Queen of Skye

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.

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


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.

"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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  1. 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


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.

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