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The Living Wood

Máire Ní Chathasaigh
& Chris Newman


this page updated 22 March 2009

In 1988, Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman released The Living Wood, their critically acclaimed first album together. It originally appeared on the American Green Linnet label, then on Black Crow. The licence reverted to Old Bridge Music in 1994 and we were delighted to be able to re-release it on Old Bridge Music. Bryan Ledgard redesigned the sleeve, and Chris digitally remixed it for optimal sound quality.

The album created a considerable stir, being to our knowledge the very first harp/guitar duo album ever to be recorded. It was the Daily Telegraph's Folk Album of 1988, and one of its top three of the decade. (It also provided the theme tune for the TSW TV series Off the Hook - and for an early-morning RTE Radio programme.)

N.B.: It's come to our attention that the Black Crow version of this album is still on sale in a few places. This contravenes the original licensing agreement and is illegal. We'd prefer that you did not buy this version - not least because of its inferior sound quality - and would be grateful if you could let us know if you see a copy on sale in a shop.

scroll down for press reviews, tracklist & catalogue details

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The Scotsman "At their recent Edinburgh concert, Newman's finger-bustin' bluegrass wizardry made an exciting contrast with Máire's superbly-manicured traditional tones, and so it proves again in their joint album The Living Wood, where Newman contributes some invigorating American tunes to set alongside Máire's Irish themes...Máire's beautiful version of Fare Thee Well Lovely Mary is riveting, (but) Carolan's Lady Dillon, elegant and yet impassioned, is the high spot for me."


Edinburgh Evening News "The Living Wood represents the coming together of two virtuoso performers...(Máire) is arguably the finest traditional harp player of her generation, whose revolutionary approach to her instrument has had a far-reaching and profound influence on the harp world...."


The Daily Telegraph "As uplifting a set of tunes as I have heard in years...Imaginatively arranged, this selection of tunes skips from polka to baroque, hornpipe to Basque waltz...a perfect showcase for the skill and panache which distinguish Máire's playing of the Irish harp, and the brilliant way Newman has with his 1929-built Martin guitar...the folk album of 1988."


Broadbeat "A magical collection of tunes played with stunning virtuosity...The playing throughout is breathtaking. A real humdinger of an LP showcasing some superb acoustic music."

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Tracklist Cáitlín Ní Aedha/The Sport of the Chase
Lady Dillon
Fiddler's Dream/Whiskey Before Breakfast
Fare Thee Well Lovely Mary
Walsh's Hornpipe/The Peacock's Feather
The Flax in Bloom/Lough Allen/McAuliffe's
Beating around the Bush
An Paístí Fionn/La Valse d'Hasperren
Charlie Hunter's/Peggy's Leg/Fogarty's Jig
Cuach Mo Londubh Buí/The Virginia
Mairéad's Mazurka
Bob McQuillan's/Sonny Brogan's
Moynihan's Polkas
Catalogue details Old Bridge Music OBMCD07, 1995
Barcode number 5023405000722
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Old Bridge Music
PO Box 7,
Tel: +44 (0)1943 602203