(from Cindy’s monthly column “Around the House”in November 09 Celtic Connection) Seamus called into Cindy Reich”s “The Long Acre” radio show to talk about the new Solas album, Seamus” ongoing solo project, baseball and “balloon boy”! CR You”re calling from Scotland and I know you”re supposed to be in studio working on a new recording, so are you recording in Scotland? SE We”ve been working on the new album but also working doing other things, and we”re away at the moment but we”ll be back to work in the studio in a couple of days. CR So what”s going on in Scotland, then? SE We”re just hanging out. We played just outside of Bilbao, in northern Spain, over the weekend, so its been a crazy schedule, since we were in studio right before that. Its been studio”go someplace”studio”go someplace. CR Well, yeah, because you”re kicking off the next leg of your touring on Halloween in the south of France and then your next stop is”. Denver. SE Yeah, we”re playing at a small town in the south of France called Lanel. Actually it is at a mandolin festival. My mandolin playing is.. well” I don”t play it very often, but thankfully it was enough to get us to play in the south of France (laughing). We”re really looking forward to it. Mike Marshall is going to be sitting in with us and we”re really excited about it! After that, we”ll be coming to Denver, and we have a great band from Alaska coming with us, called “Bearfoot”. We did a bunch of shows with them in North Carolina and Maryland and it was great fun. CR What are you putting together for the new album?? Hopefully some more original tunes? SE Yes”all of the tunes on the new album have been written by various members of the band. There is an interesting variety of songs on the album as well. Some traditional, but others as well. We haven”t decided on the final cut for the songs that will be on the album, so I”m a little reluctant to say at the moment. CR Is Mairead (Phelan) still your main vocalist? SE Yes, she is still with us, and I think on this album she really comes into her own. She sang absolutely fabulously on this recording”I think she”s really going to blow people away when they hear her. CR How do you handle the altitude here in Denver? Its got to be hard on the flute.. SE It gets your attention! (Laughing) CR I think one of the things you all do really, really well, and I don”t think you get enough attention for it, is that in addition to sourcing out good traditional tunes, you all compose great tunes that seamlessly sit side by side with the traditional pieces. It seems to be harder and harder to find individuals or bands that can craft really good original tunes. SE It”s something that”s always been important to us and is an important part of the overall sound of the group. And as I said, on this album, every instrumental track is one we”ve written. It”s something that we enjoy doing and we will continue to do it. There”s so much stuff that we”ve written that we didn”t even record, that we”ve got a leg up on the next album! CR I ask you this every time I interview you, which is yearly or every other year, and that is, when are you going to do another solo album? SE And I probably told you the last time we spoke, I”d have one done before we spoke again and I”ll tell you this time”before we speak again, I”ll have one done! (Laughing) CR Well, I”ll tell you now that when we are done, I”ll be going out with a tune off your”let me remind you–1990 release “A Week In January” It has only been 19 years since your debut release” SE Wow”.(laughing) Now THAT got my attention! CR Don”t we all feel really old, now? SE You know, its funny”I did get into the studio for a couple of days back in January of this year with John Doyle and Dirk Powell and we worked for a couple of days. It was at the end of the Celtic Connections Festival here in Glasgow. We were all here and we worked for a couple of days. But trying to get everyone”s schedules back together again”everyone is always running all over the place”every attempt is being made to get a few more days together this year! If we get together every year for a couple of days, maybe in five years we”ll get it finished! CR I hope we”re not having this same conversation in another 19 years! SE No, no, I hope not!! I hope the next time we”re speaking, we are talking about the new album! I really do want to get it finished. CR You guys are making good use of the social networking media I now see” SE (Laughing) It”s a new thing for us.. CR Apparently people can now follow you on Facebook and Twitter and you”re going to post (or have posted) pictures and stuff from the recording of the new album? SE Well, we had all these good intentions of posting video while we were working on the album, but we didn”t get around to posting the stuff we wanted to while making the album. I honestly don”t know how people are able to keep up with doing what it is you”re doing and then telling everyone about it! (Laughing) You almost need”you doing it”then having someone tell everyone about it. But we do have lots of video that we are going to be posting very, very soon. Hopefully it will be of interest to some folks to see what goes on when we”re locked behind the doors and down in the dungeon! CR We”re looking forward to seeing you and the band out here in November, and hopefully without snow, after your trip to the south of France.. SE It”s hard to have sympathy, isn”t it, when you say it like that.. “playing the mandolin in the south of France”.. I saw that you had snow out there when the Phillies played the Rockies in the playoffs.. CR Yeah, we don”t want to talk about that”.we GAVE that game away! We gave it away”that”s all I have to say. We were one out away from the division playoff.. SE You were one STRIKE away! CR That”s true.. SE You were almost like the Phillies” CR Yeah, we were almost like the Phillies in that we blew a big lead”.but we”ll talk baseball when you get back here” however, we have “balloon boy” and you don”t” SE That was very exciting to follow from afar”exciting times out there! (Laughing)

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