Wantin' Something More

Beyond the Pale

New release from this Celtic-Americana powerhouse with stellar vocal harmonies and hot instrumental chops, spanning globe and genres from Appalachia to Romania, slip jigs to breakdowns, Cajun to Celtic, original to traditional and unique covers.

Wantin’ Something More is well done all the way through…from the tunes to the instrumentation and from their voices to their blended harmonies. All come together to create this wonderful piece of listening pleasure and foot stomping fun. Band members are: Gordon McLeod (vocals, fiddle, guitar, bass, mandolins, banjo, & percussion), Christy McLeod (vocals & guitar), Betsy Cummings (vocals & accordion), & John Delaney (vocals, flutes, concertina, hammered dulcimer, whistles, & saxophones). Guest musicians include Cara Wildman on the bodhran and Bob Gentry on drums.

There are 13 tracks on this CD, spanning the globe from Romania to Australia, and from waltzes, Cajun music, and Ragtime to Slip Jigs and Reels. And they all have stories to tell.

1.Same Old Man: Think harmonies. This is a lively, foot stomping tune starting with vocals by Gordon McLeod which is soon blended with 4-part harmonies as Betsy Cummings, Christy McLeod, and John Delaney lend their voices in typical Beyond the Pale fashion. The tune is a version of a traditional American song melded with two Irish tunes ; "The Peacock's Feather" and "The Tamlin".

  1. Wantin’ Something More: The title track is an original song by Christy McLeod .Vocals start off with Christy in another lively tune that actually sent chills up my spine with her renderings of highs and lows, softs and louds, and fast and slows. During a short vocal breather, Gordon comes in strong on fiddle pairing with Christy’s guitar and Betsy’s accordion filling in as background. This song was written by Christy last summer while on tour in the Rocky Mountains, inspired by her realization that in order to make room for beauty in life one has to make room by moving beyond the mental clutter of past experience.

3.Patsy Geary's/art O'Keefe's/The Kings of Kerry: These are three Irish slides in the Sliabh Luachra tradition that made me want to link arms with someone and slide across the floor to its beat. Gordon put this set together from tunes learned from sessions in Ireland. The first two tunes were learned from Donal Murphy and Matt Cranitch of the Irish band Sliabh Notes, who have performed at NTIF several times in the past. The last tune was composed by the famous Irish accordionist and fiddler Sharon Shannon along with by Mike Scott and Steve Wickham of the Waterboys. I really enjoyed this combination of tunes, as it literally lifted me up and did not set me down till the very end.

4.Diamonds On The Water: Betsy brought this tune to the band, learning it from the English folk group "The Oyster Band". She was drawn to the sentiment of the song that no matter how tough things get there is always the beauty of music and nature to lift one's spirits. Betsy delivers the vocals beautifully, with Christy’s voice subtly blending in as one. When the octave suddenly go up, their voices become 4 as Gordon and John join in, and you really do feel your spirit soar through the air with the “music”.

  1. Slip Jigs and Reels: “He was barely a man in his grandfather’s coat, sewn into the lining a 10 shilling note”…so the song and the story begins. John does such a great job of singing this song about a fictional Irish immigrant, a young man in the 19th century who becomes an outlaw in the American west. It's John's favorite kind of song; a bit of a dark story with historical references and a traditional Irish tune blended in (The Boy in The Gap). Betsy harmonized on the chorus, “…and he did like the ladies…the rise & the fall. Their ankles and dresses down on the dance floor, and rolling the dice and spinning the wheel, he took most delight in the slip jigs & reels”. With Gordon on fiddle, Christy on guitar, and Betsy on accordion, John joins in with his tin whistle as the song draws to a close.

  2. Catalpa Rescue: Gordon wrote this song based on the true story of a bold rescue of Fenian rebels imprisoned by the British in Fremantle West Australia in the 1870s. They were rescued by one of their own, the narrator John Boyle O'Reilly, who had escaped previously with the aid of American whalers. He became a successful journalist in Boston, bought a whale ship, "The Catalpa" and sent a team back to Fremantle to rescue the remainder of his fellow prisoners in a daring successful raid. Gordon learned this story from an Irish patron who had hired BTP for a gig last Saint Patrick's Day. Chorus is a fine blend of harmonies

7.Romanian Tune/ Horizonto: Two European folk tunes played in what Beyond the Pale have called their “Clown Car Funeral” style. The first is a slow somewhat sad traditional Romanian tune reminiscent of some street bands that Gordon said he’d seen in Europe. The second tune is an exotic, energetic Breton style jig which was composed by Paul James of the famed English folk band Blowzabella.

