MP3 Joe O´Donnell´s Shkayla - Celtic Cargo
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11 MP3 Songs in this album (52:31) !
Related styles: WORLD: Celtic, FOLK: Folk-Rock
People who are interested in Rory Gallagher Mahavishnu Orchestra Moving Hearts should consider this download.
Joe OâDonnellâs Shkayla: âCeltic Cargoâ, released on Sid Norris Recordings, Summer 2008.
Celtic Cargo delivers a rich payload that's been ten years in the waiting. All but one track feature Joe O'Donnell's distinctive and expert playing of the electric violin, whose resonances of jazz and rock combine with the evocative flavour of traditional music from Ireland, Scotland and Brittany.
Joe O'Donnell is one of the finest electric violin players performing in the Celtic tradition. He's also widely acclaimed as a first-class mandolin-player, singer and composer. Shkayla is the Gaelic word for 'stories' and provided the title for Joe's 1998 solo CD. It has also become the collective name for various talented line-ups who have worked with Joe over the years.
Resident now in Coventry for over 10 years, Joe has led the current line-up of Shkayla to a produce a fierce-but-sensitive, virtuosic but never flashy contemporary Celtic jazz / folk / rock crossover music of the highest order.
View below for a potted biog of Joe, and let us refrain from our own subjective hyperbole and let the fantastic reviews that Celtic Cargo has received tell the real storyâ¦.
Review from Folk Roots magazine, October 2008...
"Joe OâDonnellâs Shkayla features the virtuosic talents of Limerick-born violinist and composer Joe OâDonnell.
Critically fêted in Mark Prendergastâs influential tome Irish Rock: Roots, Personalities, Directions and generally underrated within the Irish musical pantheon, Joe OâDonnellâs talents deserve better recognition. Often miles beyond as regards musical vision and singular focus than most contemporaries, OâDonnellâs work from his days with Gay and Terry Woods, Trees and East of Eden has seen him combining Celtic, rock, jazz and ethnic musics into a personalised style of musical mood painting. His 1977 debut album Gaodhalâs Vision offers a potent vista of his talents.
Fast forward some three decades and Joe OâDonnell is still scaling his singular heights although with more obvious influences than before.
However, while clothed in studio sheen, Celtic Cargo is anything but faux Celtic. It is folk rock of the highest calibre highlighted with OâDonnellâs storming violin playing, equally versed in classical styles as well as the jazz rock of Itâs A Beautiful Dayâs David LaFlamme and Gerry Goodman in his Mahavishnu Orchestra days.
Actually the overall dexterity of the Mahavishnu Orchestra is a ballpark equivalent of what Shkayla is aiming at within a folk-rock context. Celtic Cargo contains precision, technique and above all intuition and while some pieces are overdone in the popularity stakes, the ensemble and solo playing shines with controlled eloquence and maturity." end.
Review from FiddleOn magazine, Autumn/Winter, November 2008â¦
"A few years ago I had the pleasure of reviewing the re-release of Joeâs epic 1977 masterpiece âGaodhalâs Visionâ. This Celtic concept album combines the best of rock and jazz with traditional Irish music set within a full orchestral framework.
These days Joeâs musical ideas are realised by this six-piece band, Shkayla, whose members between them play fiddle, mandolin, keyboard, guitars, bass, drums and vocals. Celtic Cargo represents the very best in Irish-based folk rock: thoughtful arrangement and powerful settings of jigs, reels, ballads and songs, sometimes delivered with a jazzy feel, sometimes as hard-edged rock: just listen to the powerhouse of an intro on âCam Ye Oâer Frae France?â.
Joe delivers the songs with a lyrical and intimate voice showcased by a particularly haunting version of âP Stands for Paddyâ, based around acoustic piano and bluesy guitar with a beautiful but oddly uncredited saxophone solo. Throughout the album, Joeâs distinctive electric violin sound contrasts nicely with the more ethnic sound of his mandolin, showing the great breadth of sound with which Irish music can be interpreted.
A thoroughly entertaining work, brimming over with musical ideas and expert improvisation." end.
Review from Irish Music Magazine, December 2008â¦
"The full title of this band is Joe OâDonnellâs Shkayla .. they let the music speak for them and it does so very eloquently. Opening with a pair of marches, Brian Ború and OâNeillâs Cavalcade, we realise from the outset that we are dealing with a vigorous and sprightly band of excellent musicians. This is borne out as we move on to the next track.
