Launching the double album of the Irish poet's works, Claddagh Records commissioned a magical 125-foot sand art portrait of Patrick Kavanagh on Sandymount Strand in Dublin.
In August last year, Claddagh Records commissioned a 125ft portrait of Patrick Kavanagh to be etched into the sand on Sandymount Beach, Dublin, In honor of a very special upcoming release, "Patrick Kavanagh ‘Almost Everything…'".
"Patrick Kavanagh ‘Almost Everything…'", available from Claddagh Records, was originally released in 1964. The album features the only recordings of the revered Irish poet reading his most celebrated poems.
Patrick Kavanagh, born in Monaghan, was an Irish poet and novelist best known for works including the novel "Tarry Flynn", and the poems "On Raglan Road" and "The Great Hunger". He is known for his accounts of Irish life through reference to the everyday and commonplace.
Now remastered and reimagined this new two-part album features the original recordings and Kavanagh’s poetry read by Bono, Hozier, Imelda May, Liam Neeson, Jessie Buckley, Aidan Gillen, Lisa McGee, Lisa Hannigan, President Michael D. Higgins, Evanna Lynch, Sharon Corr, Kathleen Watkins, Christy Moore, Rachael Blackmore, and Aisling Bea set to truly wonderful music composition.
The music on this record is recorded by Cormac Butler, producer extraordinaire, songwriter, and mix engineer of Faction Records. Cormac has an extensive and wide-ranging discography from All Tvvins to James Vincent McMorrow to Sorcha Richardson to The Academic to Gavin James and The Coronas.
The physical formats of this album include a booklet containing all the poetry one will hear on the album.
The contents of the albums is stunning. Bono reads "On Raglan Road". Liam Neeson reads "Memory of My Father". President Michael D. Higgins reads "Stony Grey Soil". We could go on. The second disc in the collection is solely recordings of Patrick Kavanagh.
In the latter years of his life, Garech Browne, the Irish art collector and a notable patron of Irish arts, was eager to embark on a revival of Claddagh Records which he had set up in 1959 with his friend, Ivor Browne.
"I would like the recordings to be available to anyone interested in Irish music, poetry and the spoken word. They are no good to anyone where they are now," he said referring to the many boxes of original Claddagh recordings.
At the time of his death in March 2018, he was planning the re-release of several albums. He had also embarked on compiling an archive of the extensive documentation - correspondence, contracts, photographs, artwork, minutes of board meetings - relating to Claddagh over 60 years. And he had started collaborating on a history of the record label and this is scheduled for publication next year.
The Browne family remains involved with the company. In 2020 Claddagh Records signed a global licensing agreement with Universal Music.
"This agreement with Universal Music Ireland is a most exciting development as it signals a very exciting new chapter for Claddagh and for Ireland's cultural past," said James Morrissey, Chairman, Claddagh Records.
"Garech's lifelong wish was for Claddagh recordings to be accessible nationally and internationally".
Claddagh's new online store was re-launched in 2021 with the goal of becoming the first stop for Irish traditional and folk music. With an ever-growing offering, CladdaghRecords.com is dedicated to bringing the very best of Irish poetry, Irish music and merchandise directly to our customers' doors.
*Originally published in August 2022. Updated in March 2023.