The first tune a haunting melody, well played by Gordon on the fiddle joined by Betsy on accordion with Christy and John on guitar and flute. Closing my eyes, I visualized a lone gypsy fiddler lamenting or perhaps giving homage to something very special to him. As the tempo picks up, the vision watches as others are drawn forth, linking their arms and swirling to the hypnotic rhythm of the music as sadness turns to joy.

  1. “Back In The High Life”- Christy’s adaptation of the Steve Winwood smash hit from the 80s , co-written by Texas songwriter Will Jennings. Christy had the idea to play this happy uplifting song in jig rhythm , which she thought seemed fit the song perhaps even better than the original Latin flavored beat. I must say I agree with her. Their rendition of this song was lively, fun, & very uplifting, as Christy’s voice and instrumentation seemed to be dancing together and swirling across a stage in jubilee.

  2. Fiddle King- Written and sung by Gordon McLeod, this Civil War era story of the North Carolina fiddler Stobrod, is told from the point of view of the young boy who idolized him. After all, to the young boy, he was the “fiddle king”. Gordon wrote this song after Betsy sent him an article about the research of Charles Frazier, the author of the best selling book and movie “Cold Mountain” . The song and story are rich in North Carolina music and Scots-Irish heritage, and includes musical quotes and verbal allusions to several North Carolina Fiddle tunes, such as "Cluck Ol' Hen" and refer to two other tunes, "Jack O' Diamonds" and "Devil in The Strawstack".

  3. Tommy Jig/ Dan Murphy’s Slide/ Four Posts of The Bed- A lively foot tapping tune with John coming in on the flute as though someone is just whistling along with the music. Betsy composed the first of these tunes which is inspired by the theme from the famous rock opera Tommy by The Who. The second tune, Gordon learned from the playing of the renowned Irish accordionist Donal Murphy as composed by Donal’s father Dan. The third tune has been played by John and Betsy for many years and was a part of the repertoire of their previous band Lost Tribe. The tunes blend together very well, keeping the tempo moving along smoothly and upbeat to the end.

  4. Sweet William’s Ghost- An ancient ballad from the Francis Child collection, with vocals by Betsy Cummings. It tells the story of the ghost of William who visits his betrothed to confess and repent his infidelity in life. John adds some tastefully played concertina to the arrangement , with a little sweetness from Gordon's fiddle

  5. The Goodnight Song- John brought this song to the band . Accompanied by sparse finger picked guitar, this song of friendship fits perfectly into BTP’s repertoire of four part harmony songs, with brief solos by John and Christy. I love this song. It was wonderfully sung taking an emotional run down a mellow pensive trail. “Keep a hold on hope through the darkest veil, and we’ll meet further on down the road”

  6. The Diamond Waltz/ Cajun Billy/Ragtime Annie- The first Tune is a beautiful waltz composed by the renowned Irish accordionist Billy McComiskey. The second and third tunes are traditional American tunes given the Beyond The Pale treatment with hammered dulcimer, flute , whistle, guitar, accordion and fiddle. I loved these set of tunes, loved the Cajun, and especially found the Ragtime such fun. Your shoulders wouldn’t stay still.

Review by Lybo Buchanan published in "The Ceili" magazine.

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Paleontology

Beyond the Pale

Beyond The Pale, in their album Paleontology, explore the musical connections betweenAmerican folk music the traditional music of the immigrants that came to America from Ireland, Scotland and other parts of Europe. and American folk music.

Beyond The Pale likes to explore the musical connections between the traditional music of the immigrants that came to America from Ireland, Scotland and other parts of Europe, and American folk music. The title of our latest CD, Paleontology, refers metaphorically to this process of searching in the past for connections to the present. Each of the tracks on the CD contains elements of these past connections, unearthed and cast in the light of the present day.

Inside Liner notes (1 full panel)

  1. I’ve Just Seen a Face (J. Lennon- P. McCartney) Gordon’s grandparents immigrated to the United States from Liverpool some 80 years before the Beatles arrived in the United States for the first time. Gordon sings the lead, and we spice it up with “The Temperance Reel”, a grand old Scottish tune with a bit of an Appalachian flavor.

