Mary Ann Kennedy & Na Seòid
The word ‘super-group’ is perhaps all too prevalent nowadays, and in most instances is probably a musical term best avoided. However it’s difficult to know how else to describe Mary Ann Kennedy & Na Seóid (the ‘Heroes’), given that the group features such an abundance of individually talented members.
An award winning broadcaster, musician, writer and producer in her own right, Mary Ann Kennedy – the groups passionate instigator and undeniably a major beat in the heart of Scotland’s traditional music scene – brings together seven up-an-coming, and in some cases already well established, young male vocalists and multi-instrumentalists in what she has termed “a gathering of Gaeldom’s young lions”.
Collectively they look set to breathe further inspirational life into our already rich traditional music heritage and between them they account for many of traditional music’s highest accolades. Over and above Mary Ann herself (a double gold medal winner at the National Mod) there’s James Graham (Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2004); Norrie McIver from ‘Bodega’ – winners of the Radio 2 Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2006; Tormod MacArthur (Seann-Nos Gold Medal Winner 2006);Gillebride MacMillan and Calum Ailig MacMillan (both double gold-medal winners at the National Mod) and last but by no means least Angus MacPhail and Griogair Labhruidh.
Whatever the label anyone might seek to apply to them, what cannot be denied is that this is a wonderfully progressive collective of musicians, ably showcasing the breadth of talent emanating from of a new generation of leading lights in Scotland’s traditional music scene.
Their already acclaimed, self-titled, debut album, previewed at a sell-out concert on the closing night of this year’s ‘Celtic Connections’ festival in Glasgow, was released in April 2008, and with interest already building in it, and the group in general, both nationally and internationally, this is definitely one to watch.
STOP PRESS - NA SEOIDS DEBUT ALBUM HAS NOW BEEN NOMINATED IN THIS YEARS SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL MUSIC AWARDS IN THE 'BEST ALBUM' CATEGORY. TO VOTE FOR NA SEOID IN THIS RESPECT - CLICK HERE
In our bid to preserve Scottish musical traditions, the urge to break new ground can sometimes be lost. However Mary Ann Kennedy & Na Seóid more than ably blend both these desirable elements together in a very dynamic fashion, producing an exciting new sound that nevertheless ultimately stays true to its origins and roots.
Having now found its way into the musical mainstream, Gaelic music and song seems set for an ever increasing profile, both nationally and internationally, and it’s more than likely that Mary Ann Kennedy & Na Seóid will be at the forefront of the next phase in Scotland’s traditional musical revolution.
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