, who crewed on the Spanish voyages of discovery, to Central and South America. Barbara sings the plea of a mule driver from a small town in the eastern mountains of Galicia to his mules to climb bravely up the mountains. We bracket the song with a Galician dance tune, the tune of a Bolivian song, and music from a cultural parade honoring The Inca, a statue or icon carried on the shoulders of villagers as they process.
8. Darby the Driver/Seallaibh Curaigh Eoghainn (Look at Ewen’s Coracle)/Haughs of Cromdale/Fiddles on Top (Andrew Dodds)/Bonaparte’s Retreat Irish/Scottish/Appalachian trad 4:32
Starting out on an Irish jig, we play around Barbara singing this Gaelic puirt-a-beul (mouth music) song as a jig, a strathspey and finally as a reel. Andrew duets on the strathspey, then comes in just before the end with a reel he wrote himself “on a train somewhere between Inverness and Glasgow a few years ago” Finally, we take off into a rousing Appalachian tune, introduced with bottine souriante accompaniment.
9. The Highwayman/Ev Chistr’ Ta, Laou (Have more cider, Bill)/An Alarc’h (The Swan)/To Mirth Inclined Irish/Breton/Cornish trad 3:22
When we arranged the Highwayman on Back to our Roots (our 1992 recording), we remarked on its similarity to the words of a Cornish song, and the tune of an ancient Cornish Christmas carol, not to mention a definite Breton influence. So we gathered up tunes of two Breton songs we’ve used on other recordings, and that Christmas carol, and combined them all in a puzzle we may never unravel.
10. Marquis of Huntley (William Marshall)/The Cross of Inverness/The Flowers of Edinburgh/The Scolding Wives of Abertarff Scottish trad 3:28
We call this the “of” set, since every title is from a specific place. Another of Andrew’s creations, this one leads from a stately strathspey, that most distinctive of Scottish dance rhythms, to a fiery reel.
11. The Real Old Mountain Dew/Maggie's Pancakes(Stuart Morrison)/Crossing the Minch(Donald MacLeoud) Irish/Scottish trad 3:58
IONA has performed this fine old drinking song all 20 years of its existence! This set is often our grand finale in performance: a fitting finish to this one on disc.
Total Running Time - 47:25

