Zoë Conway

By Zoë Conway

Three comments

does anyone know anything about this recording??? Some info please….

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Shes quite the hottie…..!

Well its brilliant for a start! Produced by Bill Whelan of Riverdance fame featuring some lovely arrangements, nice original tunes, and some stellar playing from Zoe of course!


Mick Broderick
Fionán DeBarra
David Downes
Éillis Egan
Robbie Harris
Andrew Laking
Donal Lunny
Declan Masterson
Des Moore
Micheál O Dómhnaill
Bill Whelan

Produced by Bill Whelan

Track Notes

Sailing In (C.Lennon, C Oliver / MCPS)
Liz Carroll’s (L. Carroll / Copyright Control)
Tie The Bonnet (Trad arr. Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
These are three great reels that I learned from playing in sessions. The last tune is an old one. It is catalogued in Breandán Breathnach’s collection in the Irish Traditional Music Archive under many different names including, The Rambler’s Rest, Upstairs in a Tent, Jenny Tie your Bonnet, In and Out The Harbour, and The Highland Man Who Kissed His Granny!

Button Accordion Éillis Egan
Uilleann Pipes Declan Masterson
Bouzouki Mick Broderick
Guitar Fionán DeBarra
Bodhrán/Percussion Robbie Harris
Keyboards Bill Whelan

The Wren’s Nest (F. Gavin / Peregrine Music Ltd.)
Cloch NA Rón (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
Moving Towards Inishnee (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
The first jig is one of my all time favourite tunes. I first composed the slipjig and then the jig, both named after an area of Connemara where this album was recorded. Cloch NA Rón is the Irish name for the village of Roundstone, and Inishnee is an Island Gaeltacht just off the coast.

Bouzouki/Guitar Donal Lunny
Keyboards Bill Whelan
Tin-whistle/Uilleann Pipes Declan Masterson
Bodhrán Robbie Harris

Butter and Peas (Trad arr. Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
Fahey’s (P. Fahey / Cinephonic Music Ltd.)
The First Month Of Summer(Trad arr. Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
These are three of my favourite reels. The fiddle in this set is tuned up by half a tone because it gives it a ‘rawness’ that I like. The first tune I heard the great fiddler James Kelly playing and I loved it immediately. Fahey’s is a well-known reel from session playing, and the last tune I learned from Macdara O’Raghallaigh of the famous musical family from Meath.

The Two Steves (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
These two slipjigs are the first proper tunes I ever composed. I was working with Steve Cooney and his friend Steve Berry at the time in Dingle, Co. Kerry. We played through a few slipjigs and couldn’t think of any more, so Steve Cooney thought I should go and write some. I came up with these and I’ve been writing ever since.

Guitar Des Moore
Guitar Fionán DeBarra
Keyboards Bill Whelan
Bodhrán/Percussion Robbie Harris

Táimse IM Chodladh (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
This song is literally hundreds of years old and there are many different versions of the lyrics. The common bond, however, is the refrain, “Táimse IM Chodladh ’sná dúistear mé” This translates as, “I’m asleep, and don’t waken me”. The melody has remained virtually unchanged and it is often played as a slow air. The beautiful woman in the song represents Ireland, which is common to many Irish songs.

Vocals Zoë
Keyboards Bill Whelan
Strings Irish Film Orchestra
Arranged Bill Whelan
Orchestration David Downes
IFO conducted by John Page

The Monaghan Jig (Trad arr. Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
Ripples In The Rockpool (S. Davey / MCPS)
The jig is a commonly known tune in traditional music. The reel, Ripples in the Rockpool, is a relatively new one. It comes from Granuaile by Shaun Davey. I found a recording of it in school a couple of years ago, and the last part fascinated me because the phrases are made up of five bars instead of the usual four. I remember hiding away with the tape recorder to learn it instead of going to class!

Bouzouki (and laugh!) Donal Lunny
Keyboards Bill Whelan
Bodhrán/Percussion Robbie Harris

The Pizzicato Waltz (Trad arr. Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
The Hangman’s Reel (Trad arr. Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
In this set, I’m using a different fiddle tuned to C#AEA. This is a Hardinger tuning from Norway which was adopted by the settlers in the Appalachian Mountains in America. There is a lot of left hand pizzicato (plucking the strings), ricochet (bouncing the bow) and double stopping in this piece, so it sounds like two fiddles playing at once. But I assure you it isn’t! I got The Hangman’s Reel from the brilliant playing of Aly Bain. The story behind it is about a fiddler who is about to be hanged and is given a last chance. The handed him a fiddle in a strange tuning and said “If you play a good piece on the fiddle, we’ll let you live.” This is the tune he played, so you can decide the outcome for yourself.

Anachain Tuireann (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
The Tilly Lamp (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
Millenium Eve (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
I composed all the tunes in this set. The name of the slow air means “The woes of Tuireann” it comes from an old myth based around the area where I live. The story is about the three sons of Tuireann and how they met their tragic end. I like The Tilly Lamp as a title because it is reminiscent of an older way of life. The last tune was composed, surprisingly enough, on Millenium Eve.

