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Hy Brasil, Songs of the Irish in Latin-America

“Hy Brasil” is myself, Charlie O’ Brien’s third studio album. These songs are stories and histories I have been collecting and delving into for ten years. Some are traditional; some traditionally inspired, others tell old stories but are wholly new beasts. They tell of bold and beautiful visions of the new world. Like the mythical island of Irish folklore, “Hy Brasil,” the visions dissipate and the songs are what remain as an imprint or map of that lost Island.

In 2010 the seed was planted for Hy Brasil with the release of the Irish Gaelic T.V. documentary film Saol John Riley. The song Pa’ Los del San Patricio (which inspired Saol John Riley and appears on Hy Brasil) tells the story of the Irish Battalion of the Mexican army of 1847, “Los San Patricios.” Another song from the album spawned the award winning feature film “A Captain Unafraid.” Both that song and film tell the story of Dynamite Johnny O’ Brien, sea-captain, rebel and hero of the Cuban War of Independence.

Two other songs from the album were collected by SILAS (the Society for Irish Latin-American studies)-“The Trackless Wild” and “The Pampa’s Fairest Child” were written in the 1870’s on the Pampas of Argentina in an Irish folk style. They have now been set to song and recorded for the first time since. The album was recorded and mixed at Trouble or Fortune Studios, Killarney with additional mixing at Sonas Studios, Killarney. Hy Brasil was mastered by Ruairí O’ Flaherty of Whisper and Shout Mastering in L.A. Though the album isn’t a fusion album “Country of Clouds” (and one other track) is more Latin than anything else.

The music video to Marine Mambí (which features outakes and excerpts from the film A Captain Unafraid) was released a couple of weeks ago .


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Charlie O' Brien (guest author)

Charlie's music is inspired by place and history, it's both personal and social. Firing valiantly from the dark, lighting up forgotten stories, his songs are jugglings of music and soul. Two documentary films "A Captain Unafraid" and "Saol John Riley" both found their beginnings in Charlie's songs -"Pa' los Del San Patricio" appears on Charlie's debut album "Songs from an Outpost" (2007), "Marine Mambí, Johnny Dynamite" is on his latest musical endevour "Hy Brasil, Songs Of The Irish In Latin America" which was released on the 10th of December 2019.

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