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Gavin Whelan / Blog

Gavin Whelan's latest production is entitled, and focused around, his Homelands

From: Irish Music Magazine, December 2011

He tells Derek Copley that he is not closing his borders just yet. "I'm looking forward to the New Year and doing some gigs abroad as well as at home in Ireland" he said over a cup coffee in Dublin's Temple bar in fact, he is very eager in bring his latest offering to the international stage, during which he hopes homelands, his fourth studio album, will expand his ever growing fan base good news for them as he told me I'm going to concentrate on more live gigs with the CD. and with the growing presence of of live venue's around Ireland at the moment , Its also a perfect time, he feels to concentrate in Ireland two. He said if the burgeoning folk club scene.

Its giving musicians a chance to do more live gigs, The audience has increased with more venues that have popped up. That's spurred it on more. I went to see Tim O Brien at the liffey Banks sessions at the Grand social and it was packed and Eliza Carthy in Whelan's and it was jammed there too.

This is in part, Gavin feels, due to people's need for an escape from the constant doom and gloom of current affairs. Especially the way things are at the moment, people like to having live music to go and listen to. And this is something he has been particularly conscious of while gigging around the country. I mean playing sessions as well as concerts, around town its always at the back of your mind to keep it up beat, your always aware to keep it up beat all the time. Its what people want when there out so we give it to them.

And its been at these sessions and concerts, over the past few years, were the concept of Homeland came about. I wanted to feature the pipes because I was playing the pipes more over the past few years. And I had the tunes there that I wanted to feature on the pipes too. Not just a solo account of Gavin's piping, he was delighted to have feature frequently on the album Derdrie Smyth on fiddle, among others including Daire Bracken, Paul Doyle and Gavin Ralstan who each do there part in the accompaniment.

Id been playing a lot with Derdrie Smyth. I got such a buzz with the sound of pipes and fiddle. There's a good connection there. This musical partnership was formed after the launch of Gavin's last album In Full flight. In Full Flight. We just struck up a chord playing together, We've only been playing together a year and half. from the launch of the last album. By focusing on his pipes more over the last few years, Gavin had built up a number tunes, which he said, found there way into album format when he started playing with Derdrie, I wanted to play the tunes I'd been collecting for a while on the pipes.

With the fiddle combo, it gave us an idea to come up with arrangements, citing tunes including Statia Donnelly, which he leaned from Mick O'Brien, as part of the inspiration for homelands.

So What gave a rise to the title, Homelands? Well for Gavin it was a case if representation of his home place and that of his musical journey, something he feels audiences and musicians will be able to connect with.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT: www.gavinwhelan.ie/news.htm