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Songs From our Mining Heritage

Songs From our Mining Heritage

Who: Shimhor
Where: Duke of Wellington
When: Saturday November 7, 1998

CELTIC band SHIMHOR will launch its mining-inspired debut CD this Saturday night at its regular digs, the Duke of Wellington Hotel in New Lambton.

The band will also perform in-store appearances next Saturday, November 14, at HMV Records at Garden City and the ABC Bookshop, Charlestown Square.

THE MINER'S WIFE, recorded at 2NC's Newcastle studio, delves into the Hunter's mining history.

The band features TIM PHELAN (bodhran, tin whistles, guitar, mandolin), ROSALIE THOR (mandolin, recorder, guitar), JOHN BELL (guitar) and PETER COOMBES (fiddle).

Phelan, Thor and Bell formerly members of SHANAUGHIE, recruited Coombes from the HUNTER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. Phelan said the title track refers to the resilience of the women affected by the 'Sugarloaf Lockout' of the late 1920s.

'During the two-year lock-out, West Wallsend coalminers and their families moved to Blacksmiths and Swansea,' he said.

'They lived in tents and relied on fish from the lake for food.'

Another track, BELLBIRD EXPLOSION, recalls the 1923 tragedy that killed 21 miners.

'A lot of this region was built on coalmining and we try to represent our version of Celtic music in the Hunter Valley,' Phelan said.

'John was a coalminer . . . and we do another very political song called Gretley.'

Other Shimhor originals on the CD are STATE OF ANGER and HERE TO STAY, both of which reflect on the 'angst' of modern-day Ireland, and RUNNING AWAY, written by Thor about a friend.

They also recorded a rearranged version of THE HACKLER FROM GROUSE HALL plus a melding of MORRISON'S JIG and THE ROAD TO LISSDOONVARNA. 'We also play everything from traditional Irish songs by (18th century harper) O'Carolan through to Australian bush ballads,' Phelan said.

TE has two copies of the disc to give away. To go in the draw send an envelope, with your name, address and telephone number on the back, to SHIMHOR GIVEAWAY, PO Box 200, Newcastle, 2300. TE

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