Disk 2 - DEEP ROOTS
1. Sally Gardens/Hills of Connemara (The Barnaby Song)/Willy Davie/Miss Girdle Irish/Scottish trad 4:05
Branching Out Barbara (vocals, bouzouki, bodhrán), Bernard (whistle, vocals/doumbek), Bob (Highland pipes), Chuck (bass guitar, vocals)
2. Fosgail An Daras Dhan Tàilleir Fhidhleir (Open the Door for the Fiddling Tailor)/Old Wife of the Mill Dust Scottish trad 4:14
Sound of Iona Barbara (vocals, bouzouki, bodhrán), Bernard (flute, doumbek, vocals), Bob (Highland pipes), Mary (Celtic harp, vocals)
3. Fare You Well/Saltón de Candamu Appalachian/Asturian trad 5:25
Birken Tree Barbara (vocals, guitar, tambourine), Bernard (flute), Bob (shuttle pipes), Nick (mandolin)
4. Came Ye O'er Frae France/Gavotten ar Menez Scottish/Breton trad 2:33
Holding Our Own Barbara (vocals, guitar, bodhrán), Bernard (flute, vocals), Diana (cello, vocals)
5. Please to see the King/Gower Wassail Welsh trad 4:33
Nutmeg & Ginger Barbara (lead guitar, vocals), Bernard (flute, C whistle, vocals), Diana (mandolins, tambourine, vocals) and guest Mike Melchione (tremolo guitar)
6. Atholl Highlanders/Kesh Jig Scottish/Irish trad 3:20
Holding Our Own Barbara (bodhrán), Bernard (whistle), Bob (Highland pipes), Diana (cello)
7. Lark in the Morning, Wild Geese at Night Words by Loralyn Coles, tune: Irish trad 4:10
Sound of Iona Barbara (vocals, guitar), Bernard (flute, whistle), Mary (Celtic harp) and guest Abby Newton (cello)
8. Qu’avez-vous, Oui, Belle Blonde?(What’s up, pretty blonde?)/Ton bal Eured/Villancicu pixuatu/Salee de Llanes Cajun/Breton/Asturian trad 4:13
Branching Out Barbara (vocals, bouzouki, bodhrán), Bernard (whistle, tambourine), Bob (Highland pipes), Chuck (bass guitar, washboard)
9. Beth Ywr Haf I Mi/Llongau Caernarfon Welsh trad, words Capt. Glyn Davies 6:01
Holding Our Own Barbara (vocals, guitar), Bernard (flute), Diana (cello) and guest Elke Baker (fiddle)
10. J'ai Vu Le Loup (I Saw the Wolf)/An Dros/Laridé French/Breton trad 3:10
Nutmeg & Ginger Barbara (vocals, bouzouki, bodhrán), Bernard (flute, whistle, doumbek), Diana (bouzouki, mandolin)
11. Donald MacGillavry/Paddy’s Leather Britches Scottish 5:34
Birken Tree Barbara (lead vocals, bodhrán), Bernard (guitar, vocals, doumbek), Bob (Highland pipes), Nick:(bouzouki, vocals)
12. Where are you Going/Aberdulais Cornish/Welsh trad 4:05
Birken Tree Barbara (vocals, bodhrán, shakers), Bernard (B? whistle, bombarde), Bob (shaker, Highland pipes), Nick (Low F whistle, acoustic bass guitar)
13. Laridenn/Dacw ‘Nghariad i Lawr yn y Berllan (There’s my Love Down in the Orchard) Breton/Welsh trad 5:40
Branching Out Barbara (vocals, bouzouki, bodhrán), Bernard (flute, vocals), Bob (small pipes), Chuck (bass guitar, vocals, low D whistle)
14. An Dro/Voici le Mois de Mai (the month of May)/Laridenn (Sant-Karadeg) Breton trad 4:41
Sound of Iona Barbara (vocals, bouzouki, bodhrán, tambourine), Bernard (whistle, vocals, bombarde), Bob (pipes/chanter), Mary (Celtic harp, vocals) and guest Nolwenn Monjarret (vocals)
15. An Dros/Te Traa Goll Thie (Arrane Oie Vie)(It’s time to go home or Good night song)/When First Her Face I Seen Breton/Manx trad 4:18
Birken Tree Barbara (bodhrán, guitar, lead vocals, bouzouki); Bernard (flute, vocals), Bob (shuttle pipes), Nick (mandolin, vocals, low D whistle)
Total Running Time - 66:06

Thanks to:
Beth Patterson for teaching Barbara bottine souriante and for finding the Manx tune we use;
Martha Chavez who gave us the music of her country and helped so much with Cantos de Arriero da Fonsagrada;
Brenda Lawhorn for her incredibly good care of the band;
Iain MacFarlane for teaching Andrew the Concertina Reel, Ash Plant and Fourth Floor;
Collier Hyams for his help with sound;
Cheryl Mitchell, always, for her help with Welsh pronunciation;
Mike Kearney, Jr., David Eisner and Mary Cliff, whose support has kept us going over the years; the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which has included IONA in its Touring Program for so long; and to all of you who’ve believed in IONA!
Engineering and mastering: Scott Shuman of Shuman Recording, Falls Church, VA
For arrangements from Holding Our Own: Engineering by Micah Solomon, and mastering by Dave Glasser at Air Show
Mix down on the Marquis of Huntley set and The Highwayman: Trevor Higgins
Photography, art and graphics production: Steven Parke/imagecarnaval.com
Produced by: IONA and Scott Shuman
Liner notes: IONA
Management by Barnaby Productions, Inc., P.O. Box 11160, Burke, VA 22009 703-426-1450

All titles traditional, except where noted. All arrangements © IONA.

IONA ® is a registered service mark of Barnaby Productions, Inc. For bookings, please contact us through the web site or call Barnaby Productions, Inc. at 703-426-1450.

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Reviews


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John McLaughlin

this is a rich and gorgeous array of vocal and instrumental music
This 2-CD set, divided between “Deep Roots” and “New Growth” (or the other way around, if you prefer), is from what Steve Wimick, writing for Dirty Linen Magazine, has called, “The only truly pan-Celtic band performing today."

With such a glowing recommendation coming with the package, what can you expect to hear?

