Sunday, 31 May 2009

New CDs from Ulster gospel groups

The Low Country Boys from east Co. Down, Northern Ireland, have just released their latest gospel CD, 'No lang tae go'. The sixteen tracks include familiar material such as 'Rock of ages', 'Angel band', and 'Shield of faith' along with original tunes and songs: the four instrumentals include a banjo tune, 'Granda's 35'. Several songs and the final spoken track, which retells the story of the prodigal son, are in the Ulster Scots tongue.

The CD notes include many old photos of life in the 'Low Country' of Co. Down. Gibson Young (banjo, guitar) and Ivan McFerran (electric bass, mandolin, fiddle) are joined by guest musicians on flute, snare drum, pipes, and guitar. Since the recording, the band has been augmented to a three-piece with dobro guitar; details are on the Low Country Boys blog. The CD can be bought online or from selected shops, from the Belfast News Letter newspaper, or at Low Country Boys concerts.

Mark Thompson and his brother Graeme Thompson, formerly mandolinist and guitarist with the Low Country Boys, have been playing since late 2008 as the Thompson Brothers in traditional close-harmony brother duet style. An album's worth of free downloads is scheduled for release this spring, with packaged CDs available at cost price.