Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Ways Away: Altan and "Far Beyond Carrickfinn"

The random tune today is by acclaimed Irish band Altan. Far Beyond Carrickfinn is from their newest album The Widening Gyre (2015). Altan was originally formed in County Donegal by vocalist and fiddler Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and her husband Frankie Kennedy in 1987 after the pair initially released a pair of albums as a duo. They named the band after a lake in County Donegal. County Donegal has a rich tradition of Irish music and styles, and Altan made this music available to the world and in the process became known worldwide with a popularity to match The Chieftains. Kennedy died of Ewings sarcoma in 1994, leaving Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh to keep the band going. Besides The Chieftains, they have worked with musicians such as Enya, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt and Alison Krauss.