Songs of Christmas from Tuam

Songs for Christmas from Tuam

A NEW fundraising CD of Christmas songs by singers and musicians from Tuam and North Galway is different because of the diversity of the tracks. Some of those lesser-known and a few never-before-heard tracks, make the CD stand out from other Yuletide releases.
Well-known Killererin singer-songwriter JP Keane has got a group of performers to record a mix of Christmas songs and tunes that include some classics plus lesser known festive tracks.
This CD, in aid of Cystic Fibrosis, has the classic Christmas tracks such as White Christmas by Don Stiffe, or When a Child is Born and O Holy Night performed excellently by Paul and Sarah Keating.
There is also a stunningly beautiful version of Merry Little Christmas by popular local band Streetwise with powerful vocals by Padraig Dowdall. It has equally well-known and well played instrumentals including Jingle Bell Rock by Frank Clancy and The First Noel by Ciara and Niamh Fahy.
But it’s the less-well-known tracks which add an important extra bit of musical spice to this Christmas collection.
There is an original song, Christmas 1963, written and performed by JP Keane himself. It paints wonderful sound images, in the mind’s eye, of a child’s memories of Christmas on an Irish farm 37 years ago.
The memories that JP sings about are obviously from his parents’ farm but they could be from any Irish country farmhouse, or farmyard, in the 60s. Some of us remember pulling hay from sheepcocks with our bare hands, while encountering pesky thistles, on cold Christmas mornings back then.
It would then be packed into canvas bags to feed the farm animals in snow covered fields. A nice Christmas card scene but a cold one for those involved!
The track The River features a fine female voice and some lovely harmonies and tasteful backing by The Risers. Matt Keane and Mike Stewart sing two thought-provoking John Prine songs, the quirky titled Silent Night All Day Long by Mike and Souvenirs from Matt. I Believe in Father Christmas features excellent vocals and harmonies by The Half Landing group. The good-time party atmospheric sounds in the background blend brilliantly with the appropriately humorous lyrics and the fine performance by The Marveltones of Wine with Dinner. It’s an all-local production with Kenny Ralph in Sun Street Studio, Tuam, putting the package together with his usual professional aplomb.
There is a beautiful cover photo of Tuam Cathedral all lit up for Christmas by Johnny Ryan Photography which adds to making this CD an ideal festive gift.
Available at Quinn’s Newsagents, Bishop Street, and many other local shops.