Released 17 January 2020
It’s always exciting to be sent a new album prior to its release. You get to hear it and decide if you want to listen more to it or not. And this is one I’ll certainly be listening more to – the debut album from Dàibhidh Stiùbhard is one of exciting music, voice and song. Stiúbhard sings from that deep place within which the most meaningful and meant words are found. His young life has been an exploration and excavation of song, and culture and language; digging into the soil and the soul of his native land to find his roots and his place. His debut album An Sionnach Dubh — the black fox — brings songs together from the Ulster, Irish language and Scots Gaidhlig traditions alongside his own songwriting and learning.
In 2018, Dàibhidh Stiùbhard was senior traditional singing champion at both the Tyrone and Ulster fleadhs. That same year, he recorded with Scottish folk band Malinky as a guest on their 20th anniversary cd and, months later in 2019, was on stage with them at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow. These have been the stepping stones to his first album.
Stiùbhard comes from a Church of Ireland family and background. His home-place Tullywiggan is a dot on the Tyrone landscape. Don’t look for a road sign. There isn’t one. He is a singer from a place with no name. The Ulster University photography graduate speaks of traditional music creeping into his childhood; his first words of Irish spoken in that Tullywiggan home. Since then, his discovery has been a language and a culture for all.
His debut album consists of 9 tracks and each one different from the previous. Yet each one resonating a deep meaning and very much original sound. It oozes culture and language throughout and it is definitely one for the playlist in 2020.
More information on Stiúbhard can be found at http://www.daibhidhstiubhard.com
An Sionnach Dubh is due for release on 17th January 2020