Nell home to sing in Gaeltacht with Danú
Nearly two years — and three American tours — after joining trad group Danú, singer Nell Ní Chróinín brings it all back home this weekend with the band’s first gig in her native Múscraí Gaeltacht.
Saturday’s (November 18) concert at the Ionad Cultúrtha in Baile Mhúirne is one of just two Irish dates before Danú return to the US for a twoweek pre-Christmas tour.
Nell, from Béal Átha ’n Ghaorthaidh, made her name as a sean-nós singer, winning TG4’s singer of the year award, and Corn Uí Riada at Oireachtas na Samhna 2014.
Now singing accompanied by her fellow Danú musicians, Nell assures fans that her style remains true to the seannós tradition.“My own style of singing hasn’t changed at all, but I now have accompaniment, which I wouldn’t have had before,” she says.
Saturday’s audience can ex- pect a blend of old and new material from a fresh Danú line-up which sees Dubliner Tony Byrne replace Dónal Clancy on guitar, with Ivan Goff coming in on pipes and flute.
“I’m looking forward to it. A lot of the songs I’d be singing are my local songs and it’s nice to be able to bring the songs back to the locality and the people that had taught me the songs,” says Nell. “There’s a little bit of pressure, but I suppose that’s good too. You want people at home to enjoy it and say ‘they did a nice job on that’. It’ll be a good mixture between lively songs, slow songs, tunes and craic.”
While in Ireland, the band plans to add new tracks to those already recorded for a new album, due for release in March. Then it’s back to the US for what will be Nell’s fourth tour since joining Danú in January 2016. A national school teacher in Carlow, Nell juggles this work with her stage career thanks to a jobshare, and is delighted to have the opportunity to tour.
“It’s been great fun and something that you always dream of when you’re young,” she says. “It’s still new to me and I’m really enjoying every minute of it.”
Singer Nell Ní Chróinín and trad group Danú perform at the Ionad Cultúrtha in Baile Mhúirne this Saturday.