Let’s start with “Deep Roots” (altho the accompanying fold-out sheet discusses “New Growth” first, for some reason – I keep hearing “Roots and Wings,” but that’s just me): the lineup of musicians has changed considerably over the years, with Barbara Tressida-Ryan (lead vocals, ) and Bernard Agent (doumbek and bombarde), the co-founders of Iona and its constants, joined early on by Barbara Seymour (flute, whistles, guitar and vocals), Alan Oresky (fiddle), Diane McFadden (cello, mandolin and bouzouki). Eventually, as others came aboard and some of the early members left, the lineup came to include Nick Smiley (double bass and vocals), Mary Fitzgerald – briefly - Celtic harp and vocals), Bob Mitchell on Highland and Scottish small pipes (with Ian Lawther on pipes, “great and small” following Bob), Susan Walmsley (Hyams) on feet - from 200-2004 – and a lineup that now has Chuck Lawhorn (bass guitars, vocals and low whistles) and Andrew Dodds, on fiddle since 2004. Hah!

All deserve mention because, in one lineup or another, they are responsible for the fifteen medleys on “Deep Roots,” which range thro the pan-Celtic repertoire of Iona, coming up to the present day. Digitally remastered from the group’s previous five recordings, this is a rich and gorgeous – the only word – array of vocal and instrumental music, with Barbara Tressida-Ryan’s training as a linguist standing her in good stead, not only in the vocal gymnastics required to get her – and the group’s – tongues and throats around the Garlic languages of Highland Scotland, The Isle of Man, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany, but also sending her on a lovely, throaty version of Spanish Cantigas that shows off her naturally deep alto.

( A pronunciation guide, to at least the titles, is provided for the DJ’s who will be one audience to whom this set is directed; it would have been good if there had also been times of medleys included, for the DJ’s, but I found only one set going as long as 6 minutes – Track 9 on “Deep Roots,” - with almost all of the rest coming in between 3 and 4 minutes in length. Minimal problem, for a subset of the listening audience only.)

Instrumentally, the band, in its various lineups, moves nimbly thro a similar array of dance tunes from the Celtic countries, with a side-trip to Cape Breton for twin-fiddling on some reels (Brenda Stubbart’s, in particular), an throughout , there are those fine bagpipes, “great and small,” from Bob Mitchell and Ian Lawther. On “Deep Roots,” I especially liked Iona’s setting of “Cam Ye Ower Fae France,” which many people know, of course, from Steeleye Span, and a near-waltz arrangement of “Donald MacGillivray.” The Breton “An Dros/Te Traa Goll Thie (It’s Time To Go)” and When First Her Face I Seen,” which close the side form a fitting conclusion to a survey of Iona’s first twenty years.

“New Growth” – I take it second, but you could take it first – offers eleven all-new arrangements from the band’s current lineup, and pushes further to explore the Appalachian reaches of Celtic music, with an appropriately jazzy syncopation to some of the tunes, which may even remind some listeners of the Red Clay Ramblers’ celebration of the transition from Ireland to America, ‘way back in the flowering of that great band. “The Emigrant’s Song” is one of those homesick ballads, with the twist that the returned exile finds he is now a stranger in both lands – how familiar the feeling – and the CD goes on to celebrate influences as varied as Galician and Bolivian, Breton, Quebecois, Scottish and Welsh, all filtered thro the hint of Africa in the background (not for nothing does a doumbek come to be featured in the percussion on this side). Andrew Dodd’s’ Scottish-style fiddling may remind you of Aly Bain in some places, especially on the medley that combines Barbara Tressida-Ryan rippling along on the Gaelic “puirt a beuil” (mouth music) of “Seallaibh Curaigh Eoghainn” (Look at Ewan’s Coracle), from jig to Strathspey to reel, with Andrew joining in on the Strathspey and finishing up with, “The Haughs of Cromdale,” one of those tunes you can believe was written on a train between Inverness and Glasgow, and why not. The medley finishes with some happy Quebecois “bottine souriante” “laughing boot” percussive accompaniment from Barbara, again. The finale to the side – and to the set – is a combination of, “The Real Old Mountain Dew/ Maggie’s Pancakes/Crossing the Minch” that makes a fine finale to this celebration of 20 years of music-making. So far.

(Review copyright by John McLaughlin, June 4, 2006)
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Chris Johnson

Enjoyed retracing the development of a premier Celtic band
This album traces the progression and development of Iona, a fantastic Celtic band that I have watched grow and prosper over the past 20 years. From earlier days, focusing on traditional tunes of the Celtic lands, the band has increased their scope to include the music of the Celtic people in North America. Iona has enriched their sound and their range over the years, and this album captures the virtuosity of musicians playing at the top of their game.
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