The Road Across the Hills - Gráinne Brady

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The music for this album acts as a soundtrack to Patrick MacGill’s novel 'Children of the Dead End '. Written as fiction, it is in fact the authors unofficial autobiography, starting with an account of his childhood in Donegal, Ireland. The story then moves to Scotland where Dermod Flynn, as MacGill calls himself, begins to discover his talents as a writer.
The story speaks for the outcasts in society, the labourers, navvies and waifs. It speaks for the Irish immigrant. It depicts the hardships endured by both the Irish and Scottish lower class. The music delves into this world, whilst highlighting the enduring hope that drove such determination to succeed despite the odds.

I moved to Glasgow in a much more enlightened time and am privileged to be able to make a living doing what I love to do – writing and playing music. The compositions are not only inspired by this tale but are also a reflection of my own musical journey over the last few years.

Each track tells a part of Dermod’s story, from his childhood in rural Donegal, to gruelling labour in Scotland, as a potato picker, or 'tattie howker', and a navvy. The tale features some of the colourful characters he met on his journey, as well as a bittersweet story of love and loss. Entwining the musical tale are words from the man himself, which works as an extra layer to the soundtrack, reflecting upon the tale.

The album title is taken from MacGill's well known poem, 'Going Home ':

I'm going back to Glenties when the harvest fields are brown,
And the Autumn sunset lingers on my little Irish town,
When the gossamer is shining where the moorland blossoms blow
I'll take the road across the hills I tramped so long ago –
'T is far I am beyond the seas, but yearning voices call,
“Will you not come back to Glenties, and your wave-washed Donegal?”

Liosta Traiceanna / Track Listing -

1. The Glen

2. The Road Across the Hills

3. Fields of Renfrewshire

4. Norah Ryan

5. Moleskin Joe

6. The Navvy of Kinlochleven 

7. Winter

8. The Search

9. Flower of Danaveen

10. The Woe of It

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