"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, https://www.tradebit.com
"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":
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)
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
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!
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)
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!
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.