The release of Tuatha Dea “Irish Eyes” highlights a new dimension

GATLINBURG, Tenn. – The band, Tuatha Dea, released their latest album, “Irish Eyes”, consisting of 14 tracks, with a mix of new songs and a dash of old favorites with new twists.

The new album features four songs from previously released albums that the group describes as having “evolved” from their original compositions, as well as a cover of AC / DC’s “It’s a Long Way to the Top” performed in a style which is the signature of Tuatha. DEA.

Image courtesy of Tuatha Dea

The recording was originally due out to celebrate the group’s 10 years in May 2020, but the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has derailed their plans. Instead, what was originally intended to be a shorter album nearly doubled in length, as time and access to the studio was endless, with no shows to play or travel.

One thing that is mostly missing from this new release is the predominant sound of the hand drums that were previously at the heart of much of their music. The drums are still part of the music, but much less obvious than on previous versions.

The band members chatted with The Wild Hunt about their new release and plans. Danny Mullikin, the “patriarch of the group as one of the four founding members,” said “In this particular case under Sound Biscuit banner, which is mainly a Blue Grass label, we have chosen to present this style of Tuatha, a version more focused on the strings of the group ”,

“This in no way negates our previous music and we will continue to play these songs,” he continued, “This album was a departure from the previous work and reflects our ability and desire to be versatile.”

The music on the new album demonstrates the band’s ability to embrace and incorporate different styles while retaining their distinctive sound described as Appalachian Americana.

While the current band members are: Danny Mullikin, Rebecca Mullikin, Katherine Holman, Chris Bush (whatever blows!), Jeremiah Waldo (bass), Brett Maney (drums) and Haley Olson (violin), work from the past Members who include violinists Laura Smith and Chantal Haskell, guitarist Adam Ogle and bassist Tesea Mullikin are also featured on the Tuatha Dea release.

Mullikin’s granddaughter, Sarah Faith Copeland, who is credited on the track, “Sweet little sister”Recently made the decision to join the group after the release had already been sent for production.

The previous group, Tuatha Drum Nation, began in 2008 to conduct drum circles as a means of promoting community bonds. On December 21, 2010, they formed Tuatha Dea and debuted at the Preservation Pub in Knoxville, Tennessee, their first gig.

Tuatha Dea promotional poster – courtesy of D. Mullikin

From there, the group began to walk a road full of twists and turns on their own personal journey of evolution. As the band members changed and Mullikin’s musical skills developed, the band’s sound changed to reflect those changes. Different members brought different musical skills to the stage, those skills would be reflected in the music that was written. Mullikin sees the changes and expansion as a natural progression of all writing circles around instrumentation.

The searing guitar riffs written and performed by Brandon Mullikin that are so evident in songs like “Follet of a thing”Became more prominent on some of the more acoustic aspects like the flute in previous songs, and would eventually make way for the introduction of strings in the form of violin licks which are intertwined in the current album.

About his own musical skills, Mullikin said: “Drums are my thing, have always been at the heart of my music, but as I evolved with other instruments the style of music has expanded and evolved. “

Almost everything on the album was played for audiences via live streaming or in more recent in-person shows. Mullikin said: “We entered the studio in the fall of 2019 and we expected a release in May 2020.” The pandemic has changed everything.

“The only new song we had played publicly before the shutdown was’The black Douglas. ‘ Then, while we were doing the livestreams for a year, we started incorporating more new songs, so a lot of people heard them already before the album came out, ”explained Mullikin.

He went on to say, “It all worked out a little weird with Covid and a little backwards. We started adding these songs to the mix because honestly we weren’t sure we would ever be able to play in public again.

The title cut, “Irish eyes”Is noticeably light on drums, but is very reminiscent of the band’s roots. The song features Chris Bush as a counterpoint on pennywhistle, with Rebecca Mullikin on vocals and Laura Smith’s violin strung throughout.

New songs featured on the album like, “How i ride,” and “Sweet little sister», Reflect the hard-hitting guitar interwoven with violin riffs that echo the group’s earlier works.

For drum fans, “Party, party, party” and “Miss me when I’m goneThe two feature Brett Maney on his drum kit which captures much of the same hand drum energy so associated with the band.

The fourth track on the album, “Follow your shadowIs referred to as “For Charlie” and while the liner notes don’t elaborate, it’s a tribute to author Alex Bledsoe’s 10-year-old son who passed away suddenly in 2018. The song is masterful and reflects the best of musical skill that Mullikin and the Tuatha tribe bring to the table. Even without an explanation, it’s clear that the song was conceived with kindness and more than a generous dollop of love.

Updated or “evolved” versions of previously recorded songs reflect not only the group’s growth and expansion, but Mullikin’s original intent as well. He explained that “The sky is falling,“which was on their very first release, in this latest incarnation is more in keeping with what his original idea was for the song.

“Thinking back to the music on the first album, there were only three really original songs, but that just wasn’t what they were meant to be. We weren’t good enough musically to do what I originally wanted. With more instrumentation, this is now what I envisioned.

Another revisited track from the album, “Fall.”Is often mistakenly attributed to being written in Becca because we sang it together. I wrote it in 1999, a decade before we even met, but it’s become a thing with me and Becca and that’s fine with me, ”Mullikin said.

On the decision to include “Hypocritical mass“on the album Mullikin said,”Hypocritical mass‘evolved in incredible ways and after being videotaped at Floyd Fest 2019 it got enough traction that we wanted to capture this version.

It was also the song that placed the band 15th out of 10,000 competing bands around the world in the 2015 Hard Rock Rising Bands Battle.

The work of the two Grammy-nominated producers Dave maggard and multiple Grammy Award-winning engineer Paul blakemore, although evident throughout the album, is illustrated in the remixed and remastered “Open letter”Of the group’s release in 2018.

Mullikin said: “Maggard insisted on sending it to Paul Blakemore. The studio thought it was so good and wanted it. Maggard heard what it could be. And it shows what Maggard can do as a producer.

A new song, which hadn’t really been played publicly or broadcast live until the album, was released last weekend is the last track on the album, “Something for nothing. “The song is reminiscent of the music of the 1940s and presents Dr. Hilton at the piano.

Mullikin also said TWH that plans are underway for the production of a video of “Something for nothing“which will be shot in black and white, with period clothing, and will focus on capturing the retro vibe of the 40s. Mullikin himself will sport a look for the video that might surprise fans and will show a side from him and Becca Mullikin, his wife and partner, whom few fans know because she will include dance styles from the 1940s.

Of the album as a whole, Mullikin said, “It might sound like a redirect, but it’s all of us. I think some tracks on the album are some of the strongest we’ve ever done, like “Open letter”, “Following Your Shadow”. We are just trying to stay viable and don’t know what the future holds, we hope to continue to exist and evolve.

He went on to say, “We miss some people. We lost people in 2020 Allison Wallace, an early member and wife of Dustin Wallace who created the Tuatha cover art. The world continues to transform the old passes new – the same month we lost Allison, we won Finnegan. We are always here.

The new album “Irish eyesIs available via the group website and Apple music. A vinyl release of the album is slated for May 2022.

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