Far Side of the Glen

County Donegal

A CD focusing solely on fiddle music from the south west Donegal area, The Far Side of the Glen, was launched at the Ennis Trad Festival in November 2011. The CD features two well respected Donegal fiddle players, Derek McGinley from Mín A’Chearrbhaigh, a parish of Glencolmcille and Tara Connaghan from Glenties.

Tara and Derek, having played together for many years in sessions, on stage and in various projects, have developed a repertoire and form that respects both their styles. In 2003 they featured as a duet on RTE’s The Raw Bar series celebrating the music and memories of Packie Manus Byrne. They have toured occasionally showcasing the music of south west Donegal and they both teach at annual fiddle festivals in Donegal where huge respect is shown for passing on the music of the area.

In a world of over-produced CDs, this CD is a breath of fresh air by going back to basics. It features just two fiddles throughout and was recorded over 2 days in a cottage near Carrick, Co. Donegal. “We wanted to leave the music as natural as possible, just in the way and environment we normally play - which isn’t a perfect sounding recording studio” reveals Tara. “I love the sound of the foot tapping, it’s like the heart beat of Irish music so we’ve left that subtly in also.”


'This is not the “flashy” playing so often heard today; each note is given its chance to express itself properly – the music talks to you, as it should. No excessive speed, no attempts at fusion with other styles, just good, honest Donegal fiddling as we used to hear it years ago...’
John Waltham, The Living Tradition Magazine, UK

'The fiddle duets show the effect of long years playing together. There are complementary harmonies and variations, but the timing is spot on: you couldn’t slide a horsehair between these two musicians.'
Alex Monaghan, Irish Music Magazine, Ireland

'Fiddle music is very important in the most northern county of Ireland but what Derek and Tara are delivering is special... They have been playing together for 15 years and we can truly hear that in the refinement of their playing together, the reconcilement is excellent.'
Sabrina Palm, Irland Journal, Germany

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