The Music Plays Me
Beyond The Pale
Beyond The Pale crosses the borders of traditional Celtic Music into an eclectic world of Americana, European and original roots and folk music with superb vocals and dazzling instrumental prowess.
"Mesmerizing"... Outside the expected---A good showcase of talent...A band with a promising future"....(.Dirty Linen Magazine)
"Superb Vocals-Strong Singers--eclectic tunes"--Hot Press, Ireland
"Skillful musicianship, strong singing, excellent song selection and an obvious love for the joy of music."--Jed Marum--The Ceili
"..Splendid-- especially strong tunes--An enjoyable recording with an warm organic sound and an affable and relaxed way with songs and tunes."--Jerome Clark, Rambles.net
"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. Their original songs are evocative, topical, sometimes humorous and always carefully crafted to transport the listener to a rich and beautifully haunting archetypal world.
Their latest release, "The Music Plays Me" , more than lives up to Beyond The Pale's reputation for dazzlingly precise instrumental tracks and superb vocal performances. In their eclectic fashion, Beyond The Pale once again incorporates a broad palette of musical colors into a flawlessly pleasing collage of world flavors using a list of acoustic instruments as long as your arm and doing it well. With several original selections and covers of material from Tim O'Brien, Dave Carter, Trout Fishing In America and Radney Foster plus great traditional selections with Beyond The Pale's unique stamp, this CD is sure to please.
Here's some information about the tracks on "THE MUSIC PLAYS ME":
Princess Morgan/ The Skipper (Original music by Gordon McLeod, McLeod Nine Music, ASCAP © 2005) Princess Morgan was composed for Gordon’s daughter…The Skipper, although a fitting score for a naval movie, is actually Gordon’s dog.
The High Road (Tim O’Brien, Universal Music Corp) This haunting song is about the memory of a lost love and a song that the two lovers once shared together. It's yet another fine example of how "the music plays us." Thanks to our dear friend Elaine for passing this song along via a recording by a wonderful Pacific Northwest group of all-female acoustic performers, The Misty River Band. (Betsy Cummings, lead vocal)
Sligo (Original lyrics and music by Gordon McLeod, McLeod Nine Music, ASCAP © 2005)/ Collier’s Reel (traditional) There is something about County Sligo, Ireland…beautiful and mysterious. (Gordon McLeod, lead vocal)
Goin’ up to Sligo, Gonna’ climb Mt. Knocknarea, Wanna’ conjure up a double rainbow, Like we did that day.
Chorus: Sligo from your mountain looking down, I can feel your hills and valleys, hear your sounds, I can wonder at the stones piled on this mound, Oh oh oh,….. Sligo
Climbing up to Carrowkeel, Gonna’ slip under a stone, Let the sunrise on the equinox, Set fire to our bones.Sun storm on the ocean, blowin’ up the spray, Ten thousand years of mystery splashes on our face, Splashes on our face…
Goin’ up to Sligo, Gonna’ climb up on Maeve’s mound, Hear the crashing of the ocean, Feel the power of that sound.
A Sideways Glance/ Gaestebud (The Feast); These are two fantastic tunes by European composers…the energy of these tunes speak for themselves. Sideways Glance (Original music by Paul James, © 1986 used by permission, www.blowzabella.com ) Gaestebud (The Feast) (Original Danish folk music by Morten Hoirup, used by permission, www.hhduo.dk , KODA/Composers of Denmark)
The Music Plays Me (Original lyrics and music by Christy McLeod, McLeod Nine Music, ASCAP © 2005) Dedicated to two of the best Irish musicians we know…whose love of sharing a tune and a pitcher of beer inspired a great conversation…P & T…here’s to you! (Christy McLeod, lead vocal)
I met a man who travelled around Playin’ his music from town to town Didn’t know where it came from…he didn’t learn the parts The music’s just there…it comes from the heart
The world’s just a dot, he said, spinning in air And sometimes it feels like nobody cares And sometimes it feels like they’ll eat you alive Yet through it all, the music survives.
Chorus: He said, it’s not about talent or art
I don’t play music...I play my heart It all comes so natural…the music comes free I don’t play the music, the music plays me I don’t play the music, the music plays me
I met a man who sang me his song Of joys and of sorrows his whole life long Sometimes was for money, sometimes he sang free He said the words of the music are the spirit in me.
