From: Macmeanmna News
Sent: 30 January 2008
Subject: MARY ANN KENNEDY AND NA
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE
MARY ANN KENNEDY AND NA SEÒID – GAELIC ALBUM AND CONCERT –
CELTIC CONNECTIONS, STRATHCLYDE SUITE 3rd FEBRUARY
Gaelic music has
long been one of the shining gems in the crown of the Scottish traditional music
scene, but 2007 was the year that it finally and deservedly broke through into
the national mainstream, largely due to the success of a new wave of young
Gaelic musicians. Now 2008 looks set to further cement the burgeoning
optimism of the tradition with yet more exciting music about to be unleashed
from Gaeldom’s younger generations.
Mary Ann Kennedy has long
been a major beat in the heart of the Gaelic and traditional music scene in
Scotland and beyond. A proud Gael of many talents she is a double Mòd gold medal
winner and musician, as well as an award-winning national radio and TV
broadcaster, producer, writer and record label owner. Now she has brought
together, and is an integral part of, what she terms a “gathering of Gaeldom’s
young lions” – inspired singers and musicians all – under the banner, ‘Mary
Ann Kennedy & Na Seòid’.
Translated, Na Seòid means ‘the
heroes’, and although the word ‘supergroup’ is perhaps all too often bandied
around in the music world nowadays, on this occasion no other terminology seems
apt. Mary Ann and the other seven young male (yes, male) members of Na Seòid are
all heralded as impressive talents in their own individual rights and already
between them account for many of traditional music’s highest
Perhaps what’s most remarkable or at least unusual about the
group is that for many years Gaelic singing was largely seen as the domain of
the female gender. Now, after many years where there very few young men seen on
stage singing, a new, young, confident and flourishing generation of male Gaelic
singers are at last making a significant impact on the national scene. What’s
more, the leaders of the pack are to be found in the ranks of ‘Na
The cast is a powerful and geographically widespread one. There’s
James Graham from Lochinver, the first Gael to win the prestigious BBC
Scotland ‘Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award’ in 2004 and Lewis singer
Norrie McIver who is currently studying at the RSAMD and vocalist with
the award winning group ‘Bodega’. Then there’s Tormod MacArthur from
Inverness, the 2006 Seann-Nòs Gold Medal winner for traditional
There are gold medal winners galore in the line-up with two
MacMillan double gold medal winners in Gillebrìde MacMillan from South
Uist (currently based in Spain) and Calum Ailig MacMillan from Lewis.
From Tiree there’s Angus MacPhail, part of the heralded West Coast band
‘Skipinnish’ and last but certainly not least there’s Griogair Labhruidh,
a multi-skilled talent from the Gaelic music world in general.
group were first unveiled to great acclaim at last year’s Blas Festival in the
Highlands, and such was the success of that particular outing that they have now
agreed the group should become a more regular entity.
about this group of musicians” said Mary Ann, “is not only the male dominance
for once, but the fact that Gaelic is part of the everyday life of every single
one of them, not just a language for the stage. I think that’s a powerful
element, which in turn has a fundamental impact on the way they perform the
Mary Ann Kennedy and Na Seòid have just recorded their debut
album for the Lochaber-based ‘Watercolour Music’ record label, set for
release at a very special concert on the final night of Glasgow’s Celtic
Connections festival. The concert takes place in the Strathclyde Suite of the
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
The album is unusual in itself, in that it
was for the most part recorded live in the studio, in the round, with whole
takes, no edits, no digital ‘assistance’. “It’s the real thing” said Mary Ann.
“It was certainly ‘high-wire’ recording, but it brought a particular feel and
tension to the recording session and to the resulting sound. That was really
important to me”.
Following on from the album release and Celtic
Connections concert, ‘Mary Ann Kennedy and Na Seòid’ will be undertaking further
live appearances throughout 2008.
With a gold plated line-up of this kind
and quality and with such a range of vocal, instrumental and creative talent to
hand, ‘Mary Ann Kennedy and Na Seòid’ will more than fulfil the promise of being
one group that should not be missed. Prepare yourselves for some fantastic
voices and equally fantastic songs and arrangements – and then some! Mary
Ann Kennedy and Na Seòid look set blow another fresh breeze (or dare I say Gael)
through Gaeldom and further afield.
‘Mary Ann Kennedy and Na
Seòid’ are now available for interviews both individually and as a group. To
arrange an interview or for further information on the group, the album or the
Atlantic Edge Music
Mobile: +44(0)7867 654 509
The album will be available soon
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Thanks for your interest.
Arthur Cormack, Shona Cormack,
Mary Ann Kennedy and Cailean
Gaelic Music Recording & Distribution
Staffin Road | Portree | Isle of Skye | IV51 9HP
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