Recorded, mixed and mastered at Balea Musika Ideiak, Bilbao (Basque Country) [Feb.- March, 2011] Audio technician & musical production: Asier Ercilla Production: Ruaille-Buaille.
Bonus Track recorded, mixed and mastered at Belan Estudio, Barakaldo (Basque Country, 1995). Audio technician: Andoni Glez. Mijangos
Aitor Gorostiza: Low & Tin Whistles, Harmonica
Alberte Sanmartín: Whistles, Galician & Uilleann Pipes
Duncan Bennett: Vocals, Acoustic Guitars, Bouzouki
Jon Hanni Iribar: Drums, Percussions
Kike Pérez: Fiddle, Jew's Harp
Luis M. Aveleira "Beltza": Electric & Acoustic Bass, Vocals
Arantzazu Iglesias: Vocals, Tambourine (5), Asier Ercilla: Keyboards, Programming (3,5,6,7,8,9,11,12)), David Nanclares: Electric Guitars (1,2,3,4,6,7,8), Endika Abella "Lahaine": Rap (1), Eunate Vilches: Violins (all tracks except 6), Jorge Gago: Galician Side, Bass Drums (5), Kepa Junkera: Trikitixa (5), Pottoki: Vocals (8), Rubén Isasi: Flute, Tambourine, Highland Snare Drum (1,3,4,5,8,12), Xabier Valle: Albokote, Tarota (8).
William Henry Lane, alias Master Juba (c. 1825 – c. 1852) was the first Afro-American dancer to perform on stage to white audiences. He lived in the notorious slums of the Five Points District of Manhattan, New York, where poor Irish immigrants and freed black slaves mixed and exchanged cultures. One of these was dance, where black dancers like Master Juba emerged performing jigs and reels along with their own dances. In this way the Irish jig combined with African dance steps sowing the seeds of later styles, above all tap-dancing.
1.- Oh, Donald, My Son [Music: Trad. - Ruaille-Buaille - Ibon Ordóñez / Lyrics: Endika Abella (intro) - Duncan Bennett / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille]
A cautionary tale where a mother tells her son about the dangers of drinking. As our own parent used to say ‘Enjoy the party, but beware the morning after…’
Note on authorship
2.- I Got your Picture [Music: Duncan Bennett - Ruaille-Buaille / Lyrics: Duncan Bennett / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille]
After a short-lived love affair one of the couple is left with nothing more than a picture, a telephone number and too many memories when his lover leaves the country.
3.- Ballymack [Music: Trad. / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille]
Set of three reels: 'The Road to Ballymack', 'The Silver Spear' and 'Come West Along The Road'. The first reel takes its name from Ballymack, a small town in Kilkenny, Ireland.
4.- The Unquiet Grave / Blue Jig [Music: Trad. - Ruaille-Buaille - Ibon Ordóñez / Lyrics: Trad. / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille]
A well-known traditional ghost story where the dead lover comes back to tell her partner that life goes on, and to make the most of it.
Note on authorship
5.- Boas Noites [Music: Trad. - Alberte Sanmartín / Lyrics: Trad. / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille - Kepa Junkera]
The forebears of our piper Alberte are from a small Galician village, Morcelle, in the county of Os Ancares in Lugo. The people of the village meet for the “malla”, the threshing of each smallholder’s grain. As a way of thanking their neighbours at each farm a dinner is offered by the host family. At one of these celebrations, well fuelled by traditional food and wine, Alberte learnt this tune.
6.- Friendly Fire [Music: Duncan Bennett - Trad. / Lyrics: Duncan Bennett / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille]
The only British Soldiers killed in the first Gulf War were the victims of ‘friendly fire’ from their American colleagues. As is usually the case the winners in this war were the economic interests of the oil industry and their favourite politicians.
7.- Gentlemen of England [Music: Duncan Bennett - Ruaille-Buaille / Lyrics: Trad. - Duncan Bennett / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille - Eunate Vilches]
The ‘gentlemen’ stay at home and count their profits whilst the workers face the storms at sea to bring home their goods.
8.- Kama goli [Music: Trad. - Ruaille-Buaille / Lyrics: Aitor Gorostiza / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille - Eunate Vilches - Xabier Valle]
A love song in Erromintxela, language of the Basque gypsies, based on Kalderash Romani and the Basque language. The lyrics are inspired by a poem written by Jon Mirande. The song is based on a Bosniak tune, and the final instrumental melody is a Basque lullaby, adapted to the Phyrigian scale of the Bosniak tune. And Pottoki sings a verse by the bertsolari Jon Sarasua
9.- The lark in the morning [Music: Trad. / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille]
This instrumental is a well known jig, apparently written by a famous 18th-century Irish piper. The story goes that he was playing in a contest through the night against another piper. As morning arrived he was running out of ideas for tunes and took a break outside the pub, where he heard the a lark singing. He ran back inside and, inspired by the bird's song, played this tune to win the contest.
10.- Far From Home [Music: Trad. - Duncan Bennett / Lyrics: Duncan Bennett / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille]
This is dedicated to all those who for one reason or another have migrated from their home countries. However comfortable they are, relatively speaking, they will always be far from home.
11.- Blarney Pilgrim [Music: Trad. / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille]
Set of three jigs: 'The Blarney Pilgrim', 'Morrison’s' and 'The Legacy'. A ‘Blarney’ is someone who has kissed the famous Blarney Stone and been given the gift of eloquence and the ability to flatter at length. This pilgrim was clearly a talker.
12.- The Number Two Top Seam [Music: Duncan Bennett - Ruaille-Buaille - Trad. / Lyrics: Trad. / Arrangements: Ruaille-Buaille]
The top seam of the coal mine in the song collapses killing family members of the miners trapped below.
Bonus Track: The Rocks of Bawn [Music & lyrics: Trad.]
As a tribute to Fergus Ryan, our old singing companion who passed on recently, we include this recording of him performing a song about the treatment of the Irish after Cromwell’s invasion in 1649.
Thanks to Jorge Gago (Ceo de Sil) & Arantza Iglesias. Dabid Nanclares & Endika Abella (Bunpanda Sound). Kepa Junkera. Pottoki. Ruben Isasi & Xabi Valle (Alboka 2.1). Eunate Vilches (Jirabiraka) for violin harmonies and orchestration. Aitor Hoz & The Mallona Happy Handclappers. The Balea Musika Ideiak team for their professional know-how and their good humour during the long hours of the studio recording: Asier Ercilla, Aitor Alzibar, Unai González and Itziar Alzibar. Hala Dzipo Kultur Elkartea: always there when we need them. A special mention to Beltza for his time and dedication to the cause in the studio. Txeroki for helping out with rehearsals. Paco Díez and family once again for their support. Gorka Saez for his useful work on the pre-recording sessions. Jose Luis Martínez Simarro (Bideweb) for his work on the previous website. Pascu and all the staff of the Cervecera San Bizente, for preparing the snacks and putting up with our late-night after-dinner discussions. Mike Murphy whose contributions to the group in the past can be seen in this recording. To our friends and our families for their faithful support… and for their eternal patience.