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The Light Side of the Tune 2021 Download

by Brenda Castles

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‘The Light Side of the Tune’ is a collection of unusual versions of some of the well-known tunes in the tradition.

I’ve spent time over the last three years collecting interesting settings of some of the common tunes in the tradition. I realised that there were many tunes that I didn’t enjoy learning as a child and disliked playing as a teenager which I found I’d grown to love as an adult. Somehow you find the music in the tunes as you mature as a musician.

The common tunes can also get overplayed, and it can be easy to tire of them. I’ve found it interesting to revisit those tunes, to rediscover the music in them and the reason why they became so popular in the first place.

I heard Liz Carroll perform her gorgeous re-working of Miss McLeod’s reel, leading me to think about how tunes evolve and wondering about what more was out there in the archives. It’s fascinating to go back and hear how a tune can change over time and distance, with varying melody, time and key signatures and depending on the musician playing it.

I started looking in the archives, talking to other musicians and keeping my ear peeled for unusual, interesting versions of some of the common tunes in our tradition.

This album is the result of that work.


released November 19, 2021

Kate McHugh on piano, Ruairí McGorman on bouzouki and Tony Byrne on guitar.
Engineered by Al Cowan at Sonic Studios.
Mastered by Martin O'Malley at Malbay Studios.


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Brenda Castles Ireland

Brenda is from a rich tradition of music in Co. Meath having learned concertina from Rena Traynor (née Crotty) and Mícheál Ó'Raghallaigh. She has a series of All Ireland Fleadh titles to her name both in solo and group competitions. She is currently residing in New York where she is performing and teaching for Autumn 2017. ... more

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