Sullivanâs John gets a new interpretation on this album, making it that little more upbeat. Like all re-interpretations it may take getting used to if you are more familiar with Christy Mooreâs rendition. My advice is to give it a few listens. They continue this theme of renewing well-known songs with a lovely version of P is for Paddy that may be unfamiliar but again it will grow on you. This theme continues through the album in that they give new, 21st century spins to already familiar tunes. As always, these will need to âgrow on youâ a bit like the early days of Horslips when folk met electricity. From this album I would imagine that Shkayla would be a force to be reckoned with in a live setting (check some electric gigs out on You Tube â Ed).
Meanwhile these eleven tracks will allow to listener a new experience of the old and perhaps bring a new audience to the traditional." end.
Well, how about that, then? You really should just do yourself a little favour and add this masterpiece to your collection. If you want full info on the man, his music and history, then go to www.joe-odonnell.com.
The news we have in early 2009 is that Joe OâDonnellâs Shkayla are getting booked to the max for gigs and festivals across the UK and beyond. This year should prove to be the big breakthrough.
Some biographical readings for you while you work your way through the samplesâ¦
At a very young age, Joe was born in Limerick, Ireland, and he began taking classical violin lessons at the age of twelve, winning two scholarships for the Royal Irish Academy of Music to study orchestral work. When Joe left the Academy, he took up playing lead guitar but returned to the violin two years later. During this time he played for various groups, including Decca's Granny's Intentions, who had also featured Gary Moore on guitar. This started a busy and productive period in the world of progressive rock music, with Joe playing a key role on both sides of the Irish Sea.
In 1971, Joe moved to London and joined Woods Band, featuring Terry and Gay Woods, founder members of Steeleye Span. It was at this time that Joe started making electric violins for his own use, including violectra and 8-string violins.
In 1972, Joe played with the Dublin-based progressive folk band Mushroom, providing violin, mandolin and vocals, and in 1973, Joe joined East of Eden stepping into the shoes of their celebrated fiddle-player Dave Arbus. He was featured on their hit album Another Eden and toured Europe with the band until they split in 1978.
In 1977, Joe released Gaodhal's Vision, a concept album of his own compositions, much heralded as contemporary classic: a totally new and dynamic fusion of Celtic music with jazz and rock. Drawing on Irish Celtic mythology, the music tells the story of the exodus from the Carpathian Mountains to Ireland by a race of people known as The Milesians. The project followed a deal with Decca after Joe approached Tubular Bells producer Tom Newman and Jon Field. Joe was joined on the album by Rory Gallagher, Steve Bolton, Theodor Thunder (Alan Price Band) and David Lennox (Ginger Baker, Blodwyn Pig, The Equals). The album was re-released in 2004 on Sonyâs BMG label with three new bonus tracks.
In the 1980s, Joe lived in Guernsey. During this period he remained active in folk-rock music, and appeared with various line-ups at festivals in Brittany and the Channel Islands.
In 1998, Joe moved to Coventry, to work with producer and musician Martin Jenkins, former member of acclaimed folk bands, Dando Shaft, Hedgehog Pie and Whippersnapper. Joe released his album, Shkayla and around this time formed the first line-up of the band Shkayla with Martin and his guitarist son Ray Jenkins.
In 2004, Martin and Ray took up new projects and a new line-up of Shkayla was established, when Joe recruited guitarist Dave Perry (ex-US band In Athens and Norwegian prog-rock band The Truth Monkeys) and keyboards-player Martin Barter (ex-Birmingham band, The Alliance).
In 2006, the expanded five-piece line-up of Joe O'Donnell's Shkayla performed Gaodhal's Vision at the Warwick Folk Festival. This introduced new band members, drummer Paul Johnston (of Midlands folk-rockers Meet On The Ledge) and bassist Mark Fulton plus old pal Dave Lennox on keyboards. The show also featured The Celtic Vision Orchestra conducted by Christopher Evans, plus dancers Sinead Lightley, Amardeep Nanra and Indigo Dance & Performing Arts. The show was recorded for later CD and DVD releases. [The DVD is said to be âpendingâ, awaiting the outcome of the long-running EMI/BMG saga..]
In 2008, Joe completed the long-awaited new Shkayla album Celtic Cargo, written and arranged by Joe and produced by Joe and the Les Cargo Team for Sid Norris Recordings Ltd at Norris Studios. He is now touring with the bandâs latest line-up in which Martin Barter and Mark Fulton have been joined by sensational guitarist Si Hayden and vibrant drummer Brendan J.Rayner.
Steve Ashwell / Pete Willow 2009.
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