December 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the eponymous album by the group Skara Brae, an album which is considered to be one of the most important in its genre.
The group first came together in the Donegal Gaeltacht and comprised three of the Ó Domhnaill family - Micheál, Maighread and Tríona, in addition to Derry-native Dáithí Sproule. Skara Brae brought the influences of pop and folk music to bear on traditional Irish songs, with arrangements influenced by The Beatles, Pentangle and Joni Mitchell. The album is notable for its vocal harmonisation of songs in Irish. While it seems incredible to us today, the entire album was recorded in one afternoon!
The group’s members all went on to forge stellar careers in music and were involved in some of the finest Irish music ever made e.g. Tríona and Micheál with The Bothy Band, Dáithí Sproule with Altan, and Maighread in her solo career. Sadly, Micheál died in 2006, while Maighread, Tríona and Dáithí each continue to perform to great acclaim.
Related recordings on the Gael Linn Label:
• Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill: Tríona (1975) CEFCD043
• Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill: Maighread (1976) CEFCD055
• Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill: Gan dá phingin spré/No Dowry (1991) CEFCD152
• Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill: Idir Dá Sholas/Between two lights (2000) GLHCD 9002
• Mícheál Ó Domhnaill: with Paddy Glackin, Athchuairt/Reprise (2001) CEFCD180
• Mícheál Ó Domhnaill: Keep ‘er Lit (2007) MOD001
1. An Cailín Rua
2. Suantraí Hiúdaí
3. Bánchnoic Éireann Ó
5. Táim Breoite Go Leor
6. Inis Dhún Rámha
7. An Saighdiúir Tréigthe
8. Cad É Sin Don Té Sin?
9. An Chrúbach
10. Casadh An tSúgáin
11. Caitlín Óg
12. Airdí Cuan
13. Tá Mé 'mo Shuí
14. An Buinneán Buí
15. Caitlín Tiriall