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MP3 The Tom Collins Band - Dublin Was Your Home

Banjo and fiddle led traditional irish music and song from Ireland. Tempos to get your heart racing and lyrics to remind you of the emerald isle.

10 MP3 Songs

Dublin Was Your Home is the debut album of newly-formed The Tom Collins Band, an Irish group based in Ireland and South Wales. Out just in time for St Patrick’s day, it offers a veritable feast of traditional Irish music. The album combines a collection of mostly new or unusual traditional songs with some of the liveliest, banjo-led instrumentals around.

“Traditional Irish music has the happy knack of keeping up with the times ,” says the eponymous Tom Collins. “It remains vibrant and fresh whilst other styles come and go. . So, whether it’s a hornpipe in memory of an event or person, or a song of yearning or joy, the music always seems fresh and immediate.”

Many of the songs are semi-autobiographical, drawing directly on Tom’s encounters and experiences - whilst the instrumental jigs, reels and hornpipes showcase his virtuoso talents on tenor banjo and mandolin.

The title track Dublin Was Your Home is packed full of memories and yearning direct from the banks of the Liffy. Sweet County Clare is arranged by Tom and tells of the itinerant gigging lifestyle and the homesickness that often goes with it.

“Too much yearning can be a dangerous thing so we’ve leavened the mix with some lively instrumentals like the waltzes of The East Galway Set”, says Tom. “Whichever direction traditional Irish music takes, these forms provide the musical foundation.”

Coming Back Home was the constant thought in the minds of Irish workers in London down the decades: “Will we be here year after year, is there an end to the exiles game?” must surely chime with many an expatriate.

Out on the Wren goes back to rural Ireland with this cheery musical tribute to the traditional 26th December St Stephen’s Day Wren Hunt. Listen out for the lively reel at the end. The lyrics in the Lament for Mary Blaize are from the poem by Oliver Goldsmith and set here in a haunting arrangement by Tom.

The Radar Reel – so called after bass player Jack Mannion’s comment that he’d need a radar to keep up with the plectrum work on this track – and The Raging Pony set a bustling, rural Irish scene with brisk tempos and sudden changes of direction and key.

Carry Me Over The Water revisits the beauty of a “windswept little island” off western Ireland. Over the Miles deals with the age old problem of keeping relationships going at a distance.

Tom’s Long Hill Waltzes provide a stately entrance to the closing instrumental interlude which is rounded off in true virtuoso style with the plectrum-defying acceleration of Phil Cunningham’s Reel.

Born and raised near Athlone in western Ireland, Tom Collins has toured extensively in Ireland, the UK and Europe. He composes most of his own music, performs vocals and plays banjo, mandolin and fiddle. During a spell in London he developed a lifelong liking for busking which supported him during a lean patch. He now splits most of his time between Wales and Ireland.

You can listen to the band on its website https://www.tradebit.com or on https://www.tradebit.com (music section).

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