Sligo CD Launch Concert December 22

NoCrows – HMV Soundgarden Sligo 22 December Doors 7:30pm Show 8pm. Admission €12. Buy Tickets here

coverwhyus-very-smallNoCrows celebrates twelve years of its musical journey in 2017 with a fifth CD, entitled “Why Us?”. The CD will be launched at two special Christmas concerts in Dublin and Sligo, followed by an Irish tour in January and February and subsequent international tours to Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Belgium.

NoCrows is a dynamic folk orchestra from the multicultural melting pot of Sligo’s music scene. Formed in 2005, NoCrows’ growing output of original material reflects its diverse musical roots, from Irish traditional to latin rumba, classical, jazz, rock and Balkan music.

Why Us?

NoCrows’ fifth CD contains thirteen original musical delights with compositions by all six members. The five songs and eight instrumentals were recorded in Rían Trench’s Meadow Studios in Wicklow in September 2016.

The band’s most mature recording to date displays the growing musical presence of multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter, Ray Coen. The recording process was designed to capture the feel of NoCrows’ live performances, with all six members recording together in one room. Says Coen “It was a very exciting project for all of us and we feel that we have captured the essence of NoCrows on this CD”.

“Our music has always been a bit difficult to classify” adds bassist Eddie Lee. “We have members from Ireland, Switzerland, Mallorca and Russia so the band’s multicultural identity is bound to be reflected in NoCrows’ music”. The musical influences are many. Flowing trad melodies are often fused with bluegrass, jazz and rock improvisations, with funk, latin or gypsy rhythms. The original songs on “Why Us?” feature lush string arrangements courtesy of Swiss cellist Anna Houston whose skilful treatments create an dreamy atmosphere on Coen’s “Senora” and “Metal Man”, an epic oddity about a Sligo landmark co-penned by Lee and Armagh drummer/composer, David Lyttle. The same string section turns jazzy on Carbonell’s smooth latin samba “Can We Borrow the Cat?” and Ponomarev’s “Three Sisters” has a gypsy twist. Carbonell’s “Canço de Febrer” displays his Mallorcan folk background while his title track “Why Us?” is moody and filmic, reminiscent of Jean Luc Ponty’s 70’s recordings, especially when Ponomarev’s violin solo enters the fray. Coen’s “Sleeping Giant” is an old-school traditional tune that could have been plucked from a 1950’s traditional archive, it’s successor “Leaping Giant” a more modern funky Celtic fusion workout, the first tune in NoCrows’ considerable body of work to come directly from their Wednesday night jam session in Sligo’s Shoot the Crows pub. Coen also contributes “Senora” a song that could have been written for Sinatra and “Shine On’ which is vaguely reminiscent of Nick Drake. Cellist/mandolinist Anna Houston contributes two tunes full of wit and inventiveness, while Eddie Lee provides another instrumental number “Written in Sand”. “Wickham’s “Serpents Head” got its title from his Waterboys colleague Mike Scott and contains Steve’s poem about Mannanan Mac Lir, the Celtic God of the Sea. His final contribution to the album is the closing track “The Other Side”, which also features the Hammond playing of Oleg Ponomarev.

Such is the versatility of the musicians, it certainly is impossible to pigenhole into one genre. “We would like to be known as a folk orchestra”, says Lee, so that will have to do for now! The band’s exciting live set reflects their versatility in a virtuosic display of unadulterated joy. These musicians never fail to show how much they love performing together, drawing music from one another with great ease.


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