acoustic · banjo · Celtic · dobro · female singer · Irish · male singer

The Unwanted: Music from the Atlantic Fringe (MP3)

The Unwanted: Music from the Atlantic Fringe
The Unwanted: Music from the Atlantic Fringe

The Unwanted: Music from the Atlantic Fringe (Whirling Discs) is an excellent new release that bridges the ocean separating traditional Irish from oldtime Appalachian music. The Sligo-based band consists of Dervish frontwoman Cathy Jordan, former Dervish member Seamie O’Dowd, and former Californian Rick Epping.

Historically, tunes and songs have crossed back and forth ever since Irish people first came to the New World. Many immigrants came across to get out from under the boot heels of landlords, priests, and factory bosses, and when they found similar situations in the big cities of the East Coast, they moved up into the Appalachian hills, where they could find the freedom they craved. There, the fiddle-based tunes they brought with them absorbed African blues influences to become what we now call old-time mountain music, then bluegrass, and eventually today’s country music. The old songs became unaccompanied ballads that shared melodies and verses with their Old World ancestors. Now we see a reverse flow from Appalachia back to Ireland, where musicians and fans are reviving the old-time American repertoire like never before. The Unwanted are an example of the Irish showing us Americans how to do it right.

This song is the hybrid of an air composed by New England fiddler Pete Sutherland, and traditional lyrics that date back to the Civil War, found in a book called “Ozark Folksongs.” Three cheers for the Unwanted! Fiddlefreak recommended.

LISTEN: Sweet Becky at the Loom (MP3)




5 thoughts on “The Unwanted: Music from the Atlantic Fringe (MP3)

  1. It’s interesting to see how one group spread to different locations influenced music. Another example, the Acadians who moved to the deep south helped create Cajun while those in Quebec influenced Quebecoise music. You might like La Volée d’Castors, who after a friend introduced me to their music I saw at an Acadian music festival.

    Glad I stumbled upon this through “related posts”. It’s nice to see another blogger who loves folk. That’s a nice tune, thanks for sharing.

  2. Hey Mish–thanks for the suggestion, I’ll check it out!

    Yeah, the Cajun-Quebecois connection has always interested me.

    Trad Cajun music is like French-Canadian-Appalachian old-time fiddle music.

  3. I’m from RI. I heard The Unwanted on WRIU and i can NOT get enough of “Sweet Becky at the Loom”. Such a beautiful song with a beautiful voice… Thanks a lot for sharing… Thank you!!!

  4. Hi im trying my best to get the lyrics to the song sweet becky at the loom any chance ye could help me out cheers.

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