Matt & Shannon Heaton | dearga

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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Folk: Irish Traditional Folk: Celtic Folk Moods: Type: Instrumental
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dearga

by Matt & Shannon Heaton

Celtic music from Boston: trad Irish instrumentals (Irish flute, guitar, bodhran, guest fiddle) with a few well-placed vocal numbers.
Genre: Folk: Irish Traditional
Release Date: 

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1. Alternate Routes
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3:33 $0.99
2. Tell Her I Am
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3:22 $0.99
3. Heartland
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4:48 $0.99
4. F Stop
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3:55 $0.99
5. Lemony Lullaby
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4:20 $0.99
6. Three Days to Go
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3:05 $0.99
7. Oil for the Chain
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4:12 $0.99
8. Keeper of the Game
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4:18 $0.99
9. Nor'easter
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3:26 $0.99
10. Road to Garrison
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2:56 $0.99
11. Fair Jamie
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5:06 $0.99
12. The Small Girl
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4:56 $0.99
13. Marching to Crystal Lake
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4:47 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
A most appealing collection of traditional dance tunes with Irish flute/whistles and guitar/bodhran--from fresh sets of tunes, to moody songs, to funky low whistle moments, "Dearga" is Matt & Shannon Heatons' 2003 release.... Also from the Heatons: "Blue Skies Above," released in 2006, and "Fine Winter's Night" (Celtic Christmas album) released in 2007.

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The husband-and-wife team of Matt and Shannon Heaton honed their style in Irish traditional sessions in Chicago, Boston and County Clare. "We can play straight-ahead, old-school tunes in the States or Ireland and hold our own," says Shannon Heaton, who handles vocals, Irish flute and whistles for the duo.

But the Boston-based Heatons are statesiders, and they aren't afraid to let it show in their powerful playing. "We grew up listening to rock, country, American folk, classical and Irish music." Shannon says, "So when we're arranging and presenting songs, we're as likely to get ideas from the Pixies as from Planxty."

Matt and Shannon's Irish music pedigree traces back to their former home of Chicago, where they played in the best Windy City sessions and first began performing together back in 1992. Matt and Shannon have also spent months in Clare and Galway, taking in session tunes and shows in some of the finest venues in the West of Ireland. They are now active participants in Boston's vibrant traditional music scene.

The result -- Irish traditional music that honors the past while giving it a swift American kick into the present. It's pithy, finely crafted acoustic music, songs that break hearts and crack smiles at twenty paces.

"We write a lot of the music," Shannon says, "It sounds traditional, but with these extra wrinkles that keep things fresh and unpredictable." For Matt, "the real joy and art in what we do comes in the details. We never just slap stuff together."

Matt and Shannon also work with Siúcra, critically-acclaimed trio formed in 1998. And since moving to Boston in 2001, they have been touring with former Cherish the Ladies singer Aoife Clancy, playing in folk clubs and halls all over the States. In addition, Matt and Shannon are both becoming increasingly in demand as side musicians for other New England-based groups, both in performance and in the studio.

The fruit of Matt and Shannon's striking, craft-focused approach is acoustic Irish music that stirs the heart, the soul and the soles. No matter where you were born.
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The critics weigh in on Matt & Shannon....
"Matt and Shannon strip Irish music to its dazzling melodic essence without sacrificing any of its rhythmic impact. Although solidly rooted in Irish tradition, the group's repertoire betrays its familiarity with American jazz, blues, folk & country music."
Seth Rogovoy, The Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield, Massachusetts (July 24, 2003)

"The tunes are bracing and energetic.. and they make great use of Shannon Heaton's liquid flute playing and Matt Heaton's nimble guitar." Steve Winick, Dirty Linen (Aug/Sept 2001)

"Young, American-born musicians are now at the forefront of the Irish music scene. This group of musicians would have to include Matt and Shannon Heaton."
John Pattison, Enterprise-Record, Chico, CA (May 22, 2003)

The critics continue to rave about Matt & Shannon's kickin' trio 'Siucra'....
"The music [of Matt & Shannon's trio Siúcra] is pulsing and vibrant, yet warmly embraces the sweet simplicity of classic Irish melody and lyric sentiment." Scott Alarik, Boston Globe (June 6, 2002)

"This is the sort of Celtic folk that wins over the Americana crowd - what Fred Eaglesmith or Lucinda Williams might play if they hailed from Belfast or Dublin.. Adding to [Siúcra's] gifts are the hot-shot jazzy playing of the husband-and-wife Heatons, who aren't afraid to add a few contemporary American touches to their musical mulligan stew. Sweetness never packed so much spank." Marty Jones, Westword, Denver CO (Sept 6, 2000)

"[Siúcra's tunes] are filled with a musical brogue of lilt, soul and heart."
Bob Karlovits, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Sept 6, 2002)

"This trio is just as fine live as in the studio. [Siucra's] straightforward approach ends up as disarmingly infectious." Rob Weir, Sing Out, (Spring 2003)

