The Orphan Brigade – To The Edge Of The World
1. Pipes’ Intro RELEASE DATE UK/EU: 27th Sept
2. Mad Man’s Window
4. Under The Chestnut Tree
5. Dance With Me To The Edge Of The World
6. Children Of Lir
7. Captain’s Song (Sorley Boy) feat. John Prine
9. St.Patrick On Slemish Mountain
10. Bessie’s Hymn
11. Fair Head’s Daughter
12. To The Edge Of The World (Children’s Reprise)13. Black Nun
14. Mind The Road
PHYSICAL & DIGITAL
The raw, windswept beauty of the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland has inspired adventurers and artists, alike, for centuries. From folklore to folk music, its crags and crannies hold myriad stories still waiting to be shared. Because the land, itself, is wild and rugged, the telling of its tales must harness that same power, so it’s no wonder that the Orphan Brigade’s To the Edge of the World echoes and pulses with the freedom and daring, howls and hope that so many have felt where the lushly pastoral land meets the rocky, unforgiving sea.
Having tapped into the gothic madness of a haunted house in southern Kentucky and the mystical heart of the Templar caves underneath Osimo, Italy, the Orphan Brigade’s Joshua Britt, Ben Glover, and Neilson Hubbard returned to Glover’s Irish homeland for their latest collaborative exploration of the spirit and history, fact and fiction that make up a place. They found it in the stories of lost loves and tested faith that make up the legends of the Glenarm Forest, Madman’s Window, the Sea of Moyle, Kinbane Castle, Slemish Mountain, and more.
In keeping with their previous album exploits, the trio grabbed their gear and spent a week writing the songs on various coastal locations, cliff edges, castle ruins and even at sea aboard a fishing boat. What they wrote in the wild, they recorded in St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland in Glenarm, a site of worship since a Franciscan friary was established there in 1465. With a handful of masterful Irish musicians joining the ever-evolving creative fray, the Orphan Brigade have returned with a doggedly untamed, yet deeply compassionate testament to County Antrim into the Edge of the World.
Neilson Hubbard got his start as a singer/songwriter in the mid-’90s, releasing six solo albums. However, it’s his more than two decades as a producer that have not only put Hubbard on the musical map, but also landed him a 2019 Grammy nomination thanks to his work on Mary Gauthier’s Rifles and Rosary Beads. In addition to helming projects by artists like Glen Phillips, Kim Richey, the Farewell Drifters, the Apache Relay, and Ryan Culwell, as well as being an integral part of the Orphan Brigade collective, Hubbard has also joined forces with Britt in an award-winning video production company, Neighborhoods Apart, that has collaborated with John Prine, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and others.
Ben Glover’s childhood in the sleepy seaside village of Glenarm in the north of Ireland had a soundtrack from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, as has every moment of his life and work since, from his solo albums to his Orphan Brigade projects. Moving to Nashville in 2009 allowed Glover to not only become steeped in the American roots music and culture he’d studied as a kid, but to also become part of the town’s deeply creative community, which lead to co-writing with artists such as Kim Richey, Mary Gauthier, and Gretchen Peters. His collaborative work with Peters — along with his most recent solo release, Shorebound — have earned him top song and album awards, respectively, from the Americana Music Association UK.
Joshua Britt grew up in a family of artists and musicians 45 minutes south of Bill Monroe’s Kentucky homestead and 20 minutes away from the hometown of “Newgrass” mandolin innovator Sam Bush in what could easily be called the “Mandolin Music Capital of the World.” Old forms of music and art are in his Kentucky blood and he grew up obsessed with everything from Old Appalachian harmony singing to digging through fields for arrowheads. Britt has focused on incorporating some of those older and more hard-wired aesthetics and textures into his own art. As a founding member of both the Farewell Drifters and the Orphan Brigade, Britt has performed around the world. His love and talent for visual art also cause him to establish the Neighborhoods Apart production company with Hubbard.
Additional Members: John Prine, The Henry Sisters, Colm McClean, Conor McCreanor, Barry Kerr, Mala Gassmann, Dean Marold, Bessie McWhirter, Danny Mitchell, Pupils of Seaview Primary School
Past Members: Heather Donegan, Kris Donegan, Will Kimbrough, Eamon McLoughlin, Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Natalie Schlabs, Kira
Small, Audrey Spillman, Barry Walsh
NOTES ON SONGS FROM TO THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
1. Pipes’ Intro: “The Green Fields Of Canada” – traditional/arrangement
by Barry Kerr
2. Madman’s Window / Writing Location: Rock formation on the CoastRoad outside of Glenarm, County Antrim
Legend has it that a beautiful young woman drowned whilst swimming in Glenarm Bay. Her sweetheart was so distraught that he lost his sanity and each day for the rest of his life he sat and gazed through the gap in the rock awaiting her return.