  2. Eoin Murphy’s/The Brosna Slide/The Race Classic/An Spailpin Fanach- ( Gordon McLeod)Trad. & Original Irish Slides and Polkas The great Irish band from Sliabh Luachra, Sliabh Notes, has been a great source of inspiration and encouragement to Beyond The Pale over the years. Since we first met them at the North Texas Irish Festival many years ago, we have been guests in their homes and they in ours many times. The first tune in this set, “Eoin Murphy’s Slide” is an original composition by Gordon McLeod, named after the youngest son of Donal Murphy, Sliabh Notes’ accordion player. The other three tunes in the set are traditional Irish slides and polkas from Sliabh Luachra. Matt Cranitch joins us on fiddle for the second tune, “The Brosna Slide” and the fourth tune in the set, “An Spailpin Fanach”, a polka that Betsy Cummings learned from The Dave Munnelly band. The third tune, a polka called “The Race Classic” is one Betsy learned from the Irish group Liadan.

  3. Conjugal Visit (James Nash) Christy McLeod sings the lead on this witty song that she learned from The Waybacks. Conjugal Visit inspired Christy because of the testimony regarding single moms and of good people rising above perhaps not-so-favorable beginnings. It also seemed to lend itself to a Cajun musical feel, Cajun music being influenced by the French/Acadian immigrants to Louisiana.” Morgan McLeod plays drums.

  4. The Laughlin Boy (William Jolliff ) Betsy Cummings was raised with Quaker influences so this song resonates with her values. The song is inspired by a Civil War conscientious objector of Irish descent and fits perfectly in our band's repertoire of traditional Celtic, original and Americana musical offerings. Songwriter Bill Jolliff was glad to hear we were going to record it and said “It's a true story, you know, and the more people who sing it, the longer Seth Laughlin's brave witness goes on.” Historical accounts of the brutality “The Laughlin Boy” suffered at the hands of his own army are available via online searches.

  5. La Valsounette/Homage Edmond Pariseau Two tunes with French influences. The first is a fast waltz composed by J. Molard, violinist from Brittany who played with former Kornog flute player Jean Michele Veillon in the band Pennou Skoulm. The second tune is a French Canadian reel with lots of syncopation and a bit of a polka feel.

  6. On The Turning Away ( David Gilmour/Anthony Moore ) Christy chose to cover this Pink Floyd song, an inspiring message of remembering that we are our brothers keeper and that in an world that grows increasingly smaller every day, turning a blind eye to the suffering of others becomes all the more intolerable. The melody of the song is from a traditional Irish tune. Christy sings the lead and composed the jig that we play in the instrumental sections. Dirje Smith plays the cello parts (4 of them!) Gordon arranged and plays the other string parts.

  7. Sailing To Philadelphia (Mark Knopfler) This song is a dialog between Jeremiah Dixon and Charlie Mason who surveyed early America and drew the famous Mason-Dixon Line to settle a border dispute between the colonies in the 1760s. We thought this song fit well with our theme of musical connections between America and Europe. Since Jeremiah Dixon was a “Geordie” from Northumberland on the border between England and Scotland so we spice up the tune with a little Northumbrian style hornpipe that Gordon composed just for that purpose.

  8. Maid On The Shore (Trad. --Christy and Gordon McLeod) Christy learned The Maid on the Shore in Ireland at The University of Limerick several years ago from Irish singer, Karen Casey. It is a traditional Irish song, and featuring a theme often used in folk music of many cultures, one where the woman is the wily one who turns the tables on the men. We like songs of ironic trickery and had fun giving it a pirate feel…arrggg!

  9. T-Man’s Jig/I’ll Get Wedded In My Auld Claes/Rosewood ( Gordon McLeod) (Orig/Trad) The first tune was composed by Gordon and named after his little grandson, Thomas George. It has a decidedly Scottish feel so we put I together with two old Scottish jigs. “I’ll Get Wedded In My Auld Claes” is an old traditional tune. “Rosewood” was composed by the famous Scottish fiddler James Scott Skinner (1842-1927). John Delaney works out on the concertina on the first and last tunes.

  10. Saving Limbo ( Betsy Cummings) This slightly tongue-in-cheek song was composed by Betsy Cummings after John Delaney expressed his regret at the demise of Limbo in the Catholic doctrine. The song incorporated some of John’s childhood stories about being raised Irish Catholic in Albany, N.Y. It has a distinctly East European feel so the clarinet (Gordon) and saxophone (John) seemed to lend itself to Betsy’s lead vocal.

