"After the Morning" is a new Collection of songs and airs from the Sands Family folk group, that will surely consolidate the deserved popularity and respect that Irish traditional music now enjoys on an international scale.
The Sands have shown with this collection that it is not only feasible but necessary for traditional music to explore other avenues of expression, not simply to survive, for the music of this country is ageless, but so that young musicians with ideas, dreams and ambitions of their own may express their thoughts and feelings through an idiom that has stood the test of time.
The Sands certainly have ideas about how their work should be expressed and presented. If you get the impression, for example, that you hear the footsteps of a dancer as you listen to "No Rest For The Dancer", don't worry about your hearing — it's perfect, It's just that the Sands thought it would be a good idea to bring a top step-dancer to the studio and record how he interpreted — through 'two very flexible and talented feet', to quote Tommy Sands — their music. Tommy himself is fairly flexible and talented. The L.P. finishes with a song he wrote "Mourne Rambler" — one of my favourites on the album — and also includes "Don't Call Me Early in The Morning", which he composed as the group was flying home from a successful tour of Canada last year.
Not to be outdone, his brother Colum ("In Almost Every Circumstance") and Benny ("Goodbye John Joe") prove he's not the only songwriter in the family "The Streets of Derry" is another of my favourites. It's not a very well-known song, in fact the first place the Sands heard it sung was in a pub. Incidentally, the pub was in Southern Germany!
The L.P. then is a unique blend of the old and the new. What a fitting tribute, it is, therefore, to young Eugene (Dino) Sands who was killed so tragically in a motor accident in Germany in November 1975. I believe that this country was, by his death, robbed of a young man who would have been one of the all-time greats in traditional music. Dino liked to experiment, try new instruments, new arrangements and, in the true spirit of the music he loved, was a totally unselfish young man who spent patient hours teaching the musicians of other countries the music of his own. While his brothers and sister continue to produce records such as this, the great love of his life will survive and will conquer new domains. Could any man ask for a more appropriate epitaph?