Lig Amach

Release Date: 22nd April 2016

Album now available from Claddagh Records and iTunes.

An Seanduine (trad. arr. Doyle)
Sliabh Russell/Out on the Ocean (trad. arr. M Thomson)
Country Blues (Dock Boggs)
Armona (Doyle)
Across the Line (Doyle)
Lig Amach
Round Two (Doyle)
The Old Truigha (trad. arr. Doyle)
Caisleán An Óir/The Maids of Mitchelstown (trad. arr. Doyle)
Flags of Belfast (music trad. lyrics Doyle)

Guitar and vocal: Robert Doyle
Fiddle: Chris Haigh
Alto saxophone : Francesco Ganassin
Percussion: Magnus Mehta
Additional vocals: Aoife Dermody
Uilleann pipes: Eoin Dillon

Guitar and vocal recorded by Robert Doyle
Fiddle recorded by Chris Haigh
Alto saxophone recorded by Francesco Ganassin
Percussion recorded by Magnus Mehta
Additional vocals and uilleann pipes on track 10 recorded by Graham Watson at Floodplain Studios, Dublin.
Cover photography by Eamonn Doyle
Design by David Donohoe

Mixed by Marc Carolan
Except track 5 mixed by Ross Dowling, track 10 mixed by Graham Watson
Mastered by Fergal Davis

Thanks to: Marc Carolan, Ross Dowling, Graham Waston, Eamonn Doyle, David Donohoe, Fergal Davis, Jasmin Martorell, Mark Thomson, Léa Charon, Alan Lambert, John Walsh, Alf McCarthy, Jonny Tennant, Áine Hensey, Neil McFadyen, Hugh Taylor, Baxter Labatos, Robert Heffernan, Niall Mallon, Frank Tate, Pierre Bensusan, Leo O’Kelly, Zoo Loco Barcelona, Newpark Music Centre

1 - An Seanduine

A song I learnt from singing circles in Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and this version is inspired by recordings by Seamus Begley and Danú. The song tells the tale of a woman who takes the advice of a priest and her relatives and marries an old man. She soon realises however that he does not care for her and wishes she could be rid of him!

2 - Sliabh Russell/Out on the Ocean

These are two jigs I first heard on Matt Molloy's classic Heathery Breeze album from 1985. The arrangements are by Scottish guitarist Mark Thomson.

3 - Country Blues

This song was written by Dock Boggs who was an old-time banjo player and singer from Virginia. He recorded this in 1929 but with the onset of The Great Depression he was unable to make a living playing music and instead worked in a coal mine for most of his life. He was rediscovered in the early 1960s and enjoyed the wave of the folk music revival.

4 - Armona

A piece I first began working on during the recording sessions for Life in Shadows. The last section was written on the island of Armona in southern Portugal.

5 - Across the Line

Written during the Islamic State assault on Kobani in September 2014 which forced almost all of its civilians to flee into Turkey. At the same time others were trying to cross back across the border to defend the city.

We’re now waiting
By the railway line
When the time is right
We’ll move to the other side

Carrying nothing
In a line of refugees
There’s no time to take anything
When you have to flee

Tonight we’ll shelter
Under the desert sky
When the crossing opens
We’ll reach for the other side

Defending the city
And the lives
Of those who could not leave
They’re still under fire
Won’t you let me cross the line

Sound of shelling
From all different sides
Who goes where
They say it’s hard to decide

We should stay here
It’s not safe to leave
From across the hills
Smoke rises behind the siege

Everyone has closed their eyes
Or maybe they just can’t see
The road is dangerous
But leads to some dignity

Defending the city
And the lives
Of those who could not leave
They’re still under fire
Won’t you let me cross the line

6 - Lig Amach

This opening bass line had been in mind for years and after trying a number of different approaches and revisions it became the title track for the album. When playing rhythms like this it feels like there are endless possibilities and I look forward to exploring this piece further.

7 - Round Two

A song about a woman who won’t wait too long for a man to make up his mind!

How long will it take
For you to make up your mind
How long will it take
I don’t have very much time

If there’s a decision
To be made
Then maybe
It’s already too late

I sent out a message
Across the waves
The reply I received
Told me to be brave

No bell or no round two
You’ll only get one chance
She won’t wait for you

Is this what
You were looking for
It’s not the feeling
You give to me

It's the first time
Because it's rare
With a price like that
You’ll need to take care

Done thinking
The day might come
When with a ring you’ll show
I am the one

No bell or no round two
You’ll only get one chance
She won’t wait for you

Listen to me
When I say
You leave me with no choice
But to walk away

I never understood
What will you say when
There’s no one left to love

How long will it take
For you to make up your mind
How long will it take
I don’t have very much time

No bell or no round two
You’ll only get one chance
She won’t wait for you

No bell or no round two
Take it before she’s lost
To someone new

8 - The Old Truigha

An old air which was collected by Edward Bunting for his collection named Ancient Music of Ireland in 1809.

9 - Caisleán An Óir/The Maids of Mitchelstown

Caisleán an Óir, composed by Junior Crehan, is a tune I first heard on a Matt Molloy & Sean Keane record called Contentment is Wealth. This arrangement is based on the version by Kevin Burke on his album If the Cap fits. The Maids of Mitchelstown is a tune made famous by the wonderful version by The Bothy Band. Again this arrangement is inspired by Kevin Burke from his album Up Close.

10 - Flags of Belfast

Written, to a traditional air, during the Belfast City Hall flag protests.

Boundaries are drawn
On council walls
Divisions are made easily
When a vote was called
The decision did say
The flag won’t fly daily

The Union remains
But the North had changed
Some divisions are the same
Next time you hear the Lagan sound
See the flags of Belfast town

When the protests began
Where are the leaders now
Heard with nothing to say
If there was a chance or a call for calm
It was soon swept away

Living on the sides
Of religious divides
Faith not faded with time
Next time round can you ask the crown
Has she seen the flags of Belfast town

At the start of the night
Through empty streets with dark light
Marches begin to pass
Along an enclave
Calls of an old age
Armed guards to defend both sides

Segregation in schools
Teaches old rules
Lessons begin early
As the children plan
To not let tradition down
And wear the flags in Belfast town

With the city closed
Blockades along the roads
Wasn’t this all a thing of the past
A sectarian divide
A part of city lives
No need to portray any side

Masks leave faces with no names
One after another taking aim
As broken bottles fall all around
The flags of Belfast town