Manx music: the next generation

ready to launch: Barrule's contemporary folk debut will be revealed to the world on Saturday 18. Photo by Phil Kneen

ready to launch: Barrule's contemporary folk debut will be revealed to the world on Saturday 18. Photo by Phil Kneen

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MANX folk power trio Barrule are to launch their debut album this month, on August 18 at Peel’s Centenary Centre.

Barrule comprises professional musicians including gifted 19-year-old fiddle player Tomas Callister, accordion wizard Jamie Smith (Mabon) and Adam Rhodes (Mabon, King Chiaulle) on bouzouki.

The versatile acoustic trio together create a powerful and wholly distinctive sound, elevating the island’s native traditional music with high levels of performance and musicianship.

With bold but sensitive arrangements, Barrule’s fresh take on traditional and contemporary Manx music evokes an atmosphere that speaks of the natural beauty of the island and the lives of its inhabitants.

‘The Isle of Man has an extremely rich and diverse musical heritage, yet when compared to its Celtic cousins, Manx music is often not given the recognition it deserves,’ said Welsman Jamie.

‘We’re hoping to change that and put Manx music in front of as many people as possible, both on the island and, most especially, off it.’

Barrule are currently away performing at the internationally renowned Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France, where they are representing the island at various concerts throughout the 10-day festival, before returning in time for the launch of their self-titled debut release.

The album showcases a diverse collection of material from rousing marches, jigs and reels, to sorrowful slow airs and beautiful songs sung in both Manx and English.

‘We wanted to create an album of Manx music that has something for everyone to enjoy, not just for die hard folkies,’ said Adam.

‘I think we’ve accomplished that with an album that really shows off the wide variety of music that the Isle of Man has to offer.’

The boys will be performing the entire album live at the concert, with support from Welsh virtuoso guitarist Dylan Fowler, who engineered and played on Barrule’s album at his studio in Abergavenny and draws his influences from Celtic music and from collaborations with players from around the world.

Also joining Barrule at the concert will be several guest artists who were involved in the making of the CD, including local legend Greg Joughin (Mollag Band), pianist Dave Kilgallon (King Chiaullee) and guitarist Malcolm Stitt (Boys of the Lough, Deaf Shepherd).

‘Being professional musicians, we spend most of our time playing gigs off-island, so I’m really looking forward to launching the album, back at home,’ said Tom.

The album will be available for purchase during the launch at a special price.

Tickets are available in advance for only £7.50 from Celtic Gold in Peel, Shakti Man in Ramsey, Mostly Manx in Douglas, Thompson Travel in Port Erin, or £10 on the door.

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