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Album launch – John Tunney “The Immigrant: A Stone on the Cairn of Tradition”
Nov 13, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pmFree
John Tunney “The Immigrant: A Stone on the Cairn of Tradition”
Sunday 13th Nov 2022 @ 1pm
Venue: The café in the green, (The copper jug)
The Immigrant: A Stone on the Cairn of Tradition, John Tunney
Also featuring Paddy Óg, Cathal, Brigid, Michael and Conall Tunney, Maura Hickey, and a dozen more of the extended family.
John Tunney comes from a long line of west Ulster traditional singers that includes his father, the legendary Paddy Tunney, and his famed grandmother Brigid Tunney. This is his first solo album.
THE IMMIGRANT has been described by Rita Gallagher (TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year, 2017) as ‘a wonderful weave of songs that traverse Ireland and beyond, a treasure trove, a stunning mix that includes four new compositions from John and three from the late Paddy Tunney, along with some of the most well-known and familiar “Tunney songs”. A standout track is ‘Hybrasil’, Paddy’s ode and love poem to his wife Sheila, which John sings so beautifully.’
From the very first song, the title track ‘The Immigrant’, this album sets out to show that unaccompanied, traditional song forms can tackle even the most burning current issues of contemporary Ireland. This searing tale of a Bosnian survivor of the Srebrenica massacre, who has made a home for himself and his family in Mayo, has been labelled ‘the best, most important song to appear on the scene for a long time’ by former Critics Group members Jim Carroll and Pat McKenzie. The modern Clare emigration song, ‘Around the Hand’, with the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Centre as its background, is in a similar vein.
Alongside such new songs are John’s interpretations of Tunney classics, including ‘The Rambling Boys of Pleasure’ and ‘The Royal Blackbird’, as well as stirring reworkings of less well-known family versions of ‘The Pride of Glencoe’ and ‘Captain Coulston’.
A key component of the album’s rich sound texture are six duets involving John’s five siblings and his son, Conall, and a further two tracks on which many family voices sing in unison. The result is a body of recordings that Lillis Ó Laoire (TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year, 2020) has described as ‘wonderful soundscapes that present old verses and new with deep characteristic conviction. These songs send resonances of a rich past echoing into the future.’