Beyond The Pale | Queen of Skye

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World: Celtic Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Queen of Skye

by Beyond The Pale

A mesmerizing acoustic mix of original and traditional songs and powerful Celtic instrumental selections flavored with influences from around the world. Fiddle, flute, accordion, guitar, hammered dulcimer, saxophone and percussion.
Genre: World: Celtic
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1. Farrel O'Gara's/Bellharbor/Siobhan O'Donnell's
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3:51 $0.99
2. Where To Now St. Peter?
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4:36 $0.99
3. Mooney (The Donegal Fiddler)
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5:37 $0.99
4. You Can't Break My Heart
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2:45 $0.99
5. Millionaire
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4:44 $0.99
6. The Butlers of Glen Avenue/Leslie's March
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3:19 $0.99
7. From Me To You
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3:12 $0.99
8. The Spanish Lady
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4:34 $0.99
9. La Sansonette/Corridinio
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3:51 $0.99
10. The Salt/Tuttle's
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4:32 $0.99
11. The Queen of Skye
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3:17 $0.99
12. Fred Finn's/Father Newman's/Frank's Reel
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13. Hester
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Mesmerizing"... "A good showcase of talent...A band with a promising future"....(.Dirty Linen Magazine)

Superb Vocals-Strong Singers--eclectic tunes"--Hot Press, Ireland

"A rare treat. I wholeheartedly recommend them.'Peter Massey, Greenman Review

"This group of top shelf Celtic musicians from Texas wowed the crowd with expert playing and genuine enthusiasm for their music that was pure joy. Beyond the Pale proceeded to take the audience on a wonderful musical journey of traditional Irish and contemporary tunes that had the audience howling for more. In a nutshell they are the real deal." -John Hazelwood, Director, Pineknot Musical Coop

That's what people are saying about Beyond The Pale.

Beyond The Pale 's eclectic and diverse mix of traditional Celtic and contemporary styles and is the key to their popularity. They have developed their unique sound by blending the traditional dance tunes and folk songs of Ireland and Scotland with an array of music from America and several other places using a wide range of instruments including fiddle, flute, accordion, guitar, hammered dulcimer, tin whistle, saxophone, harmonica, concertina, bodhran and of course their voices. Their material has been honestly acquired during many all night sessions in the pubs of Ireland, Scotland and the USA. Beyond The Pale have been featured performers at some of the largest music festivals in the USA . They have shared billing and traded tunes with some of the the top celtic groups in the world including Altan, Eileen Ivers, Solas, Danu, Lunasa, Dervish, Sliabh Notes,Brother, Seven Nations and Cherish The Ladies. They give frequent concert performances throughout the country.

Beyond the Pale's recordings include their new CD, THe Music Plays ME ( 2006), Queen of Skye (2004), Strange Turns (2002), Angel On The 7th Stair (1999) and Life Is All Chequered (1997). They feature a diverse blend of traditional and original tunes and songs from the Irish and Scottish to American, Canadian, French, Breton and other World traditions. They even include a Mexican Polka, as well as putting some imaginative spins on contemporary cover songs, like their beautifully powerful rendition of Elton John's " Where to Now St. Peter?". Their original songs are evocative, topical, sometimes humorous and always carefully crafted to transport the listener to a rich and beautifully haunting archetypal world.

Here's some info about the tracks on Queen of Skye:

Beyond The Pale---Queen of Skye

Musical Selections

1. Farrel O'Gara's/ The Bellharbor/ Siobhan O'Donnell's (Traditional Irish reels) The first and last tunes are session favorites. The Bellharbor was learned by John Delaney from the playing of Deirdre Havlin.

2. Where To Now, St. Peter? (Elton John/Bernie Taupin, Universal - Songs of Polygram International, Inc.) Christy's connection to this melancholy song was reawakened during a walk through the Vicksburg Civil War battlefields. It poses a question we all may be asking someday ... (Christy McLeod - lead vocal; Dirje Smith - cello; Bob Gentry - fretless bass; string arrangements by Gordon McLeod)