  11. The Ghost of Willie Clancy (Gordon McLeod) Gordon composed this song in honor of The Willie Clancy Week, a fantastic traditional Irish music festival and school held each summer in Miltown Malbay on the west coast of County Clare, Ireland, in honor of the great Clare piper Willie Clancy. Gordon and Christy attend this festival and school nearly every summer and Betsy has been to it as well. The music and set dancing are like nowhere else. Willie Clancy was an uillean piper and Clare is known for its legendary fiddle players. So, what could be more fitting than to have Mickey Dunne and Matt Cranitch join us on this song celebrating the music of Clare! Mickey’s piping would put the goosebumps on a corpse and Matt’s fiddle playing, wonderful in its own right, matches Mickey’s piping so well it is truly remarkable. Gordon says “I am truly honored that musicians of this stature have added their stellar music to my song.”

  12. That Lonesome Road ( James Taylor/ Don Grolnik) Our audiences seem to really enjoy our four part harmony a capella singing so we decided to record a new piece in this style. James Taylor’s haunting song seemed to be the perfect vehicle with an enduring message.

  13. The Humors of Ballyconnell/The Roscommon/The Reconciliation (Trad. Irish) These are a set of traditional Irish reels, all great tunes for a dance or session!

  14. Now Westlin Winds ( Robert Burns/Trad. Scottish) We often perform at “Burn’s Suppers” in late January and this is one of the songs we always do at these events commemorating “The Bard”. Scottish singer, Dick Gaughan, says, “This song says everything it is conceivably possible to say about anything—and it does it in five verses!” The strings were arranged and played by Gordon with John adding the haunting sounds of his wonderful whistle.

Beyond The Pale is: Gordon McLeod – fiddle, guitar, bass, mandolins, bodhran, clarinet, vocals Christy McLeod - guitar, bodhran, octave mandolin, vocals Betsy Cummings – accordion, bodhran, vocals John Delaney – flute, hammered dulcimer, tin whistles, C melody saxophone, tenor saxophone, concertina, vocals

Special Guest Musicians:

Matt Cranitch – Master fiddler; PhD. in Traditional Irish Music Mickey Dunne – Uillean pipes, one of the last great pipers from the traveler’s tradition in Ireland Dirje Smith – cellist extraordinaire

Produced by Gordon McLeod, Copyright 2010 at McLeod 9 Studio www.gordonmcleod.com

All musical selections used by permission of the composers and/or publishers:traditional selections noted. All arrangements by Beyond The Pale. Graphic art designed by David Hendley. Photo by Paula Cham

For more information and bookings: www.beyond-the-pale.com

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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":

Track 1:

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.

Track 2:

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)

Track 3:

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.

Track 4:

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)

Track 5:

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 end

Keep 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

Track 6:

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.

Track 7:

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!

Track 8:

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)

Track 9:

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)

Track 10:

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!

Track 11:

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)

Track 12:

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!

Credits:

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 )

For more information and bookings: www.beyond-the-pale.com or emails us at beyondthepale@tyler.net

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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)

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

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.

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Strange Turns

Beyond The Pale

If you like fiddle, pipes, flute accordion and great vocals and like to dance, you'll love this eclectic mix of Celtic oriented traditional and original songs and tunes with influences from around the world.

"Beyond The Pale produces music so beautiful and captivating, you can scarcely believe these people have created sounds this lush and full.".....( M.R. Jones,E-Guide Magazine)

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

"These people are high energy performers who put their hearts and souls into the music. A truly unusual and fascinating group." ( Bob Bryant, E-Guide)

"Beyond the Pale made there debut appearance at the Pineknot Music Co-Op in Nacogdoches Texas this past Friday the 25th(Oct 2002) and what a debut it was. This group of top shelf Celtic musicians from Tyler Texas wowed the crowd with expert playing and genuine enthusiasm for their music that was pure joy. ( John Hazelwood , music coordinator Pine knot Music co-op , Nacogdoches , Texas

"I just can't stop listening to it. The vocals are wonderful, the arrangements are fantastic and i just can't get enough of it!" --Catherine Sherer

" If you're listening to Beyond The Pale, your feet are moving!"

"Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful music with us at the Pineknot. I just loved it. You have mastered the art of the Irish through your innovative musical mix. Your new CD STRANGE TURNS has stayed in my car player ever since the concert. Great songs, expressive instrumentation, & smooth transitions into tunes that make me want to cheer! And you put it all together with gentle grace and a sense of humor.
Shalom, Cele"

This is what Beyond The Pale's reviewers have said about their records and performances.

Beyond The Pale have taken their celtic oriented traditional roots and mixed them with such a varieyt of instruments, world influences and vocal styles that they have created something totally new.

Their CD " STRANGE TURNS" covers a lot of beautiful ground, from a set of Breton An Dros based on bagpipe and fiddle duet backed by elcetric bass and trap drums to a four part a capella cover of a Todd Rundgren song.

Here's something about the tracks:

Julia Delaney/Jolene/ Jerusalem Ridge ( Julia Delaney-Traditional Irish reel; "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, Velvet Apple Music; "Jerusalem Ridge by Bill Monroe, Bill Monroe Music) This could be the soundtrack for the story of an Irish woman named Julia Delaney who moves to Appalachia... her man takes up with another woman and a cat-fight ensues. Lead vocal - Christy McLeod

Drunken Piper/ Glass of Beer/ Dick Gossip's ( Traditional Scottish and Irish reels)

Green Among the Gold (by Steve Barnes, used by permission). By the turn of the nineteenth century, thousands of Irish prisoners were being transported to the "Fatal Shore" of Australia, then England's penal colony. True to their spirit, the Irish brought their culture, their music and dance with them. 200 years later, it's still thriving. Betsy first heard this lovely and poignant song at the North Texas Irish Festival from the singing of Sean Keane. Lead vocal - Betsy Cummings

Traveling North America Set (Mouth of the Tobique/Kitchen Girl/Viva el West Side). This set is aptly named as it starts with a French Canadian Reel, then travels to the Appalachian Mountains and ends up with a conjunto Tex-Mex polka.

The Fate of the Children of Lir ( by Gordon McLeod). An ancient Irish legend inspired Gordon's retelling of this sorrowful tale with this song. A widowed king, beguiled by beauty, chooses a truly wicked stepmother for his four children, Fingula, Aod, Fiachra and Conn. Thanks to Matt Cranitch for his expert help with the pronunciation of the Irish names(hope we got them right!). Lead vocal - Christy McLeod; guest musician: Dirje Smith on cello.

With Her Head Tucked Under Her Arm (R.P.Weston & Bert Lee; Francis Day & Hunter Ltd). This is a song from the Thirties poking fun at Anne Boleyn and Henry the 8th. As a child , Gordon learned this from his father, H.F. McLeod. Lead vocal - Gordon McLeod

The Hoochie Dance (a set of traditional Breton dances called "AnDros" followed by "Leaving Port Diedrich" by Richard Kean). Christy named this the Hoochie Dance because, well...it makes you want to dance the hoochie-coo . Thanks to E.J. Jones for the 'clan-dros'. Guest musician: Morgan McLeod on drums.

Old and Strong ("Like a Mountain" by Naomi Littlebear, 1975/ "Mountain Song" by Holly Near, Hereford Music, 1978, used by permission). Betsy first heard these two songs from the singing of Janet Russell and Christine Kydd of Scotland. "Like a Mountain" is a peace march sung as a round and " Mountain Song" was written as a protest against strip mining. Vocals : Betsy Cummings and Christy McLeod

Chicago Jig/ Andy DeJarliss/ The After Dinner Irish Jig A traditional jig followed by a tune composed by the Canadian fiddler, Andy DeJarliss. The last jig comes from a 1908 tune book by J.W. Pepper, possibly compiled for minstrel shows....it is probably neither Irish nor appropriate for dancing after a big meal...but fun to play! Modulation to A minor by courtesy of Betsy.