Keyboards Bill Whelan
Guitar Micheál Ó’Dómhnaill
Bouzouki Declan Masterson
Bodhrán/Percussion Robbie Harris

The Fiddler’s Hickey (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
The Green Cottage (Trad arr. Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
Island Wedding Polka (C.Lennon, C Oliver / MCPS/Squirrel Music)
The first polka is one of my own. I got the second from an old recording of Johnny O’Leary, and Aogan Lynch kindly taught me the last one over the phone! it’s from the Island Wedding Suite by Charlie Lennon.

Button Accordion Éillis Egan
Bouzouki Mick Broderick
Double Bass Andrew Laking
Cajon/Percussion Robbie Harris

Escapade in A Minor(Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
This is a tune I composed after the Fleadh Nua festival in Ennis, Co. Clare. I had seen an amazing concertina player at the festival and had intended giving this tune to him to play, but then I played it myself and liked it, so I haven’t told him yet.

Guitar Fionán DeBarra

Desert Storm (R Mathieson / Isa Music Ltd.)
Rounding Malin Head (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
I learned Desert Storm from a Scottish pipe band during a festival in Galicia in Northern Spain. The range of the tune is limited to suit the bagpipes, but I think it adds to the tune’s beauty. I was really attracted to this piece because of the unusual rhythm playing over a regular beat. The melody of Rounding malin Head came into my head one day at home. I just picked up the fiddle and played it! I was thinking of a small fishing boat rounding Ireland’s most northerly point. Also the Donegal style of fiddling is evident with lots of finger ornamentation, so that’s where the name comes from.

Keyboards Bill Whelan
Bouzouki Donal Lunny
Bodhrán/Percussion Robbie Harris

The Cross Of Savannagh (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
The One That Got Away (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
The first waltz is one I composed for two fiddles. I wrote after a trip to Brittany and I think there is a Norwegian influence there too! The name comes from the famous traditional pub in County Clare called “The Crosses Of Annagh” which to me as a child sounded like “The Cross Of Savannagh”. I always thought it was an exotic name for an Irish pub! I heard the most incredible tune one night in a dream. I woke and tried to write it down, but it was gone - so this jig is in memory of it. Hopefully it‘’ll come back to me some day!

Bouzouki Mick Broderick
Keyboards Bill Whelan
Guitar Fionán DeBarra
Bodhrán Robbie Harris

An Clár Bog Déil (Trad arr. Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd)
This is a very old, very beautiful love song, sung by a man to the woman he wants to marry. It is more commonly played as a slow air. The name translates as ‘The Soft Deal Table’, probably meaning the table where the deal would be done for them to marry.

Strings Irish Film Orchestra
Arranged Bill Whelan
Orchestration David Downes
IFO conducted by John Page

The Caledon Line (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
The Boy in the Boat (Trad arr. Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd.)
I composed this first tune for my mum. It’s called after a road near her hometown of Middletown in County Armagh. The second tune I learned as a child from a Seán Potts / Paddy Moloney LP.

Button Accordion Éillis Egan
Bouzouki Mick Broderick
Guitar Fionán DeBarra
Bodhrán Robbie Harris
The Cock Step (Z. Conway / Zoë Music Ltd)
I composed this reel around the time of year when the clocks go forward. Over dinner, someone mentioned that the day takes a “Cock Step” towards summer and I thought it’d be a perfect title for the tune!

Percussion Robbie Harris
Keyboards Bill Whelan

Zoë would like to thank:
Bill Whelan for, arranging, producing, inspiring, laughing, and everything else!
Daddy for being the best and putting this crazy notion in my head! Mum for all your support, Lisa, Patrick, Suzanne, Seán, Claire and Fionán.
Orla and Donna for everything. All the musicians who recorded on this - Mick, Tristian, Fionán, Robbie, Donal, Micheál, Éillis, Andy Declan, Jimmy Faulkner, Des, Bill and The Irish Film Orchestra. All who helped along the way - Niall Connery, Philip Begley, Richard McCullagh, Dave Whelan, Denise Whelan, Veronica Folan, Donal and Gerry O’Connor, Glen Cumiskey and all from the Irish Music Archive, Charlie Lennon, Mikie Smith, Ciarán O Grady, John, George and Andy, Kate Pierce and Tracy, David Downes, Steve Cooney, Ciarán Bruster, Barbara Galavan, John Cook, Martin McAllister, Cathal Hayden, Brendan Larrisey, Padraig Ferry, Maeve Broderick, John Page and Catriona Walsh of The Irish Film Orchestra.

Recorded by Philip Begley and Richard McCullough

Mixed by Philip Begley
Produced by Bill Whelan

Sleeve Design by Four 5 One Design
Photography by Eoghan Kavanagh