Gatehouse are a newly-formed traditional group with a line-up of experienced and up-and-coming artistes. Their songs and tunes are grounded in the North Connaught tradition, with the band draws on the music of composers such as O’Carolan and Josie McDermott. In Tús Nua (fresh start) the blend of song and music is truly enchanting while the singing of Rachel Garvey is captivating.
To Purchase: https://siopa.gael-linn.ie/en/tus-nua
“This CD is beautifully arranged and recorded. Everything happening here is authentic. This recording proves that traditional music can be continually fresh and alive without being flashy or over produced.” Martin Hayes
“It infiltrates every molecule of the music, infusing it with a freshness that promises to propel this collection into that elusive ‘must have’ category for years to come.” Siobhan Long in The Irish Times
“Un album à l élégance rafinée qui respecte la tradition tout en la magnifiant.” Philippe Cousin in Le Peuple Breton
“This is a really lovely disc, well-balanced in both recording and content and demonstrating excellent musicianship.” David Kidman The Living Tradition
After the success of their first album traditional Irish band, Gatehouse returned to Belfast to record their second album, HEATHER DOWN THE MOOR. There are 13 tracks on the album featuring six songs in both Irish and English along with a variety of traditional tunes. The album takes its title from Eddie Butcher’s ‘Heather Down the Moor’. Songs in Irish include a re-working the Connemara song ‘Seán Bán’ and ‘Mo Cheallaichín Fionn’, a tale of unrequited love. Also featured is the ever popular ballad ‘As I roved out’. A number of new compositions from fiddle-player John McEvoy also feature on the album. The new album was produced in association with Donál O’Connor.
To Purchase: https://siopa.gael-linn.ie/en/down-the-moor
“Tógann ceol mo chroí – It is said that music lifts the spirit, and this is so true of Gatehouse’s new album Heather Down The Moor. The group have put a lot of thought into the selection of music and song on this, their second, recording. Garnering their repertoire from the North Connaught and Roscommon tradition, all the tracks are finely-paced with the lovely choice of traditional songs in both English and Irish, as in the title track, Heather Down The Moor, or the wonderful Conamara sean-nós song Seán Bán, interspersed with uplifting flings, hop jigs, a few reel selections, double jigs and barn dances all complementing one another, making the whole recording a joy to listen to.
The approach to this recording is both thoughtful and measured with the musicians paying great attention to detail. The arrangements are sophisticated but not overdone, which proves how good taste strengthens and enhances the tradition when done well.
Gatehouse have invited friends and family to colour their various arrangements with extra backing from bouzouki, accordion, fiddles etc. to feast the listener’s ear.
These musicians, John and Jacinta McEvoy, Rachel Garvey and John Wynne are steeped in traditional music and it’s no surprise that they are sought after to teach and mentor younger musicians at various Summer schools all over the country.
As well as the wonderful choice of older tunes on this album, I particularly enjoyed John McEvoy’s newly-composed On The Edge jig and the bouncy The Harvest Knot and The Healing Stone reels. I predict that these wonderful tunes will be played at sessions for years to come, contributing to the rich traditional music pool.
All in all, this is a melodic, enjoyable, well-paced album which grows on you with every listen.
Mo cheol sibh, a chairde! Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
“Lovely all-round performances here by Gatehouse on this, their second, album. Music for all tastes, including six songs by Rachel Garvey and the band, with some top-of-the line guest performers complementing the overall effect. Also included are a number of compositions by John McEvoy, all great traditional fare. Congratulations to all concerned!!” Matt Molloy