3. Mooney (The Donegal Fiddler) (lyrics and music by Gordon McLeod, McLeod Nine Music, ASCAP) While visiting Donegal, Gordon purchased a delightful book entitled Between the Jigs and Reels, by Caoimhin MacAoidh, which is an exhaustive study of the Donegal fiddle tradition. This story was one of the many folk tales included (Gordon loves a good fiddle story!) and he decided it would make a good subject for a song. It is in no way a reflection on Gordon's relationship with his own wife. Gordon learned the two jigs from two fine Irish fiddle players, Siobhan Peoples and Paul Bradley, however no one had a name for the first jig; the second is The Mahoe Snaps. ( Gordon McLeod-lead vocal)

4. You Can't Break My Heart (Spade Cooley; Smokey Rogers - Unichappell Music, Inc ) Betsy first heard this Spade Cooley song performed by one of her favorite Austin-based bands "Hot Club of Cowtown." Living in Texas, we thought it would be fun to add a little western swing to our repertoire. We are still trying to get Betsy to perform it in a fringed Cowgirl outfit! (Betsy Cummings - lead vocal; Morgan McLeod - drums)

5. Millionaire ( David Olney, Irving Music, Inc.) A topical song selected by John and highlighted by Gordon's sparse, bluesy guitar accompaniment; an emotionally-laden approach which decisively proves "less is more." (John Delaney - lead vocal; Bob Gentry - bass)

6. The Butlers of Glen Avenue (Tony Sullivan- Halshaw Music)/ Leslie's March (traditional jigs) Two often played session tunes; Leslie's March is actually from the 18th century pantomime, Oscar and Malvina, and has entered the Irish music tradition as a jig - and a mighty one at that!

7. From Me To You (Janis Ian, EMI April Music, Inc.) This is Betsy's rendition of Janis Ian's heartfelt and defiant song about love, loss, and leaving. (Betsy Cummings - lead vocal; Dirje Smith - cello)

8, The Spanish Lady (traditional Dublin street song) The protagonist is obviously troubled by an obsessive-compulsive disorder AND a foot fetish...Oh well! This is the epitome of Irish song, combining humor, love, sex and longing for things past...and a dash of self-pity and nonsense... or is counting backwards a sobriety test? (Gordon McLeod - lead vocal; Dirje Smith - cello)

9, La Sansonette/Coridinio (traditional) A French dance tune followed by a Portuguese tune, John Delaney put this set together. In 2003, during the hottest summer in France ever, some of us had a chance to play these tunes with some great French musicians at Le Gran Bal de Europe near Gennetines.

10. The Salt (traditional lyrics/ original music composed by Christy McLeod, McLeod Nine Music, ASCAP) A song about meat and self preservation. Christy first heard a version of this song at the Quilty Tavern in County Clare, sung by an unknown woman with gorgeous red hair and a fabulous voice. The reel that follows is Tuttle's (traditional) (Christy McLeod - lead vocals)

11. The Queen of Skye (Jack Herrick, Skyler At Home Music BMI, administered by Bug Music ). This is perhaps the only science fiction immigration song about folks from Glasgow who arrive in Carolina via the moon on a comet's tail, no less! We learned this song from the wonderful Red Clay Ramblers. (John Delaney and Betsy Cummings - lead vocals; Dirje Smith - cello)


12, Fred Finn's/Father Newman's/Frank's (reels) The first two reels (traditional) come from the playing of flute player June ni Chormaic. Fred Finn was a renowned Sligo fiddler who often teamed up with flute player, Peter Horan. They played and toured together until Fred's death in 1986. Father Newman's Reel is sometimes attributed to Offaly flute player John Brady. Frank's Reel (PRS/MCPS) was composed by the prolific fiddle player, John McCusker, used by permission.

13. Hester (lyrics and music by Gordon McLeod, McLeod Nine Music, ASCAP) Quin Abbey lies in ruins in County Clare. While walking there, Gordon came upon the isolated gravestone of Hester MacDonnell. He was touched by the simple sadness of the inscription and, being the father of an only daughter, was moved to speculate on Hester's short life and to comment obliquely on the suppression of the feminine in our culture...but, of course, not in this band! (Gordon McLeod - lead vocal; Dirje Smith - cello; angelic choir: Betsy, Christy and Dirje; choir arrangement by Dirje and Gordon)

For more information and bookings, visit www.beyond-the-pale.com or e-mail us at beyondthepale@tyler.net


Credits:

Gordon McLeod: Fiddle, guitar, bass guitar, whistle, mandolin, percussion and vocals
Christy McLeod: Guitar, percussion and vocals
Betsy Cummings: Accordion, percussion and vocals
John Delaney: Flute, whistles, hammered dulcimer, concertina, saxophone and vocals
Guest Musicians: Dirje Smith on cello and harmony vocals
Morgan McLeod on drums
Bob Gentry on bass


