Skara Brae gained tremendous recognition when Gael Linn released their eponymous and only album in December, 1971. Their name derives from one of the best-preserved Neolithic Settlements in Western Europe situated on the Orkney Islands.
The group comprised of three Ó Domhnaill siblings– Maighread, Tríona agus Mícheál from Kells, County Meath as well as their friend Dáithí Sproule from Derry City. They struck up a musical collaboration during summers in the Donegal Gaeltacht village of Rannafast. There they immersed themselves in the rich song tradition and learnt many songs from Neilí, aunty of the Ó Domhnaills and from Aodh Ó Domhnaill, singer and collector of songs and father of the Ó Domhnaills.
The group were young, from 15 to 20, and incredibly, the album was recorded in a single evening. It demonstrates powerfully the group’s unique and experimental arrangements of the native Gaeltacht song traditional. Influenced by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Pentangle, for example, their sound retains its freshness a half a century later while in 1971 the harmonies and guitar accompaniment caused somewhat of a stir.
Skara Brae was worthy recipient of a special TG4 award for a Music Group in 2022. They received this recognition for rejuvenating an interest in Irish traditional singing in danger of dying out. Gael Linn is delighted to make a beautiful reproduction of the original 1971 Skara Brae album available once again on vinyl. The package contains a handsome commemorative 12 page insert booklet with contributions from their mainstay friend Jim McCluskey and from poet Gabriel Rosenstock.
The vinyl album is a collector’s item and costs €20.00.