The Blackbirds | The Earth and the Gravel

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World: Celtic World: Zouk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Earth and the Gravel

by The Blackbirds

An earthy and powerful concoction of Irish, Welsh, Breton and American traditional music, featuring accordion, banjo, bouzouki, clarinet, whistle and 5-gallon water bottle.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  song title
artist name
1. An Dro
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3:59 album only
2. Captain White's
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5:47 album only
3. Beth yw'r Haf i Mi?
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3:07 album only
4. A Bit on the Thumb
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3:35 album only
5. Do Re Mi
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4:40 album only
6. The Coldwater Waltz
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4:08 album only
7. Anac Cuan
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3:44 album only
8. Farewell to the Shore
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3:58 album only
9. Machynlleth
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4:05 album only
10. Welsh Jigs
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7:37 album only
11. Adar Man y Mynydd
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3:30 album only
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Album Notes
The Blackbirds are Paul Wehling on banjo, bouzouki, guitar and vocals, Sam Adams on piano accordion and vocals, and Sean Egan on clarinet, tin whistle, percussion and vocals.

Paul Wehling's attraction to Irish music began at a session in County Clare, during a trip to Ireland in 1987. With his brother Matt, he was a founding member of Clumsy Lovers, a band which dominated the Minneapolis-St. Paul Irish/Celtic music scene in the early Nineties, making two recordings and winning a Minnesota Music Award. In addition to playing with the Blackbirds, he is a highly sought after accompanist, performing with such well known Irish Musicians as Sean O'Driscoll and Paddy O'Brien.

Sam Adams brings a body of beautiful but seldom heard Welsh songs, airs and dances to the Blackbirds' repertoire. He grew up playing Welsh hymn tunes on the piano, later switching to piano accordion. In Minneapolis, he has been a member of the Welsh singing group Cerdddoriaeth Ceiniog ("Penny Music") and the Celtic duo Heaven and Hell, and took top honors in the vocal competition at the Minnesota Celtic Festival. His playing can be heard on recordings by harper Kathryn Mannyng and pianist-composer George Maurer.

Sean Egan first began playing Celtic music with Noel Rice and Sean Cleland in the seminal Chicago Irish band Baal Tinne, while studying music at DePaul University. He became known to Minneapolis and St. Paul audiences through his work with the popular Irish/Celtic group Field Day, which featured Kate and (Clumsy Lover) Jode Dowling on whistle and fiddle, and appeared on the Irish Music and Dance Association CD "Hunger No More". He can also be heard on recordings by Sean O'Driscoll, Kathryn Mannyng and Dan Newton, among others.


to write a review

Bob Gaesser

A stunningly beautiful album, pleasing arrangements with a perfect sense of musi
I love this CD! From the very first track a lively an dro that makes you want to get up and dance. The Welsh songs are stunning and beautifully accompanied. The accordion is joyus especially on the machynlleth set. The only unfortunate track is Anac Cuan, words don't fit the music and should have been handled in the bardic style. I hope this group puts out many more like this one!

"...a beautiful recording ...the waters of Celtic run deep and strong."