Old Coach Road Album by Brian Reynolds
Tel 087 6415518
I did the rcordings over a peroid of few months in 2021 with Alan Whelan in his Solitaire Recording Studio near Kingscourt, Co Cavan.
11 songs are my orignals, along with 1 cover song and 2 solo guitar instrumentals.
I play all acoustic guitars . Sean Maguire contributes bass on 3 songs while Ella Whelan plays voilin and viola on 2 songs.
Track 1..Days of Summer. Nature knows best....every season has a time and a reason.
Track 2 Old Coach Road .The lane way that runs past our house predates the modern roads that we use today. Back then the traffic was mainlyhorse drawn carriages. During lockdown we walked these rural by-ways affording us time to reflect on bygone days and the people who passed this way .We discovered a Camino our doorstep.
Track 3.Rootin. I made the first recording of this song in late 2019.I did a DIY video for it and put it on U Tube in April 2020.Then, as the saying goes it went viral, thanks manly to Cootehill Credit Union who asked me if they could feature it on their Facebook page. It became popular with all age groups from toddlers to pensioners and everyone in-between .It has to date , amassed over 5000 views on U Tube, which for a no-budget project isn't so bad.
As for the theme of the song, we are all guilty, some more than others.
Track 4.Lament for Limerick. During Lockdown I spent many enjoyable hours practising some new pieces on the guitar and discovering the delights of DADGAD tuning. This tune I heard from Martin Hayes on his, Lonesome Touch album. I recall my father once saying he liked this melody. On the day he died, I listened to it alone, shed a few tears and then both of us moved on.
Track 5 All Bones. My father would occosionally come out with these random sayings, one of which was ..all bones , all bones , all bones. I never thought to ask him what he meant at the time as communication between us wasn't our strongest point.
Track 6. Heave Maudabawn. There was always a great tradition of beagle hunting in the area when I was young. Pat Mc Bride was the master of the hounds. My father loved the sport. There was a annual Draghunt every June around the shores of Killarue lake, the townland my mother came from.
The cry, 'Heave Maudabawn', orignated from a sports day held on Murphy's meadow in the towland of Drumgoon one summer in the mid 60's. There was a Tug o War compitition.The Hunts men formed a make-shift team. Pat Mc Bride was the team coach. When the call came to lift the rope , take the strain and pull, Mc Bride shouted,' Heave Maudabawn.
Track 7 Out on the Western Plain. A song by the old bluesman , Leadbelly. Rory Gallagher also rcorded it . Another of my lockdown projects where hours went into putting my version of the song together.
Track 8.Soot Drop. Tom White was a unique character,small farmer who lived a bit down the road from us. My father came home from somewhere one showery summers day.
' I was talking to Tom White', he told us. 'That shower came down like a soot drop, he related what Tom said about the rain.
A what? Whats a soot drop?. I Googled it and didn't get anything close to what I though it meant.
Now this is my take on what Tom was talking about. Back in the days of the open heart fires and the wide chimneys on the single story houses, after weeks and months of fires layers of soot would congeal on the sides of the chimney walls. Then when it all got too heavy the whole lot would plumet down into the fire on the hearth spreading a black plume of dust, soot and ash around the kitchen/living room area.
And for a man who got little or no edcuation his description of the shower in the middle of the haymaking season was poetic.
The song looks back to a time when it took about 3 months of the summer to rare the hay. We used forks and hand rakes, we had horses, wheel-rakes and tumblin paddies. When the neighbours came together to buld the hay cocks, and the reeks of hay in the haggards on manys' the 'apple ripe September morning'.
I suppose the title is a hint to what the song is all about. It was the May Bank Holiday Sunday night around 11.45pm when the Baile Hotel, Bailieborough posted an image on Facebook of a totally deserted Main Street...there wasn't a car, a person, a dog or a cat to be seen. I made a comment , saying that one could lie down out in the middle of the street and be safe for the rest of the night. I wrote the remainder of the lyrics in about 20 minuets
Track 10.Looking out to Sea. I first recorded this song in 1994 and it was the title song on my first cassette album. Probabaly one of my own personel favourites where the main theme of the song is in the 2nd verse.
Track 11 War Crimes. It was during the Syrian war when the Govt there helped by the Russians were bombing the city of Aleppo to rubble and killing thousands of its citizens. A hospital was bombed and I think it was the UN who came out and labelled it a war crime. My opinion is that all wars and armed conflicts are crimes against humanity. Thanks again to Polish born Ella Whelan for the haunting Viola playing which makes the song special.
Track 12 September. Again this song was written and recorded back in the mid 90's and featured on my first album. A song about emigration, it is now featured on a Spotify playlist of songs of imagration.
Track 13. You Cant Stop. Nature is king and will outlast us all. It was during the endless Brexit debates of a few years ago when there was a lot of noise about hard and soft borders and lines being drawn in the sea when I wrote this one.
Track 14.The Mountains of Pomery. Seen a Japaense musician perform this melody on U Tube and I lerned it again during lock down. Solo guitar in DADGAD tuning.
So there it is, I'm happy with the whole project, the quality of the recording by Alan Whelan at Solitaire Recording StudiosThe songs , the playing by myself and the other contributors, Sean Maguire and Ella Whelan. Hope you like it too.