The name Barley Bree rolls off the tongue like a warm west wind sighing through whinny headlands, and Barley Bree's approach to their music is as fresh and ever-searching as that inquisitive west wind. They are as selective in picking their material as a goldfinch finding the right straw for nest building, and as inventive in its presentation as a lover pleading his case.
A Barley Bree performance is a moving experience. It is as textured as a good handwoven tweed and as varied and vivid as the plumage on a cock pheasant. The moods change as subtley as the weather on an autumn evening, from the riotous rhythm of a reel to a quiet evocative love ballad and from the intricate melodic lines of a slow air, to the slate-loosening driving song that the world and Garret Reilly loves to sing. All these rhythms and moods and nuances are interwoven with the poetry and the ever present, underlying humour that is so much part of Barley Bree. With love, craftsmanship and a deep respect for their material, Barley Bree weave a beautiful tapestry for all who will to enjoy.
Give yourself an earful of pleasure any time you might need a spiritual uplift. You are holding the means of doing so in your hands right now. Enjoy.
Paddy Kelly's Brew
"Tis he brews the cordial that does exceed all,
And it beats all the doctors in old Donegal".
Reels: Mooncoin & Sally Gardens
"The merry love to fiddle,
And the merry love to dance".
"A woman trudging beside that load,
A lank man leaving the horse to guide
A wet road: a dry road".
All On A Summer's Day
"Every bird is merry in bower and bush,
Love's in flower and a thousand things to do".
Whatever You Say, Say Nothing
"He came from the North,
and his words were few".
Thomas D'arcy Magee
May Morning Dew
"Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grass o'er-tops the moldering wall".
Bold Fenian Men
"Then the wind shaken pane
Sounded like drumming:
'Oh' they cried, 'tuck us in
The Fenians are coming'".
"June is short
And we must joy in it and dance and sing
And from her bounty draw her rosy worth".
"She is my own,
Day out, day in she hears me groan
And does not care if I am sad
And would not grieve if I were gone".
Anonymous (16th Century Irish)
Reels: Cup Of Tea & Reavey's
"I'm up in the morning early,
Before the break of day
And to the lintwhites piping
'Tis many the tune I play".
The Bricklayer's Song
"If anything can go wrong, it will".
Mountains Of Pomeroy
"My bed was the ground,
My roof the greenwood above,
And the wealth that I sought,
One far, kind glance from my love".
Anonymous (18th Century Irish)
Here's To Song
"I wish you friends whose wisdom makes them kind,
Well leisured friends to share your evening's peace,
Friends who can season knowledge with a laugh".
Winifred M. Letts