Ireland’s Niall Toner Updates Us On New Recording

Niall’s Report:
I just got back from Nashville where I was recording my first album for Pinecastle Records, which is slated for a worldwide release in September 2012. We were working at a wonderful studio called Loud, on Music Row, and the results were very satisfying indeed.
Post-production was at the Toolshed Studios in Mount Juliet, TN. 
We cut nine new songs of mine, including a tribute to the late Earl Scruggs, called 'The pride and joy of Shelby', and an instrumental I composed called 'Burren backstep'.
Other new titles include 'Million dollar bill', 'Judge and jury', and 'Bling', and the project was produced by Keith Sewell (Dixie Chicks, Lyle Lovett, Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs).
We also recut 'William Smith Monroe' and 'Tomorrow', which will be included.
Keith also played guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and piano; Ashby Frank played mandolin, Viktor Krauss played upright bass, and Rob Ickes played Dobro and Weissenborn guitar.
I sang lead and played mandolin, and Wendy Buckner, Fiaz Farrelly, and Keith sang harmonies. The sessions were engineered by legendary Nashville whizz-kid (and old-time clawhammer player) Jake Burns. Thank you, guys, for all your talent. 
Fiaz Farrelly came with me to document the entire experience, and also got to make his vocal debut on our 'Earl' song. Fiaz also took this photo at Loud Studios, which shows (l-r) Jake Burns, Keith Sewell, me, Rob Ickes, Ashby Frank, and Viktor Krauss.
The provisional title for the album is Onwards and upwards, and the release will be during WOB 2012. 
On a personal note, I want to thank all my friends and supporters here who have helped me to make this giant step forward for 'Irish bluegrass'. Most especially, I want to thank my wife, Moira, who has been a rock of support all the way.
I want to pay tribute to Steve Johnson of Mountain Music Entertainment who now represents me exclusively, for having the foresight and the courage to take me on, and for arranging the showcase at IBMA 2011 that got me signed to Pinecastle.
I also must thank my son Daradh for his work on my website, my son Niall for inspiration and advice on writing songs, Fiaz Farrelly for his photos, design, and general artistry, and my entire family for sticking with me, and putting up with me and my dreams.  Martino Coppo and Jimmy Sunnebrandt for being my band on that auspicious occasion. 
None of this would have happened without the support and encouragement and pure straight-forward help and assistance I got from the team at Air Play Direct. Both Lynda and Robert have given a service well beyond the call of duty, and I owe then a debt of gratitude. It's also worth mentioning that my Music is still at the Number One spot in the Air Play Direct 'all-time' Chart in the Folk/Bluegrass category. Many thanks, APD, and here's to the future. 
Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Ethan Burkhart, Matt Hood, and Lonnie Lassiter and the entire Pinecastle team for signing me to their record label on that night. were not for the amazing support and loyalty of the talented and brilliant Clem O'Brien and the equally talented and brilliant Dick Gladney. We have been playing together for the past ten years, and whatever the future brings, Clem and Dick and I remain a firm and united musical unit, with a solid philosophy of keeping our standards of originality as high as possible, and flying the flag for Original Irish Bluegrass, Roots and Traditional Country Music. Onwards and Upwards..

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