Claddagh Records, the iconic Irish record label, has been relaunched along with a new webstore for enthusiasts of Irish music, poetry, and the spoken word around the world.
The relaunch of Claddagh Records, founded by the late Garech Browne in 1959, follows the signing of a worldwide licensing agreement with Universal Music Ireland. Led by Nick Younger, the newly re-formed Claddagh Records Label, within Universal Music Ireland, will embark on an ambitious re-mastering and digitising programme of the Claddagh Records archive and will release over 60 recordings newly remastered, on all Digital Service Providers (DSPs) for the very first time this year. These releases include The Chieftains 1-10, Leo Rowsome’s ‘King of the Pipers’ and Derek Bell’s Carolan’s ‘Favourite’.
Six further archive recordings, including Sean Ó Riada’s ‘Ó Riada’s Farewell’, Seamus Heaney and Liam O’Flynn’s ‘The Poet and the Piper’ and Jack MacGowran’s ‘MacGowran speaking Beckett’, will be remastered, and pressed on to vinyl for the first time and released later this year.
Claddagh Records, one of Ireland’s oldest record labels, specialises in Irish traditional music, poetry and spoken word. The first release on the label was Leo Rowsome’s ‘King of the Pipers’ followed by many recordings by The Chieftains, Liam O’Flynn and Seán Ó Riada. Claddagh Records was also instrumental in recording some of the greatest Irish and Scottish poets alive including Seamus Heaney, Patrick Kavanagh, John Montague, Hugh Mac Diarmid and George McKay Browne.
Over the last 18 months, a full inventory of the Claddagh Records archive, including over 60 boxes of material stored in the Bank of Ireland vaults for several decades, has been completed. Over 300 historic recordings, some of which have never been released, have been fully catalogued and will now be re-mastered and digitised to ensure their preservation. These recordings will be made available both nationally and internationally to those interested in Ireland’s cultural history.
In addition to this, new recordings and releases are currently being scheduled with the record label, including a special release to mark The Chieftains 60th Anniversary and a new recording of Patrick Kavanagh’s “Almost Everything”.
Claddagh Records Webstore, under the direction of James Morrissey as Chairman and Mark Richardson as Operations Manager includes over 1,000 Irish music and spoken word products across all record labels, available to purchase across CD and vinyl. The extensive repertoire spans from as early as the 50s and 60s, with Leo Rowsome’s ‘King of the Pipers’ (Claddagh Records, 1959) and Sean Ó Riada’s ‘Mise Éire’ (Gael Linn, 1960) right up to the present day with recordings from The Gloaming (Real World Records), Lankum (Rough Trade) and Niamh Regan (The Black Gate Label). It will also stock a variety of merchandise, books and traditional Irish instruments. All product on the store will be available to ship worldwide.