Gordon McLeod plays fiddle, guitar, whistles, piano, clarinet, bass and percussion and sings. Gordon has been performing and composing music all of his life as a performer, songwriter, recording session artist and producer. He has produced five of the band's recordings including BTPs latest CD The Music Plays Me, all of which feature Gordon's original songs. He has appeared on numerous commercial recordings for other artists and is often sought to produce Celtic and folk records. He sometimes performs live with touring folk acts like Pierce Pettis and JohnSmith. Gordon's original songs are captivating and thought provoking. His award-winning song, "Hester" featured on "Queen of Skye" juxtaposes the pathos of the loss of an only child in nineteenth century Ireland with the suppression of the feminine in our culture, all punctuated by an angelic choir and a subtle rhythmic pulse. Gordon is a currently working on a solo record of his songs and a solo Irish fiddle record. you can hear some of gordon's original songs at www.gordonmcleod.com .

Betsy Cummings plays piano accordion and percussion and sings a wonderful array of traditional and contemporary songs. Betsy has been performing for many years including a ten year stint with Dallas's well known Celtic group, Lost Tribe. Betsy's wonderful voice combined with her sensitive feeling for the music, skillful fingers on the accordion keys, along with her knack for picking the most captivating songs add another dimension to Beyond The Pale's sound. For example, take her spirited version of Spade Cooley's Western Swing classic, " You Can't Break My Heart" and Janis Ian's anthem of angst "From Me To You" both featured on the new "Queen of Skye".

Christy McLeod's natural soulfulness shows not only in her beautiful singing and guitar playing but in her witty songwriting and instant rapport with her audiences as well. Christy began performing in her early teens. She plays guitar, harmonica, percussion and sings lead and backing vocals. Her powerful transparent delivery of a broad range of material shows the depth of her artistic grasp on her music. For instance, her gripping and fascinating rendition of Elton John's classic " Where To Now St. Peter?" featured on "Queen of Skye" ,transforms this 1970's pop poem into the unique and fascinating dreamscape that Bernie Taupin must have intended.

John Delaney brings a wealth of talent to Beyond The Pale. John plays flute, hammered dulcimer, tin whistle, concertina and saxophone and adds his dulcet baritone to the band's sound. John has been performing Irish, Scottish and other traditional music for many years with several well known groups including Lost Tribe and Rakish Paddy. His multi-instrumental talent adds a great depth and texture to Beyond The Pale. John's introduction of the tenor saxophone and the hammered dulcimer has transformed Beyond The Pale's Celtic based sound into something unique in the world and folk music genres. John is the master of understated vocal style. His treatment of Todd Rundgren's " Honest Work" has often moved live audiences to tears and his versionJack Herrick's immigration fantasy "The Queen of Skye" is the epitome of folk vocal artistry.


Reviews


to write a review

Gordon McLeod

Beyond the Pale
Not what I would normally buy, I was intrigued because we share the same name (AND spelling). I was pleasantly surprised! I can only agree with other reviews posted here.

The Ceili--Lee Kelton

The sheer imagination, innovation, musical diversity and talent these guys exh
A CD Review – Oueen of Skye by Beyond the Pale
As written by Lee Kelton


Ok, I admit it – I really like this bunch! The shear fun, imagination, innovation, musical diversity and, yeah, talent these guys exhibit on this disk and on stage puts them in a class of their own. The band members are: Betsy Cummings, John Delaney, Christy McLeod and Gordon McLeod. And, while each has their own stand-alone talent, it’s the blending of their individual strengths that make this group one of the most outstanding regional bands around!

The CD is named for a song about immigration, The Queen of Skye, and reflects the band’s ongoing immigration to new ideas about the music they play. The disk also reflects their broad range of music knowledge and creativity - they are not just a “lets play jigs and reels again and again” band – which, I believe, is one of their outstanding strengths!

The disk contains 13 cuts, some traditional selections, some original works and some acknowledged creations, that make this a fun CD. It also showcases Gordon McLeod’s growing talents as an imaginative producer (music talent just not enough eh Gordon?).

The first cut, Farrell O’Gara’s-The Bellharbor-Siobhan O’Donnell’s, is a collection of traditional Irish reels that showcase each band member’s particular talent. It a great introduction to a fun, eclectic CD !

