Migrant Tales – the 4th studio album by The Nelson Brothers.
Migrant Tales is not quite a concept album – but it has a loose theme running throughout. The songs are about the Irish Diaspora – the Irish people and their descendants who live outside of Ireland. The Nelson Brothers own ancestry is notable here.
Historian John Herson, from Liverpool John Moores University, has written a paper that he is delivering at University College Dublin “Divergent Paths: A Family History Approach to Irish Migration and Settlement”. He has used Simon and Steve’s Corcoran family ancestry as a case study.
The Nelson Brother’s great, great grandparents, Patrick and Catherine Corcoran came from Tibohine parish, six miles north of Castlerea in Co. Roscommon. They survived the immediate impact of the Famine but moved to Stafford, England in the 1850s.
Our great grandfather, Bartholomew was a plumber, glazier and painter. “Corcoran was the first Irish or Irish-descended Catholic to be elected to Stafford Borough Council. He was the trail-blazer and he deserves recognition for that fact alone.”
There’s a song on the album called Billy Corcoran, which is a fictitious account of a relative emigrating to the US.
Produced by Andrew ‘Wal' Coughlan and Simon and Steve Nelson
Simon and Steve Nelson: Guitars, vocals, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo
Wal Coughlan: Bass (Cerys Matthews, Shakin’ Stevens, Gary Numan)
Jim Russell: Drums (Bob Geldof, Slim Chance)
Al Perkins: Pedal Steel (Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, The Eagles, Dolly Parton)
Ben Gunnery, Mark Elton: Fiddle
Nick Lacey: Keys
Photography by award winning American photographer Dave McCleery, himself the descendant of Irish immigrants: www.davidmccleery.com
Cover design by our good friend, songwriter and fellow traveller Jack Henderson: jackhenderson.co.uk
“It’s best defined as roots music with many eclectic touches, where you’re as likely to hear a bouzouki as a bass guitar, yet where the songs are always central to proceedings.” Nick Dalton.
“The music and the voice and the lyrics all work together to convey a bittersweet, sad optimism that I find so appealing... romantic without being remotely saccharine and refreshingly grown up.” Elizabeth McGovern.