Monday, January 30, 2017

Waiting to be Plucked: Altan and "The Flowers of Magherally"

The random tune today is by an Irish musical powerhouse. The Flowers of Magherally is performed by Altan, a band 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. Altan has recorded and toured with fellow countrymen The Chieftains, and other musicians such as such as Enya, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt and Alison Krauss. The Flowers of Magherally can be found on their 2006 release The Red Crow, and on the compilation album Celtic Wonder (2005).