This multi-media project features over 50 musicians and songwriters from all over Newfoundland and Labrador, whose songs cover the gamut of work-related experience from the traditional sea-faring, fishing and lumbering trades to the modern industrial oil and mineral sectors, and all manner of work and labour activity in between. Accompanied by extensive liner notes and a variety of archival photographs, you'll find traditional and contemporary songs representing the population and linguistic diversity of the province, including those from Innu, Inuit and MiqMa'q communities, French-speaking western Newfoundland, and a Gaelic song from the Codroy Valley.
The cover photograph comes from the NLFL photo archive and was taken by Greg Locke. The identities of the women were unknown to us at the time of printing, but have since been revealed as (l-r) Stella Follett, Hazel Savoury, Elsie Marsh and Daphne Grandy.
The title is inspired by a line from "The Man from God Knows Where", a poem about Corkman, Thomas Russell, a United Irishman who went north to organize Presbyterians for the 1798 rebellion viz "We're a civil sort in our wee place so we made the circle wide". The concept captures a family desire to bond growing generations of evermore farflung descendants through sharing and recording their music and singing.
This recording is an international collaboration recorded in Dublin, Ireland, by members of the extended O'Byrne and McGrath clans, and featuring songs that range from traditional Irish and Newfoundland ballads, favourite songs and instrumental tunes of some of the performers, and new compositions by Maurice McGrath.
Gerry Strong: flute, whistles ,vocals
Duane Andrews: guitar (Tracks 6 and 8)
Andrew Dale: bouzouki (Tracks 1 and 9)
Jean Hewson: guitar (Track 13)
Paddy Mackey: bodhran (Track 12)
Fergus O’Byrne: bodhran (Track 2)
Daniel Payne: fiddle (Track 2) accordion (Track 3)
Jim Payne: guitar (Tracks 2 and 3)
Don Walsh: guitar (Tracks 4 and 7)
Shore to Shore: From the West Country to the New Founde Lande came out of a collaboration between SingSong Inc and Wren Music of Devon, England, that started in 1983 and continues to this day. Many traditional Newfoundland and Labrador ballads came here with early settlers from the three West Country counties of Devon, Dorset and Somerset, from where some 60% of Newfoundland settlers originated. This recording was done in 2010 as a special project to commemmorate the 400th anniversary of John Guy's colony at Cupids, NL, the oldest English settlement in Canada.