Rejoice in the energetic polkas and slides of West Kerry and waltzes, marches and reels from Scotland, as four folk musicians at the top of their game come together for the very first time. Chanteuse Heidi Talbot has garnered rave reviews for her live performances, both with Cherish the Ladies and as featured soloist with Idlewild, King Creosote and Eddi Reader among others, and the pairing of her expressive vocals with the extraordinary voice of trad maestro Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich is a match made in heaven.
Winner of BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year, John McCusker goes where other trad musicians fear to tread, sharing a stage with the likes of Paul Weller, Roseanne Cash, Paolo Nutini, Teenage Fanclub and Eddi Reader in addition to being a member of Mark Knopfler’s band since 2008. Completing this stellar line-up is Manchester-born guitarist Paul Meehan, who has toured with such high profile bands as Lúnasa, Na Dorsa, North Cregg and Buille. Unmissable!
“Simply vocal heaven” – The Sunday Times [on Talbot]
“Ó Beaglaoich’s voice shimmers” – The Irish Times
“One of the UK’s most gifted and versatile musicians” – The Guardian [on McCusker]
“Outstanding’’ – Folk World [on Meehan]
About Heidi Talbot
Heidi Talbot's fifth solo LP, Here We Go, 1, 2, 3... plays to the tune of quiet skips and giant leaps. It crosses the ages, jumps into the unknown, traverses oceans and musical styles – from folk, through Americana, to classic pop, and back again. The Co Kildare singer / songwriter, who now resides in Scotland with her musical partner and husband John McCusker, is joined by a host of musicians and co-writers on the album, including Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow), Duke Special, Adam Holmes and Boo Hewerdine. “The title, Here We Go, 1, 2, 3, takes that idea of jumping, whether it's into new musical territories, new bands, a new studio, new label, new family – new everything, really,” says Talbot, the recipient of 2008's Indie Acoustic award and multiple BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominations. A lot has happened since my last album. We've built a recording studio, and started a label, and I've got a different band. I've had a second daughter. I've lost my mum. So, it feels like – okay, get ready to jump...”. Here We Go, 1, 2, 3 explores the tricks and traits of time – the way it passes, rushes, falls back on itself. “The album was written over a couple of years,” Talbot says. “I stopped touring, stopped recording, took some time after having another baby, and sorted everything out in my head a little bit.” And although it was recorded in just ten days - “it's the quickest album I've ever made,” she offers – it's a measured and unhurried long-player which reflects on birth, and death, and getting older, from gorgeous country-pop meditation 'The Year That I Was Born' (co-written with Louis Abbott), through downtime bluegrass psalm 'Do You Ever Think Of Me', to exquisite mortal jig 'Time To Rest', written by Adam Holmes.
The album revels in the comforting, and restorative, powers of music. A strong sense of family and home is reinforced by the album having been recorded in Talbot and McCusker's self-built studio, housed in a converted eighteenth-century bothy next to where they live in the Scottish Borders. The title track is inspired by an old gospel song. “I loved the idea of it being quite uplifting, of it not being a funeral hymn, even though it's about death,” Talbot offers. The same could be said of a bright and beautiful album that touches on grief, depression and love. “It's as sad as you want it to be,” she says, smiling. It's equally heartening, cheering and enlightening. Hope springs eternal.
About John McCusker
“One of the UK’s most gifted and versatile musicians in any genre, John McCusker is equally in demand as a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer” - The Guardian
Born in Bellshill, near Glasgow, John began playing whistle and fiddle as a child and joined the legendary folk outfit Battlefield Band aged 17. During his 11 years with the band, he also released his first two solo recordings, 1995’s self-titled debut and 2000’s Yella Hoose. His most recent albums include Under One Sky and the reissues of Yella Hoose and Goodnight Ginger re-mastered deluxe. John has long been renowned for his skill at transcending musical boundaries: striving to keep his music fresh and exciting, never leaving the past behind but always embracing new sonic