Singing songs about lovin’ and leavin’ the land Of people and places and things that were grand The songs have a power....the spirit ascends This gift of the music is there without endKeep the faith...hold your head up high You may feel earthbound…keep your eye on the sky Everything matters… no matter how small When you give it voice…you give voice to us all
Who Are These People? (Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet, Troutoons Publishing © 1994) The song simply reports on a celebrity obsessed world and exposes the emperor's new clothes. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.” ~ Albert Einstein~. This song comes to us from the great folk duo Trout Fishing In America.
The Abbeyfeale Polkas Traditional Sliabh Luachra tunes…learned at an incredible session at Murphy’s Pub in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, Ireland, in 2004, from our friends in the band, Sliabh Notes, (Matt Cranitch, Donal Murphy and Tommy O’Sullivan)…too bad we can’t play them as fast as we did that July night!
I Go Like The Raven (Dave Carter/ ©Dave Carter Music ( BMI), admin, by Tracy Grammer Music (BMI) This song is about the strength and wildness of the female spirit…another great suggestion from our pal, Elaine Christian. (Christy McLeod, lead vocal)
Matty (Johnny Mulhern, Bal Music)/The Boys of Malin (traditional) This song is truly a masterpiece from a great Irish songwriter. It tells the story of an everyday poet who is just a bit too sensitive for this world. We’ve all got a “dark familiar”…Matty made friends with his. (Gordon McLeod, lead vocal)
Danny Murphy’s Reel (Original music by Gordon McLeod, McLeod Nine Music, ASCAP ©2005)/The Monaghan Twig (traditional)/ The Old Bush (traditional)
Gordon wrote the first of these reels for his young friend Danny Murphy, son of Donal and Mary Murphy. Donal is the magnificent box player from Abbeyfeale who plays with "Sliabh Notes" and "Four Men And A Dog". Danny is a budding baseball star in Ireland ( where that's a rare thing!) and a wonderul spirit. His sister, Melanie is a fine young fiddle and whistle player and their younger brother Eoin is a fine young guitarist with rock star genes!
Old Silver (Radney Foster, © 1992 BMG Songs, Inc./Muckleroy Music, ASCAP) Years ago, Betsy fell in love with this Radney Foster composition about the life and love of a gambler as told from the perspective of his "sidekick" friend. The imagery in the lyrics tells a fine tale full of interesting characters-- through poignant and humorous themes. (Betsy Cummings, lead vocal)
Cuckoo’s Nest/Old French/Red Wing (traditional) Red Wing adaptation by Gordon McLeod, © 2006
A grand finale if there ever was one. Beyond the Pale transforms the union label song into a "klezmerized" sax- tinged polka!
Gordon McLeod: Fiddle, mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar, bass, clarinet, harmonica, bodhran, percussion, vocals Christy McLeod: Guitar, bodhran, percussion, vocals Betsy Cummings: Accordion, bodhran, vocals John Delaney: Hammered Dulcimer, flute, whistles, concertina, C-Melody Saxophone, tenor saxophone, vocals
Guest musician: Dirje Smith: cello, background vocals
String arrangement on "Who are these People" by Gordon McLeod, performed by Gordon McLeod and Dirje Smith a.k.a. "The Amazing Stringtet".
Special thanks to all of our family and friends who help keep the music playing in us all; Betsy’s husband Shawn Capehart; The Southwest Celtic Music Association for years of support; Dirje Smith for her excellent cello work on several of these selections, to Matt Cranitch, Donal Murphy and Tommy O' Sullivan of Sliabh Notes, and Paddy Keenan for the polkas and inspiration, Bob and Denise Gentry for their ears and advice.
Produced by Gordon McLeod © 2006 All musical selections used by permission of the composers and/or publishers: traditional selections noted. All arrangements by Beyond The Pale or as specifically noted. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Gordon McLeod at Mockingbird Lane Studio, Tyler, Texas. Cover art design by Christy McLeod; graphics by Stuart Fleming. Band concert photographs by Steve Farmer (www.ceili-album.com )