Eddi Reader: My Love is Like a Red Red Rose / The Allan Kelly Gang: Connemara

Eddi Reader – My Love is Like a Red Red Rose

Poetry in Motion

I recently heard Pat Kenny on his RTE morning radio show say that Eddi Reader was one of his favourite singers. He also said that he loved her stage movements. I would second the two sentiments. Upon watching Eddi’s hand movements in the most exquisitely inviting video above, I was instantaneously reminded of Mary Black and Clannad’s Moya Brennan (Enya’s sibling) who have similar stage presence. It must be a Celtic thing?

Some years ago I recall being in a wee sheebeen (As Gaeilge = sibin = pub, illicit, in days of yore) in the Connemara Gaeltacht area, and singing Gaelic traditional songs with a native. We were both holding each others hand and making circular movements to rhythm of said songs. It was so spiritual and charismatic and not too dis-similiar in nature to artistic movements of above-mentioned artists. The holding of hands etc, is embedded in singing of Gaelic songs in the area.

The Allan Kelly Gang

The reason Pat Kenny was talking about one of his favourite singers, was, precisely because on the morning in question, he had her in the studio giving a rendition of her most recent evocative song called Connemara. The song is just something else. I was completely blown away. Eddi was accompanied by The Alan Kelly Gang. As I’d never heard of the latter before, I decided to go to Eddi Reader Official Website to find out more information.

Eddi Reader and, Trashcan Sinatra guitarist, John Douglas will join the Alan Kelly Gang on a very special Irish/Scottish 2011 collaboration tour of Ireland. The tour will mark the release of The Alan Kelly Gangs first official band album, Small Towns & Famous Nights (due out Sept 1st 2011), which features a beautiful evocative song from Eddi Reader called Connemara.

Since 2005 Alan has toured the world as part of the Eddi Reader Band and recorded on her last four albums. His friendship with Eddi first resulted in a beautiful collaboration on a song penned by John Douglas. The collaborative work I Hung My Harp Upon The Willows appears on Alan’s 2009 album, After The Morning which was named as one of the top ten musical highs of 2009 by the Irish Times who described it as a humdinger of a collection.

Irish Music Magazine had this to say about TAKG.

Fronted by Ireland’s piano accordion maestro, described by New York’s Irish Voice as ‘in league with the best piano accordionists in the world’, and with three of Ireland’s finest musicians {Tola Custy (fiddle), Steph Geremia (flute & vocals) and Tony Byrne (guitar)} all critically acclaimed masters of their own craft, The Alan Kelly Gang (formerly quartet) has been creating quite a stir on the traditional & folk circuit taking their audiences by storm and impressing both music lover and critic alike. Performing beautifully arranged songs and instrumental pieces from throughout the Celtic regions including Ireland, Brittany, Asturias and Louisiana as well as original compositions that stem from a deep traditional sensitivity, skillfully executed and soulfully delivered, their sound is fresh and unique with their strong dynamics, driving rhythms and buoyant harmonies. Their music will draw even the most fainthearted listener into the passion that they put into the music they play – magical, joyous and uplifting! “The arrangements are world class, as are the musicians, and Ireland is always somewhere in the mix.” – Irish Music Magazine

I went in search of the new song Connemara on YouTube as the words of the lyric still escape me. Alas, ’twas to no avail. I guess it would be rather expecting too much, as of yet – given its very recent release. To be sure – Eddi is in with the right gang – going by the description in IMM. I wish them all every success with the Irish/Scottish tour. The folk in Connemara will be so proud to have their place – yet again – immortalised in song. Not forgetting either the renowned Robbie Burns.


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