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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…. Iarla Ó Lionáird August 27, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

There was mention a few weeks ago of doing a Trad This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to……. Well I’ve a few in train but this is the first.
One of my favourite artists Iarla Ó Lionáird. A sean nós singer, his “The Seven Steps to Mercy” album is one of my most treasured possessions. A Review at the time from Folk Roots (UK) stated

we are left to marvel at the mesmerising roll of the singer’s voice; a voice that serves as spiritual communicator and powerful instrument, with its modal drones and swooping rhythmic patterns, both heartbreaking and beautiful. Who needs to understand lyrics when emotions are as potently uncompromising as this?

His various Live shows I’ve been to over the years have been incredible. Often I’d be bringing along cynical friends who at the mention of sean nós would wince but once there they are as enchanted as the rest of the audience.
Ó Lionáird has two other solo albums 2007s ‘Invisible Fields’ and from 2000 ‘I Could Read The Sky’. His new album ‘Foxlight’ is due out in September.
He was also part of Afro Celt Sound System, The Crash Ensemble and is currently involved with Martin Hayes and others in ‘Gloaming’.


From the Realworld site (I cant embed it here) The Humming of the Bees

“Aisling Gheal” recorded when the singer was 14 years old is from the Seven Steps to Mercy Album

Seacht also from the Seven Steps to Mercy Album

Caoineadh na dTrí Mhuire (is on Seven Steps to Mercy however that recording isn’t on Youtube)

A Nest of Stars (From Invisible Fields)


1. WorldbyStorm - August 27, 2011

Lovely to hear that. Got to say one real advantage of this slot is it bundles up someone’s output in a really easily accessible way and it’s genuinely educative. Looking forward to the rest of the trad ones.


FergusD - August 30, 2011

Yes, that was good. Expanding my trad experience, got to be good. One clip is from those sessions shown on BBC 4.


2. Phil - September 3, 2011

I reviewed I could read the sky for Red Pepper back in 2000; it’s brilliant, but not at all like this:

“Iarla Ó Lionáird is best known as the singer with Afro-Celt Sound System; his solo album I could read the sky (Real World) is an impressive continuation of that band’s fusion of traditional influences and contemporary beats. Inspired by a film presenting the recollections of an immigrant Irish labourer, the album combines shuffling, atmospheric digitised loops with live performances on traditional instruments, captured with faith and delicacy. Sinéad O’Connor guests on two tracks, but the stand-out performance is given by the Irish rapper Rí-Rá – a voice like thunder and a true folk contemporary.”

It’s the old stuff that floats my boat these days, and these performances are extraordinary.


3. This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Gloaming | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - January 25, 2014

[…] Ó Lionáird and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, I’ve previously done TWIMBLTs on Martin Hayes and Iarla Ó Lionáird two members of the group. Hayes (and his regular partner Dennis Cahill) played on Ó Lionáirds […]


4. This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Some songs in Irish | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - March 22, 2014

[…] gaelgoir but I do love the Irish Language. Iarla Ó Lionáird being a particular favourite of mine (A previous TWIMBLT on him). A few years back John Spillane brought out “Songs we learned at school” and I bought […]


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