"[Siucra] is full of hot musicianship, confidence and unstoppable energy. A 5-piece band would be hard-pressed to match the amount of music these three musicians produce."
Danny Carnahan, Acoustic Guitar (Februaury 2001)


Reviews


to write a review

Rob Mocarsky

Keeps your toes tapping!
Matt and Shannon have put together a fantastic album that my wife and I both love. The music varies between fast dance tunes and soulful melodies. "Lemony Lullaby" is a beautiful tune, written while the two of them were reading the "Series of Unfortunate Events" books. My favorite, though, is "Fair Jamie" - Shannon's voice is so sweet, and the tale mingles sad events with honorable decisions. If you enjoy Irish music, or fun flute and guitar playing, this album is a must-purchase!

Chad MacMillian

Very pleasant ear candy!
"This is the first time that I'd heard Shannon sing. She sounds wonderfully real, refreshing. The instrumentals are exquisite, as always."

Anna Snook

All of the Celtic elements, old and new, traditional and interesting
I like this album, and you know what that means! Matt and Shannon do an excellent job on this Celtic album. As near as I can tell from my knowledge of Gaelic as it is and from looking it up on the internet, ‘dearga’ translates to ‘red’. Though it has nothing to do with the album, it constitutes the red chairs on the cover and the red CD case lining.

Matt and Shannon provide most of the instrumentation and all of the vocals on this album. This album is filled with wonderful instrumentals on tunes of all kinds. Mostly ballads, there are some jigs, reels, waltzes, hornpipes and marches mixed in. Shannon’s flute and whistle style are amazing and inspiring, even to myself as a fiddler. Her vocals have been described as ‘new and refreshing’. For a person raised in America, Shannon sounds more like a native Irish girl from the heart of County Kerry than the normal girl from the states. On acoustic and electric guitar, dobro, bodhrán, and vocals is Matt Heaton. The thirteenth track, ‘Marching to the Crystal Lake’ features guest Hanneke Cassel on fiddle. Other guests include Aoife Clancy on rhythm guitar and Eric Merrill on viola on ‘Lemony Lullaby’.

A Celtic album could not be considered a ‘true Celtic album’ without having at least one ‘Road to (fill in the blank)’ somewhere on it. George Keith guests on fiddle on ‘Road to Garrison’ and ‘Fair Jamie’. In addition to being wonderful Celtic musicians, Matt and Shannon write their share of songs. ‘Fair Jamie’ is a traditional poem with added lyrics and music by Shannon, ‘Heartland’, ‘Alternate Routes’, ‘F Stop’, ‘Nor’easter’, and ‘Three Day’s to Go’ are all songs by Shannon, made into medleys with traditional reels, jigs, and hornpipes. Matt’s contributions include ‘Lemony Lullaby’, ‘Oil for the Chain’, and ‘the Small Girl.’

As a Celtic album, this is a wonderful CD to listen to, so if you’re into Celtic music, I strongly encourage you to get this CD. It has all of the Celtic elements, old and new, traditional and interesting. However, to tell you what you’re in for if you choose to go down and buy this album, ‘Dearga’ is almost as far from bluegrass as you can get. (~Anna Snook, reviewer for the Nwbluegrass Yahoogroup)

CD Baby


After blowing us away with their playing in Siucra's album, "Here Among Strangers," husband and wife musical team, Matt and Shannon Heaton, deliver yet another electrifying, heartrending, dear album of Irish trad-fueled folk originals. It is an album that will strum the heart strings as tenderly as the sweet memories of Ireland tickle the senses. With her full-bodied timber flute and his vibrant guitar trading in and out with vocals, fiddle and other surprises, this album is not to be missed by any fan of Irish music, trad or fusion. Right up there with Dervish and Lunasa in their poignant, endearing and energizing emotion. By far, their music is among the most memorable of CD Baby.

Charlie Brenner

A good CD but with too many tunes
This is a good CD by Matt and Shannon Heaton, but the band feels sorely the loss of Beth Leachman's voice. All the tunes are well executed, which makes the album excellent background music, but as there are only three songs present, listening to it as a sole activity can be a touch tiring. On the bright side, the singing ranges from very good to stunning, and track #3, "Heartland," is a truly beautiful song. All in all, Dearga is a very worthwhile buy.

Tamara Turner, CD Baby

By far, their music is among the most memorable of CD Baby.
After blowing us away with their playing in Siucra's album, "Here Among Strangers," husband and wife musical team, Matt and Shannon Heaton, deliver yet another electrifying, heartrending, dear album of Irish trad-fueled folk originals. It is an album that will strum the heart strings as tenderly as the sweet memories of Ireland tickle the senses. With her full-bodied timber flute and his vibrant guitar trading in and out with vocals, fiddle and other surprises, this album is not to be missed by any fan of Irish music, trad or fusion. Right up there with Dervish and Lunasa in their poignant, endearing and energizing emotion. By far, their music is among the most memorable of CD Baby.