3. Banshee / Writing Location: written at midnight in Glenarm Forest, County Antrim
According to Irish mythology a banshee is a female spirit whose wailing or keening warns of the death of a family member.
4. Under The Chestnut Tree / Writing Location: The Armada Tree – St.Patrick’s Church Graveyard – Cairncastle, County Antrim
One of many tales associated with the ill-fated Spanish Armada and the Irish coast is of a Spanish nobleman who drowned when his galleon sank
near Ballygally in 1588. His body was taken to the local graveyard at St Patrick’s Church in Cairncastle and on the spot where he was buried grew a Spanish Chestnut Tree. The tale states that the doomed sailor had chestnuts in his pocket when he was laid to rest.
5. Dance With Me To The Edge Of The World / Writing Location: On the cliffs at Kinbane Castle, County Antrim
The castle was not the location for this tale but the nearby headland of Fair Head. A Rathlin Island chieftain decided the onlyway to stop Viking raids was to offer his beautiful daughter’s hand in marriage. She refused and a brutal retaliation by theNorsemen was expected. Instead the Viking lord invited the locals to attend a feast at Fair Head. Of course it was too good to be true and in the middle of the celebrations a local servant, at the behest of the devious Viking, danced the fair maiden straight off Fair Head to her death.
6. Children Of Lir / Writing Location: on a boat in the Sea Of Moyle, County Antrim
Based on the swan-myth of the Children of Lir, a myth that mixes magical elements of druidic wands, spells, metamorphosis and a message of faith bringing freedom from suffering. The Sea of Moyle is central to this story.
7.Isabella / Writing Location: The Ghost Room at Ballygally Castle Hotel, County Antrim
The Ghost of Ballygally Castle has been around for the best part of 400 years. The popular theory is that the ghost is that of Lady Isabella Shaw, wife of Lord James Shaw. Legend has it that Lord Shaw wanted a son and when his wife delivered a daughter, he cruelly snatched the baby from his wife and locked her in a room at the top of the castle. While trying to escape to search for her beloved child, Lady Isabella fell to her death from the tower window.
8. St Patrick On Slemish Mountain / Writing Location: On the slopes of Slemish Mountain, County Antrim
Slemish Mountain is a volcanic plug and the first known Irish home of Saint Patrick. The enslaved Patrick was brought here to work as a shepherd boy and according to legend this is where his own conversion to Christianity took place while he herded the animals, communed with nature and prayed continuously.
9. Captain’s Song (Sorley Boy) / Writing Location: in a boat in Glenarm Bay, County Antrim
The song makes reference to the infamous local chieftain from the 1500’s, Sorley Boy MacDonnell, who’s descendants still havestrong connections with the Glens of Antrim.
10. Bessie’s Hymn (Here Is Love, Vast As The Ocean)
11. Fairhead’s Daughter / Writing Location: the caves at Cushendun, County Antrim
The caves were not the location for the tale that inspired this song but rather the nearby headland of Fair Head – see Track 5 Dance With Me To The Edge Of The World for the tale. For Game of Thrones fans – this was a site for two major scenes in the series.
12. To The Edge Of The World (Children’s Reprise)
Featuring the pupils of Seaview Primary School, Glenarm – Ben’s old school.
13. Black Nun / Writing Location: Bonamargy Friary, Ballycastle, County Antrim
Anyone familiar with the town of Ballycastle will relate the legend of Julia McQuillan, also known as “The Black Nun”, who livedand died in the Bonamargy Friary in the 1600’s. The Friary still stands today in ruins. She wished to be buried at the entrance of the chapel so that she might be trodden under the feet of those who entered. An old Celtic cross marks her grave. She was said to be a gifted prophet and legend has it that her ghost can be summoned by walking seven times clockwise and anti-chockwise around the Celtic cross, then putting your hand through the hole in the cross.
14. Mind The Road / Writing Location: Glenarm Forest
Inspired by the long and winding roads and rivers of the north of Ireland, and its dark and tortuous past.