The Bonny Men are launching their new, highly anticipated album at TradFest(see link below for tickets) in Dublin on Sunday 26th January, 2020 - Titled “The Broken Pledge”. this is their third studio album and was recorded over a period of three years . Since forming in 2011, the seven-piece band are no strangers to stage and screen and have continued to evolve and develop their unique sound, remaining true to traditional Irish music whilst also drawing on contemporary arrangements and introducing atypical instruments normally associated with trad.
Working with the finest talent extended beyond the studio walls and applied to the album artwork and a mini-documentary film production. Creating an unexpected and arresting image for the cover of the album and EP came down to the illustrative work of Brian Giles aka SonOfAFox - Instagram: @sonofafoxx – who is an Irish printmaker and graphic designer based in Dublin. Through the process of screen printing, he loves to experiment with bold abstract textures and strong colour combinations, often bringing together these two elements to produce striking and colourful artworks. His practice incorporates a range of processes such as silkscreen, large scale printing, paste - ups, collage, painting, risograph, and photography; all of which are re - contextualized through the print process.
Specific to this album , enhancing and complimenting its sound , was the decision to incorporate a range of collaborations with legendary musicians, Steve Cooney (didgeridoo and bass); Tim Doyle (violin); Martin Johnston (cello); Adele Johnston (viola); and Rónán O’Neill (percussion). Produced by The Bonny Men, the album was recorded and mixed by Damian Chennells at The Kitchen Studios in Clongriffin and was mastered by Ciarán Byrne.
Careful consideration has gone into the music on this album and the overall theme. When selecting a name for the album, it was decided to call it “The Broken Pledge”, after one of the tune titles. As an Irish cultural reference, it also resonated immediately given the different types of pledges that can be made and subsequently broken. It could merely be the drinking pledge most school - going children had to take at the age of 12, but it could also be interpreted on so many other levels. Years of forced emigration, the current homeless crisis, climate change, the list goes on. Although the usual energetic sound carries on from the first two albums, this one definitely has a darker, more sombre edge to it. Tunes and songs deeply rooted in Irish social history such as The Repeal of the Union, The Sun is Burning and Tunnel Tigers have been honoured and presented in the unique and inimitable way signifying the sound of The Bonny Men.
“ The Bonny Men represent a very bright future for Irish traditional music. They are all young, talented, creative and respectful of their role and legacy. It’s long been my contention that our music will best develop from within the tradition by creative and imaginative musicians who have studied and developed their core skills and this is the case with The Bonny Men. One has just to look at the CD notes to see their influences and inspiration: Séamus Ennis, Tommie Potts and Seán McKiernan among others and you know that they are on the right track and Irish music is in safe hands .” -Mick O’Connor