|"A wonderful collection of traditional song, flute and tin
whistle music from a naturally gifted musician."
Joe Byrne, Mid & North West Radio, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo,
| Colm O Donnell,
outstanding singer, gifted
musician, lilter, music composer and researcher, was born in the parish
of Kilmactigue, Co. Sligo in 1962. He works now as a farmer, forester,
shepherd and sheep dog trainer on the family farm which straddles the
Ox Mountains (The Sliabh Gaimh). With the release of Farewell to Evening
Dances, a trip to Sligo will not be required to experience the music
of All-Ireland winner Colm O'Donnell. It contains a broad, interesting
cross-section of material. Newer tunes in the traditional idiom include
two lovely reels, The Road to Monalea and Up Spinc'n, composed
by Colm. The heartfelt slow air, An Tonn Amplach (The Hungry Sea),
another Colm composition, is dedicated to the memory of three young Sligo
lads who lost their lives off the coast of County Sligo in May, 1998.
The title Farewell to Evening Dances, is taken from the song The
Hill of Knocknashee, a sentimental and lyrical ballad of exile that
has become to some extent a type of Sligo anthem. Colm's songs are suffused
with a ring of authenticity. His flute and whistle playing is lively,
bouncy, and varied, ornamented in the great North Connacht tradition with
the odd delightful individual fleck or turn. Colm's singing style is sweet,
tuneful, and full of soul. Like his manner and soft-spoken voice, Colm's
songs could be described as nicely understated, yet full of warmth and
feeling. It says a lot for Colm's singing that it can cause a tingle in
the spine and bring out the occasional goose bump in the listener! Like
the clear, fresh-water springs of the Ox Mountains in his native Sligo,
Colm O'Donnell's music flows pure and natural.
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