from Donegal: T with the Maggies
From the first notes of the first song at the City Halls Grand Hall in Glasgow, the four women wove a tapestry that included intricate harmonies, soulful lead singing, fine playing, and more than that, connections of deep and long lasting friendship among the artists, and deep and long lasting love for the land, as well. The landscape, the people, and the history of Donegal were all present in the music they shared.
It was a sharing, too, rather like friends telling tales around the fireside. Notwithstanding the slightly formal setting at City Halls, listeners were immediately drawn in to become a part of things as well, enjoying the stories, both serious and funny, that the women told, and enjoying the gentle humor as during the course of the evening they joked with each other, as longtime friends do. Appreciating too not only the connection of voices but also the connection through fine playing. Tríona was on keyboards, Moya on harp and on djembe, Mairéad on fiddles, and in the background, Jim Higgins on percussion and Manus Lunny on guitar.
Calling themselves T with the Maggies, Mairéad, Tríona, Maighread, and Moya have made an album, also called T With the Maggies. Music they recorded for that, much of it music from the tradition sung in Irish, formed most of the program for the Glasgow evening. Ceol an Phíobaire, A Stór A Stór A Ghrá, and in English the lively song Wedding Dress were among the songs they offered.
Especially engaging were two songs the women wrote. Mother Song, inspired by the present situation which sees young people emigrating from Ireland again as they have in past days, showed passion in restraint in taking a mother’s view of those things. Domhnach na Fola, the most haunting song of the evening, is a response to the recent release of the findings of the Bloody Sunday enquiry in Derry.
Audience members were on their feet at the end of the concert, calling the artists back for three songs in encore. It was a lovely and lively evening, honoring tradition and carrying it forward, honoring friendship and carrying that forward as well. Chances are, once you’ve heard the album, you’ll want to be putting it on for encore spins, too.
This concert was part of Celtic Connections 2011. Photographs were made with permission of the artists, and are copyrighted. Thank you for respecting this.
you may also wish to see
Music Road: music and hope: Derry
Music Road: Altan: 25th Anniversary Collection
Music Road: Scott-Land at Celtic Connections
Music Road: Cathie Ryan: Songwriter
by Kerry Dexter
Labels: blogsherpa, celtic connections 2011, donegal, gaelic, glasgow, ireland, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, mairead ni mhaonaigh, moya brennan, scotland, songwriter, t with the maggies, Tríona Ní Dhomhnail