FolkWorld #75 07/2021
© Anam Communications

A Celebration of Family, Friends, Language & Culture

Brian Ó hEadhra & Fionnag NicChoinnich

»We were both brought up in families that sang. Brian lived in Newfoundland, Canada until he was seven years old and then lived in Dublin, Ireland. Fionnag was brought up on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Music and song permeated family life as we sang songs from the Gaelic traditions as well as folk songs of various genres. «

Artist Video Brian @ FROG
Fionna @ FROG

Highland Duo Release Lockdown Album with Family and Friends.

Highland acoustic duo - Brian Ó hEadhra and Fionnag NicChoinnich (Fionna Mackenzie) are releasing their third album titled Càirdeas on the 24th April. Meaning kinship/friendship in Scottish and Irish Gaelic, Càirdeas is a celebration of family, friends, languages & cultures spanning Scotland, Ireland and Canada.

All of the songs on the album are accompanied by musical friends and family members and was recorded remotely in various locations during the Covid lockdown in the winter of 2020/21. “We wanted to reach out to family and friends during these challenging times through recording songs which we grew up with or that mean something special to us. There is a mix of traditional and contemporary songs which are sung in English, Irish and Scottish Gaelic; many of which are well loved by fans of folk music.”

Brian Ó hEadhra & Fionnag NicChoinnich
Pat Murphy's Meadow | Copper Kettle 0| Eadar Breith agus Bàs | The Pink, The Lily, and the Blooming Rose | Hò Rò Gun Togainn air Hùgan Fhathast | An Tèid Thu Leam a Mhàiri | Níl Sé Ina Lá | An t-Uisge - The Water | My Singing Bird | Càit’ na Dh’fhàg Thu ‘n Fhichead Gini | Bheir mo Shoraidh Thar Ghunnaigh | Soraidh Leis a’ Bhreacan Ùr

Artist Audio
Brian Ó hEadhra & Fionnag NicChoinnich "Càirdeas", Own label, 2021

Each track on the album has beautiful landscape photography supplied by Mairead NicIllinnean from North Uist and, as with their previous albums, Càirdeas has specially commissioned artwork to reflect each song, this time by the talented Nairn-based artist Rachael Forbes, who also created the stunning Hare illustration on the album cover.

Co-produced by their acclaimed musician nephew, Innes White, Càirdeas is released on the duo’s Anam Communications label and available as CD, download and streaming. The project was made possible by funding from Creative Scotland, Heritage Lottery Funds and also a successful Kickstarter Campaign.


Over the past 25 years the Scottish Highland based duo have played around the world as solo performers and with various bands including Anam, Seelyhoo, Mackenzie, Cruinn, McKerron | Brechin | Ó hEadhra. They have recorded on over 30 albums between them on labels such as Naxos World, Linn Records, JVC Victor, Greentrax, Brechin All Records, Macmeanmna, and their own label, Anam Communications.

Ó hEadhra and NicChoinnich’s previous two albums were hailed as ground-breaking. Their debut album TÌR - Highland Life & Lore, was nominated for Album of the Year at the International Folk Awards 2018. Their second album, TUATH - Songs from the Northlands, was hailed as a ‘masterpiece’ by Irish Music Magazine. Fionnag won the Gaelic Singer of the Year award at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2020. Brian was nominated for the same award in 2019.

Photo Credits: (1)-(2) Brian Ó hEadhra & Fionnag NicChoinnich (unknown/website).

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