The second cut, Where to Now, St Peter?, as sung by Christy, is a haunting melody that asks a question that we all may be asking before our lives are done. This piece seemed to grow on me as I played it (guilt, Nora, Enya or fungus?). The string arrangements are first rate and reflect the touch of a real pro.

The third cut, Mooney, is a creation of Gordon, The Lyricist-Fiddler with a slightly bent way of looking at relationships – I hear that Christy just took out a $1 million insurance policy on Gordon! Piece well backed up by the soon-to-be-surviving band members.

The fourth cut, Wow! What a throwback to golden days of western swing, smoky west Texas honky-tonks, cold Lone Star, jeans n’ boots, platinum bo-fonts and bruised knuckles! You Can’t Break My Heart, is a fine ol’ song done in a sorta Patsy Cline style by Miss Betsy Cummings, late of Ft. Worth, Texas.

The Fifth cut, Millionaire, is a rare treat! A solo by John Delaney! John, backed up by Gordon’s sorta “bluesy” guitar, is one of those multi-talented folks who we need to hear more of! Hopefully on the next CD, we’ll hear more of Mr Delaney.

The sixth cut, The Butlers of Glen Avenue, is a good collection of session tunes (cthu-oons in Irish) that once again underline how all the member’s talents come together to make fine, danceable music.

The seventh cut, From Me to You, is a Janis Ian song as done by Ms Betsy Cummings – a bit autobiographic and certainly heartfelt. The song has a style reminiscing of some early Mannheim Steamroller stuff.

The eight cut, The Spanish Lady, is probably my favorite cut on the disk. The interplay of the band’s various instruments with Gordon’s 1920s crooners style of singing is brilliant!

The ninth cut, La Sansonette-Coridinio, is two French-Portuguese dance tunes collected by John Delaney. If you have ever been folk dancing, you will recognize one or both of these tunes. Great dancing material!!

The tenth cut, The Salt, is a Christy McLeod semi-original song. A fun, message tune done in the traditional style that reminds us to watch the salt and stay off the farm. The following reel is well done.

The eleventh cut, The Queen of Skye, the CD’s namesake, is one of those songs that always gives me goose bumps!! It’s a heroic tail of leaving all you have known and taking a chance on the unknown future – much like my own people did.

The twelfth cut, Fred Finn’s-Father Newman’s-Frank’s, is a collection of reels that again, show case the band’s wonderful mix of talent and enthusiasm. Don’t sit there, get up and dance you slugs!

The thirteenth cut, Hester, is another creation of Gordon, The Songsmith. A well done and creative bit of story telling sung by Gordon that has echo of Evita and early Beatles. Good lead in by Delaney’s flute. Don’t know how “angelic” the choir is but they do good work.

Kelton

Dirty Linen

A good amount of variety, to be sure, well played and sung. Haunting---clearly i
QUEEN of Skye—Review by Dirty Linen, Nov/Dec 2004

Beyond The Pale: Queen of Skye

Texas based Celtic quartet Beyond The Pale remains firmly anchored in Celtic music, but applies that style to a variety of songs outside the expected repertoire on its most recent recording. The opening medley of reels gives way to Christy McLeod’s haunting lead vocals on an Elton John/Bernie Taupin song “Where to Now Saint Peter?” which in the band’s interpretation seems to fit with the Celtic canon of songs about death and what comes after.

Taking a livelier turn, and in another twist, there’s Spade Cooley’s swing piece ”You Can’t Break My Heart”, with lead by Betsy Cummings. Folk tales and more traditional reels continue the trip, along with songs by Janis Ian and David Olney. Speaking of trip, there’s the science fiction (sort of) story of emigration that is the title tune, which includes spaceships among the modes of transport.

Gordon McLeod’s original “Hester” with his thoughtful lead vocal, provides a reflective and clearly imagined consideration of what the life of one of those Irish ancestors might have been to close the journey.

A good amount of variety, to be sure, well played and sung and all tinged with a hint of Celtic arrangement. (KD)

Rebecca Bingham

Loved it, loved it, loved it!
Great CD. Diverse Celtic music, styles, and talents. What a lovely surprise. Now I shall have to track this band down and hear them in person. The four musicians are obviously talented and each contribute to the diversity of the music, and all are obviously great musicians.
Thanks for making my day.