- 07 Feb 19
The Irish folk group teams up a star-studded lists of guests on their new album, due out in April.
As they approach their 30th anniversary, Dervish have announced that they will release a new album, The Great Irish Songbook, on April 12. The Sligo-based folk group enlisted the help of some well-known Irish faces on the project, including Imelda May, Andrea Corr, and actor Brendan Gleeson. The album also features major international acts like Steve Earle, David Gray, Rhiannon Giddens, and Jamey Johnson, among others.
The Great Irish Songbook will be Dervish's first release through Rounder Records, a historic Americana and folk label based in Nashville, Tennessee, whose current roster includes the likes of Chris Hillman, Gregg Allman, Ruston Kelly, and Steve Martin.
The new album will see the folk group exploring and expanding iconic traditional songs of Ireland, from 'Whisky in the Jar' to 'The Galway Shawl.' There's also a notable emphasis on Irish poetry on the project, with renditions of W.B. Yeats' 'The Sally Gardens' and Patrick Kavanagh's 'On Raglan Road.'
Brendan Gleeson also recorded 'Rocky Road to Dublin' for the album. Although he is better known for his acting chops, Gleeson is also a fiddler and mandolin player. He has previously played the fiddle and sang in his roles in Michael Collins, Cold Mountain, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
Recorded for the most part in Sligo's The Magic Room, The Great Irish Songbook was produced by Graham Henderson, an Irish musician known for his work with Sinead O'Connor, Declan O'Rourke, Donal Lunny, Sharon Shannon, and Paul Brady.
In the album's press release, accordionist Shane Mitchell noted that, for the new album, Dervish "brought in people from genres sometimes totally unrelated to what we do." Mitchell also reflected that "everyone can find a way to collaborate, even if you're coming from what feels like completely different places."
Since setting out on their career almost 30 years ago, Dervish have shared stages with James Brown, Neil Young, and Sting.
In the coming weeks, the Dervish will announce details of The Great Irish Songbook Live, an international tour that kicks off later this year.