Barley Bree   •   Castles in the Air (USA)

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  • Castles in the Air
    • 1985 - Shanachie 52010 LP (USA)
  • Side One
    1. The Ducks of Magheralin (Trad.)
    2. Castles In the Air (Swithenbank)
    3. Rambling Pitchfork & Mug of Brown Ale (Trad.)
    4. Barbara Allen (Trad.)
    5. O'Carolan S Draught (Trad.)
    6. The Shining Birch Tree (Hemsworth)
    7. Day Trip to Bangor (Cooke)
  • Side Two
    1. Paddy On the Railway (Trad.)
    2. Jimmy Raeburn (Trad.)
    3. By The Lochside (Stewart)
    4. Morning Star, Lady on The Island & Copper Plate (Trad.)
    5. Outward Bound (Trad.)
    6. Foxhunter's Jig, Fermoy Lasses & Tenpenny Bit (Trad.)
    7. Jogging Song (Paxton)

  • Barley Bree
    • Jimmy Sweeney: Guitar, Tenor Banjo, 5 String Banjo, Mandolin, Cittern, Bodhran & Vocals
    • P. V. O'Donnell: Fiddle & Vocals
    • Tom Sweeney: Vocals, 12 String Guitar, Tin Whistle & Harmonica
  • Additional Musicians
    • Brian Doherty: Bass & Guitar
    • Gerry Carruthers: Piano
    • Donnie Webb: Concertina
    • Don Palmer: Flute & Piccolo
    • John Brennan: Keyboards
    • George Herbert: Electric Guitar
    • Don Chapman: Drums
    • Mark Bonang: Tuba
  • Credits
    • Produced by Barley Bree
    • Recorded at Solar Audio, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
    • Engineer: Harold Tsistinas
    • Photography: John Powell, Halifax

Sleeve Notes

The Ducks of Magheralin — Every Irish village and town claims to have the best men, the loveliest girls and a very important history. The village of Magheralin, Co. Down takes it to the extreme. According to the song, some of the major events in world history have taken place here. The Irish trait of exaggerated embellishment abounds.

Castles In the Air — A gentle little song highlighting the plight of orphaned children across the world. The words speak for themselves.

Rambling Pitchfork & Mug of Brown Ale — Lace up your brogues and take the floor! The bow is rosined, the banjo's in full tune, the whistle's warm and away we go!

Barbara Allen — An Ulster version of a very old ballad. We picked this one up from the singing of our old friend, Tommy Cunningham, Fintona, Co. Tyrone. We've kept the accompaniment to a minimum, because there's enough music and poetry in the song itself. Tom sings it.

O'Carolan S Draught — The compositions of the blind harper Turlough O'Carolan are always verging on the Baroque, while at the same time retaining that Celtic strain throughout. We use two classical guitars to open the piece and on the turn add the whistle and fiddle.

The Shining Birch Tree — The backwoods men in Northern Ontario go off to the lumbering camps for long spells at a time. They accumulate a bunch of money and when they hit town again — look out! A great song from Canadian, Wade Hemsworth.

Day Trip to Bangor — There are seaside Bangors in the U.S., Wales and Ireland. The day out to the seaside, as described in the song could have taken place in any of them. We have tried to create the seaside atmosphere in the accompaniment. So, all aboard for Bangor!

Paddy On the Railway — The Paddy in this song spent years working on railway construction across America, but in 1849 with the Gold Rush, "the California hills looked fine", and off he went to seek his fortune. We like to think he succeeded.

Jimmy Raeburn — A Scottish ballad on the weals and woes of transportation in the nineteenth century. We're not quite sure what offence Jimmy Raeburn committed, but in those days the most trivial misdemeanor was sufficient to guarantee 'free passage' to Van Diemen's Land. Jimmy sings lead on this one.

By The Lochside — A nice flowery kind of love song, from the pen of Scots balladeer, Andy Stewart. We were struck by the idea of love growing hot and cold according to the seasons. The words are lovely.

Morning Star, Lady on The Island & Copper Plate — Three reels we strung together in a set. P.V. brought them to our attention, arranged the settings and here they are. So round the house and mind the dresser!

Outward Bound — Sailors normally stayed on shore until their money was all spent, then came the necessity of signing up for another voyage. From the day they sailed away, they looked forward to being homeward bound once more.

Foxhunter's Jig, Fermoy Lasses & Tenpenny Bit — We always play these three great tunes as part of our programme, so we decided to put them on this record. We were taken with the idea of moving from one tempo to another during the set.

Jogging Song — Written by American folksinger, Tom Paxton, this is a lighthearted look at the whole jogging craze. One gathers that Mr. Paxton is not a jogger. Excuse us, while we don our jogging suits and take off! So long!