Claire Mann & Aaron Jones | Secret Orders

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Claire Mann and Aaron Jones

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World: Celtic Folk: Irish Traditional Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Secret Orders

by Claire Mann & Aaron Jones

Claire Mann (flute, fiddle, whistle and vocals) and Aaron Jones (Old Blind Dogs - bouzouki, guitar, bass and vocals) perform traditional and contemporary Irish music and song, "technical brilliance and beautiful interpretations of tunes and songs".
Genre: World: Celtic
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  Song Share Time Download
1. McElvogue's
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
4:02 $0.99
2. The Smiling Bride
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
4:09 $0.99
3. Saints and Sinners
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
4:40 $0.99
4. Valsen
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
5:05 $0.99
5. Across the Western Ocean
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
4:10 $0.99
6. Tripping
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
4:53 $0.99
7. Fortune's Wheel
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
4:36 $0.99
8. Snappy Guzzlin'
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
3:16 $0.99
9. Slip Jigs and Reels
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
5:20 $0.99
10. Bottle of Whisky
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
4:13 $0.99
11. Lament for the Kerry Fisherman
Claire Mann & Aaron Jones
3:24 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Apart from their technical brilliance and beautiful interpretations of tunes and songs, there is so much power, personality, passion and drive in their playing."

Secret Orders is the debut release from the fantastic duo Claire Mann and Aaron Jones. The album is the culmination of several years of touring as a duo and as well as established guests such as bassist Kevin McGuire (The Felsons, Karine Polwart Band) driving bodhrán player Martin O'Neill (Dóchas, Flook, Michael McGoldrick Band) and accordionist Leo McCann (Malinky) the CD includes guest appearances by friends and family creating a warm and relaxed feel. The album truly reflects and captures the energy and passion that Claire and Aaron have developed during seven years of touring together. From the energy of their jigs and reels through jaunting waltzes, beautifully interpreted songs to haunting laments, the CD takes you on a journey through their development as a duo.

Claire Mann (flute, fiddle, whistle and vocals) and Aaron Jones of "Old Blind Dogs" (bouzouki, guitar, bass and vocals) met on the thriving Edinburgh folk music scene several years ago. Over the years they have developed a unique and exciting musical relationship, performing a mixture of traditional and original Scottish and Irish music and song. They have played together in various bands, including Tabache and Craobh Rua, and have made countless television, radio and festival appearances worldwide.

"Consumers of folk and traditional music recordings are spoiled for choice these days, as an unprecedented flow of high-quality music is rolling out as a seemingly endless procession of albums. Fiddler Claire Mann and bouzouki player and singer Aaron Jones are proven talents. Their Secret Orders adds another polished and expressive contender to that list of titles. The well-chosen tunes and songs are mainly by contemporary writers working in the traditional idiom, but there is a leavening of attractive arrangements of traditional material thrown in. An array of guests help fill out the instrumental textures or add backing vocals."
- Kenny Mathieson, The Scotsman

"Mann's fabulously fluent flute is the dominant melody instrument here (well, she is an all-Ireland champion) but she's very potent on the fiddle too, while Jones' celebrated (Old Blind Dogs, Craobh Rua) bouzouki and guitar head up the accompaniment. The 10 top-flight guest musicians contribute everything from bluesy harmonica and resonator guitar to button accordion and bodhran in deftly arranged, driving sets of reels and slip jigs."
- Norman Chalmers, Scotland on Sunday

"The opening set of reels firmly establishes their excellent instrumental chops, Mann overdubbing flute and fiddle with equal aplomb and Jones anchoring the rhythm section on a beautifully resonant 10-string Sobell bouzouki. The songs, which include David Francey's 'Saints and Sinners' and Steve Tilston's 'Slip Jigs and Reels' as well as traditional material, feature wonderfully rich multi-part harmony vocals...Excellent duo debut" 8/10
- Sarah McQuaid, Hot Press

For several years Claire Mann and Aaron Jones have been plying their musical trade so it may seem surprising that this is their first recording together as a duo. Claire's an all-Ireland flute champion and here demonstrates her beautifully controlled intonation along with some fine fiddle playing as well. The opening track utilises one of Newcastle based musician Tom McElvogue's unusually embellished tunes that sounds to me as if it was written particularly with Irish step dancers in mind. This is topped off by an Ed Reavy melody (who was not unlike McElvogue himself when it came to compositions) 'The Highest Hill in Sligo'. The accompaniment provided by Jones on bouzouki, guitar and bass is solid without being obtrusive and he's no mean chanter either. The third track David Francey's 'Saints and Sinners' is a fine choice of song and the laid back feel is gently steered by a nice bluesy harmonica courtesy of Little Al Price. Swelled by the communal chorus it has a currency that I could see well used as an anthem to close many a Sunday festival finale. It's also nice to see another interpretation of Steve Tilston's outstanding 'Slip Jigs and Reels'. Again, the use of harmonica backed by Nathan Jones resonator guitar gives a particularly Country feel to proceedings. For aspiring musicians there are plenty of tunes many of which I haven't heard before (even the 'Muster Buttermilk' isn't the one I'm used to hearing) and as they are performed at what I term reasonable speeds could find themselves cropping up in sessions throughout the land. On a final note, Mann's interpretation of the Cathal McConnell air 'Lament for the Kerry Fisherman' proves once again that speed isn't everything. Listen and enjoy.
- Pete Fyfe, The Living Tradition



to write a review

Dorothy Walker

it's good
The song Saints and Sinners is one of the best songs I've heard in my life. The whole cd is really enjoyable. I play it so much I'm afraid I'll get sick of it - but I haven't at all. I love it!

Mark Haynes

What a terrific effort!
What a terrific effort Secret Orders is! We have thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who loves good traditional Celtic music! We especially enjoyed Saints and Sinners, but all the selections are solid!

daniel miller

Great Combination
I am suddenly a bigger fan of Claire Mann and Aaron Jones than I was before. Mainly, because I am in Greenville, SC, USA, where no one has ever heard of them before. Well, they are hearing now. I love Aaron's zouk playing, and Claire's flute and fiddle is amazing. A great combination of tunes and songs, especially Across teh Western Ocean and Valsen. Also, the Lament for the Kerry Fisherman was a favorite. Aaron's vocals match perfectly with the songs and really bring out an emotion present in each song. Not a fan of the mouth organ; it was somewhat distracting. But that could just be me. This is a must have album for trad music fans.

Bill Gority

Outstanding work!
People so far have mentioned Saints and Sinners in their reviews, and it's a great song - probably the most touching of the vocal tracks on this disc. The other vocal tracks are standouts as well, most especially Beyond the Western Ocean. Their cover of Slip Jigs and Reels is as close as anyone's come to Steve Tilston's original conception that I've ever heard.

The instrumental tracks are beauties too. Claire Mann's flute is fluid and evocative. Aaron Jones' cittern/bouzouki work is tasty and provides a perfect lilting backing. The mouth organ gives nice lift when used.

Priscilla Rhoades

"Saints and Sinners" alone is worth the price.
"Saints and Sinners" by Claire Mann and Aaron Jones is worth the price of this CD, but then there's also the melodic "Across the Western Ocean" and the haunting "When Fortune Turns Her Wheel" - not to mention the amazing instrumentals. For lovers of folk, traditional, and Celtic music, this CD is a must.