The Red-Haired Boys ( by Gordon McLeod, followed by traditional jig Garrett Barry's). Tales of charm and dealings with the supernatural are often found in Irish folklore. Gordon's song brings to life the story of Biddy O'Muckcross, an aspiring but untalented fiddler, who is aided by "two wee red-haired boys" toward musical renown. The story comes from Caoimhin MacAoidh's delightful book " Between The Jigs and Reels". To quote the late Irish fiddler, Bobby Casey, "not much is known about Garrett Barry..." however, this well-known jig bears the name of the renowned piper from County Clare, Ireland. Lead vocal - Christy McLeod

Honest Work (by Todd Rundgren; Fiction Music/Humanoid Music). This contemporary song deals with the pertinent subject of work ( and lack of it) and adapting to change ( a subject to which we all must relate). Lead vocals - John Delaney and Betsy Cummings

The Earl's Chair/ Baltimore Salute/ Martin Wynne's ( Irish reels- the first traditional, the last two composed by Josie McDermott and Martin Wynne)

The Widow (by Mick Ryan, used by permission/ Out On the Ocean; Traditional Irish jig) The Widow is a humorous and charming tale of a strong woman battling it out with the Devil. Her "war" tactics are intriguing. Lead vocal - Betsy Cummings

Sputnik's Lullaby (by Richard Kean...a lovely tune for his toothless cat) Guest musician: Dirje Smith on cello.

Beyond The Pale are:

Gordon McLeod: Fiddle, guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, clarinet, piano, percussion and vocals

Christy McLeod: Guitar, percussion, vocals

John Delaney: Flute, whistles, hammered dulcimer, saxophones, concertina, vocals

Betsy Cummings: Accordion, percussion, vocals

Richard Kean: Highland bagpipes, Scottish small pipes

Guest Musicians: Dirje Smith on cello and Morgan McLeod on drums

Strange Turns was produced by Gordon McLeod.

Cover art and design by Kevin Muldoon

For more information & bookings, visit www.beyond-the-pale.com

Special thanks..... To guest musicians Morgan McLeod and Dirje Smith ... to Matt Cranitch, Travis Ener, Andrew Trube for their creative support...to our families : Isabel Nieves (for patience & support), Liam & Ryan Delaney (for comic relief); Melanie Fox Kean ; Brent George, Cle & Ray Youngblood (for all the pet care), Robbie (the cat) Cummings... to our friends: Mike Hryekewicz & John Burleson (for the great tunes & grins), Susan Owen , Jerri Brown , John & Sandi Hebley, Lee Kelton & Lybo Buchanan , Matthew Williams, Debbie White, Legacy, Catherine Sherer & Chuck Bishop, Ed Williams and to all of our friends and fans, especially the unwaivering support of The Southwest Celtic Music Association.

Gordon McLeod plays fiddle, guitar, bodhran, tin whistle, sings lead and backing vocals and composes original tunes and songs that the band performs. Gordon has been performing and composing music all of his life as a solo artist, a member of several bands and as a recording session artist. BTPs latest CD Strange Turns features two of Gordon's original songs. His original composition " The Wild Geese" is featured on the North Texas Irish Festival's compilation CD " In The Tradition' featuring the music of the past performers at the Festival.

Betsy Cummings plays piano accordion and bodhran and sings a wonderful array of traditional and contemporary songs. Betsy has been performing Celtic music for many years and is also President of the Southwest Celtic Music Association. Formerly with the renowned 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 a new dimension to Beyond The Pale's sound.

Christy McLeod's natural soulfulness shows not only in her beautiful singing and guitar playing but in her wit and instant rapport with her audiences as well. Christy began performing in her early teens. She inherited her Dad's love of bagpipe and fiddle music and so naturally ended up in a bagpipe and fiddle band. She plays guitar, harmonica, bodhran and percussion and sings lead and backing vocals. Christy is also a gifted and witty songwriter. Her composition "That Rakish Fiddler Hardiman" can be heard on Beyond The Pale's first CD " Life is All Chequered".

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 vocal performances as both a lead and backing vocalist. 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 has added a depth and texture to Beyond The Pale's performances that will delight old fans and inspire new ones.

Richard Kean hails from Edinburgh, Scotland and plays, what else, the Highland bagpipes, as well as the Scottish small pipes, Border pipes and tin whistle. Richard joins the band for most of their performances as his other musical commitments allow. His power grace and technical ability are astounding but what makes his performances with Beyond The Pale standout is his ability to blend his piping musically with the band's sound and style. Two of Richard's original compositions are featured on BTP's latest CD Strange Turns . Richard spent many years in Canada before returning to Edinburgh and finally settling in Houston Texas where he currently resides.

Beyond The Pale have been featured performers at numerous traditional music festivals including The North Texas Irish Festival (Dallas), Celtic Heritage festival (Bedford), and The Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games (Arlington), Houston Highland Games as well as frequent concert and club performances throughout Texas and the region. Band members make frequent trips to Ireland and Scotland to study and perform traditional music.

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