'Letting Go' is the latest chapter in the long running
success story of Stockton's Wing, an outfit widely regarded as the
Academy of Excellence of Irish music. Many of Ireland's finest musicians
have graced the ranks of Stockton's Wing, contributing to an impressive
body of work which has consistently pushed back the boundaries of
Irish Traditional Music.
Letting Go is the seventh studio album from Stockton's
Wing in the course of an eventful 22 year career and it's the first
to showcase the remarkable talents of singer/songwriter Eamon McElholm
from Omagh, Co. Tyrone. Eamon has made an immediate impact, providing
no less than six original songs for Letting Go'. The new chemistry
at work in Stockton's Wing has produced results that can only be
described as sensational. In The words of founder-member Maurice
Lennon "Letting Go' is the closest we've come yet to what we
originally set out to achieve. We all have a very good feeling about
A recipient of the prestigious PRS/John Lennon Songwriters Award,
Eamon McElholm replaced Mike Hanrahan in the lineup in July 1984,
joining forces with Maurice Lennon, Paul Roche and Davey McNevin.
In the words of Maurice again "he brought a new life, a new energy
to the group." It's an energy that pulsates through 'letting Go',
an album bursting with new material and new ideas.
Stockton's Wing have been engaged in the pursuit of
excellence ever since their inception in Ennis, Co. Clare back in
1977. Founded by a quartet of All-Ireland champions - Paul Roche,
Maurice Lennon, Kieran Hanrahan and Tommy Hayes - together with
Tony Callanan, Stockton's Wing combined pristine playing with bold
innovation from the very outset. 'Letting Go' - the group's first
studio album since 'The Crooked Rose' which won widespread acclaim
in 1992 - embodies all the qualities we've come to expect of Stockton's
Wing: qualities of breathtaking virtuosity, memorable tune ever
present capacity to surprise and trill.
As well as their deserved reputation for creating
musical fireworks, Stockton's Wing are also famed for such memorable
hits as 'Beautiful Affair', 'Walk Away', 'Why
Wait Until Tomorrow' and 'Avondale'. Eamon McElholm's
song writing skills are immediately evident on 'Letting Go' and
'The Wing's' eight album is choc-a-bloc with compositions that are
sure to become established Stockton's Wing classics. Sitting alongside
the album's five sparkling instrumentals are a half dozen songs
penned by Eamon which demonstrate the breadth of his song writing
talent. "Each song has a different theme' he explains. "there's
a gospel song, 'I'll Believe again', which contains an Irish
influence. I think it might surprise a few people. The single 'Letting
Go' is an up-tempo, raggle-taggle acoustic Irish rock song about
being under pressure. 'All The Time' is an emigration song
played in a modern style. 'Another Day' is a ballad expressing
the belief that no one can be condemned for standing up for their
civil rights. 'Anyone Out There' questions the existence
of a Greater Being in a world plagued by wars and famine. The closing
track, 'I Told You Forever', is a love song which introduces
a reel towards the end" .
Recorded at Windmill Lane Studios, 'Letting Go' was
produced by the renowned arranger and composer Shaun Davey and features
contributions from former Wing member Steve Cooney (bass) and Noel
Eccles on percussion, with Brendan Begley guesting on accordion.
The result is an added percussive thrust and what Maurice calls
a new found "clarity of Sound', thanks to Shaun Davey's
filtering-out production style. What everyone agrees on
is that "Letting Go' is the sound of Stockton's Wing soaring to
"Stockton's Wing seem to have been rejuvenated
with the arrival of Eamon McElholm into the fold. He brings a new
Joie de vivre to the proceedings. Letting Go sees Stockton's Wing
achieving the heights aimed for in the past but never quit reaching.
The music breathes with a freshness and a reborn energy. Stockton's
Wing have in truth re-invented themselves and Letting Go is proof
of their artistic merit being actively achieved."
"Letting Go opens a vivid new chapter
in the long running sucess story of Stockton's Wing, an outfit widely
regarded as the academy Of Excellence of Irish music. Many of Ireland's
finest musicians have graced the rank's of Stockton's Wing contributing
to an impressive body of work which has consistently pushed back
the boundaries of traditional Irish Music"