the thrush in the storm (2013)

After spending two decades pushing the boundaries of traditional music and song, The Thrush in the Storm sees the band very much return to the basics of great tunes and songs played in a way that resembles the session in the pub where it all began for them. The music is stripped back to just the six musicians playing with all the strength and passion that can only be possible after decades playing together. The band really play to their strengths on this record with tracks like The Rolling Wave, The Harp And Shamrock, Baba Chonraoí as well as the title track Thrush in The Storm.



To celebrate 20 years of their career Dervish released this album showcasing two great concerts from stages on opposite sides of the globe. One in Sebastopol CA, the other in their home town of Sligo. Both concerts feature some amazing renditions from their back catalog with help from some of their great friends. Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Mike Marshall and Vasen join them in California while Duke Special and Ron Sexsmith join them in Sligo for a fantastic version of Gold In Them Hills.


Folk songs and ballads can appear in unusual setting and on this album Dervish explore some of these songs that could in other life been written in the Irish Tradition. One example is the song Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves, written by Sunny and Cher in the late sixties. The song is a ballad written through the eyes of a child born into a Travelling Show with all the adventures and dangers that that entails. A beautiful version of Susan Vega’s “Queen and The Soldier also appears on this album as well as Brendan Graham’s haunting Crucán Na bPáiste a song about the hundreds of innocent children buried in a famine grave in county Mayo.



This much quieter album was released in response to a demand for the more plaintive and relaxed Dervish tracks. No hard hitting foot tapping tracks here but relaxed moody songs and tunes such as ‘A Stór Mo Chroí’, and The Fair-Haired Boy from the pen of songwriter Brendan Graham best known for writing the world wide number one ‘You Raise Me Up’

SPIRIT (2003)

This is a particularly heartfelt album dedicated to their long term friend and sound engineer Finn Corrigan who tragically lost his life the previous Christmas. Finn was like a member of the band and was a very important part of the band sound as well as sharing all the ups and downs right from the beginning. The album features the plaintive Beauties Of Autumn, the trance inducing Swallows Tail, and the most stunning version of the Bob Dylan’s Boots Of Spanish Leather.


DECADE (2001)


This album was released on Midsummer’s Night 1999 and features a new Dervish line up, after the departure of fiddle player Shane McAleer. Here Tom Morrow from Carrigallen Co Leitrim joins the band on fiddle and one of Sligo’s most loved sons, Seamie O’Dowd joins on guitar and fiddle. This new line up expands the boundaries of music and sound for the band and this album features beautifully arranged tunes and songs such as The Lark on The Strand, the Child ballad - The Banks of the Sweet Viledee and ever the crowd pleaser Red Haired Mary.


This double live cd was recorded as the title suggests, Live in Palma, Mallorca. A great relationship and kinship was made between the lads in Dervish and their friends in Mallorca after they were asked to come to Palma to play at a friends bar. Out of those early informal sessions came the concert in the Theatre Principal in Palma to 700 people. They decided to record the night but after a difficult sound check at which it seemed nothing was working they deemed the recordings fit for nothing but the bin. Thankfully they gave them a second chance and the result was one of the greatest live recordings of traditional music ever recorded. What adds to the specialness of this recording is the fact that the introductions to the songs are left on album adding a whole new dimension of humour and depth, making one feel they are right there on the night.


This album was released in 1996 and still features the original line up. For a lot of our fan this tends to be their favourite Dervish Album. It features Dervish classics such as Ar Éireann Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí (For Ireland I Wont Tell Her Name), I Courted a Wee Girl, as well as the beautiful Josphin’s Waltz. They are joined on this track by their long-time musical friends Vasen from Sweden, the guitar player, Roger Tallroth having written the tune.


I guess you could call this the difficult second album following Harmony Hill which was years in the making. Much more digging was in order to gather the tunes and songs that make up Playing With Fire. To do this the band members would trawl through the archives, old recordings and manuscripts to find old material that would otherwise be forgotten to breath new life into them. This album does not disappoint however and features gems like Pheigín Mo Chroí, Molly and Johnny, Máire Mór, Last nights Fun and much more.


This album was the first official Dervish album brought out in 1992 to much critical acclaim. It was the culmination of years of playing together in their home town of Sligo in informal sessions in pubs such as Shoot the Crows. The album features the original line up of Shane Mitchell, Brian McDonagh, Michael Holmes, Liam Kelly, Shane McAleer and Roscommon born Cathy Jordan on vocals and bodhran. Most of the tunes on Harmony Hill are from their surroundings of Sligo, a county rich in traditional music through the generations and the album is named after a street in their beloved Sligo.