Life in Shadows

Released 2011


The album is available from Bandcamp.

Robert Doyle - Guitar and Vocal
Recorded by John Flynn at JMR Studios, Dublin
Except tracks 9,10 and vocal track 2 - recorded by Robert Doyle at D1
Mixed by Marc Carolan at Suite Studios, Dublin
Except tracks 9 & 10 mixed by Eamonn Doyle at D1
Mastered by Fergal Davis at Summit Studios, Dublin
Robert Doyle plays a Frank Tate guitar.

Thanks to: Kate, Brendan & Eamonn Doyle, John Flynn, Marc Carolan, Fergal Davis, David Donohoe, Jasmin Martorell, Mark Thomson, John Walsh, Frank Tate, Pierre Bensusan, Dee Gavin, Laura Heffernan, Ciarán Óg Ó Giollabhuí, Leo O'Kelly, Garvan Gallagher, Fergal Walsh, Davin Roche, Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí, Caoimhín Ó Sé, Siobhán Nic Gaoithín, Clare Spáinneach, Vawn Corrigan, Hugh Taylor and all at Moniaive, Ross Dowling, Karen Walshe, Purty Sessions, Sitting Room Sessions, Glór Sessions, Eugene O'Connor, Heather MacLeod, Ken Tuohy, Stuart Lowry, all my friends and everyone who has supported this music.

This album is dedicated in loving memory to my brother Ciarán Doyle.

1 - Tá mo Chleamhnas Déanta

I first heard this song just after beginning to play guitar when I was 9 years old. It had been recorded by Van Morrison & The Chieftains on their Irish Heartbeat album. Although it was many years before I began to play any traditional music this song was always waiting in the back of my mind.

2 - Trasna na Slí

First written and recorded on the Trasna na Slí EP from 2008 and re-recorded for this album with a different arrangement and some additional lyrics.

Ar Mhagherabeg
Cósta Chill Mhantáin
Caithim na laethanta
Faoi ghrian an tsamhraidh

Trasna na slí
Sléibhte 'gus an trá
Scríobhaim a ainm
Is cuimhin liom an lá

Idir na dathanna
Tagann an spraoi
An spiorad
Trasna na gaoithe

Féach na pairceanna
Faoi 'hrian, faoi bhláth
Gach rud ag séidu trasna na trá
Féach na pairceanna
Faoi 'hrian, faoi bhláth
Siad na radharcanna a mbíonn
Os mo chomhair

Ar chloch an mhac tíre
Feicim na rónta ar scíth
Tá cúr ar bharr na dtonnta
Ní bheidh muid ar an bhfarraige inniu

Ní thugann muid aon aird
Ar an aimsir níos mó
Mar tá an áilleacht
I ngach uile áit

3 - The Old Hag at the Kiln

I know this jig from the Bothy Band (although they may have played it as a slide) and learnt this arrangement from Scottish guitarist and friend Mark Thomson. I began to play this tune at sessions and have been playing it live ever since. Mark has done some excellent arrangements of traditional music and kindly agreed for me to record this on the album.

4 - Siún Ní Dhuibhir

This song tells the story of a man falling in love with a beautiful woman but refusing to marry her unless she has a dowry. This was one of the songs I discovered through sean nós singing and I learnt it from Carrie O'Sullivan - a singer with a wonderful voice from Beaufort in Co. Kerry.

5 - Life In Shadows

The title track and a piece written for the album. When I listen back to it now I hear influences from the many styles of music which I listen to - from Detroit techno basslines to salsa rhythms.

6 - Porte du Soleil

This song is named after Les Portes du Soleil - a region of valleys in the French Alps.

Is trua liom do chás
Beannacht Dé leis
Glac misneach as an saol
Beidh sé le do thaobh

Feicim croí briste
Bhris a gol uirthi
Faoi chrann álainn
I bPorte du Soleil

I rith an fhuachta mhóir
An bhfuil aon rud ag teacht slán?
Ó a eala
Ná fág mo chroí anseo faoin gcrann

Tar éis ocht mbliana
I bhfad níos fearr
Ag an am céanna
Crothnaím fós mo dheartháir

'S chuala mé
Cad a bhí á rá
Ach ní raibh an tuiscint acu
'Gus níor thuig siad faoin ngrá

Is trua liom do chás
Beannacht Dé leis
Glac misneach as an saol
Beidh sé le do thaobh

7 - Cailín na Gruaige Doinne

The Girl with the Brown hair.

8 - Pretty Saro

A traditional song with either Irish or British origins in the 18th century. It was collected in the North Carolina/Virginia mountain area around 1930 by Dorothy Scarborough. It would have been adapted by the many Irish and Scottish immigrants arriving in America.

9 - Bold Robert Emmet

An arrangement of the air to the famous song about the Irish revolutionary leader. He led a failed rebellion against British rule in 1803 and was captured, tried and executed. The first Robert Doyle in my family was born in the same year and was named after him.

10 - Tahrir Square

This piece was improvised in the studio after seeing the revolution in Egypt in January 2011. While being struck by the bravery and conviction of the protestors I was also sickened by the hypocrisy of the Western governments who have for decades supported brutal dictatorships throughout the Middle East.