Ye Vagabonds first release for Rough Trades River Lea imprint saw them named Best Group at the 2019 BBC Folk Awards and sweep the board at Irelands RTE Folk Awards, winning Best Traditional Folk Track, Best Folk Group and Best Folk Album for The Hares Lament. Folk Radio declared Ye Vagabonds to be True heirs to Sweeneys Men and Planxty.
These two new songs were recorded at Hellfire Studio, Dublin by Lankum producer John Spud Murphy in March 2020. The brothers learned Im A Rover from their mother when they were young, and believe it travelled from Scotland to her home of Arranmore Island, off the coast of County Donegal, becoming this distinctly unusual version of the song on its oral journey. The Bothy Lads is a song Ye Vagabonds learned and honed at singing sessions, before becoming a highlight of their spellbinding live shows.
The cover photo was taken by fellow Vagabond Alain McFadden, backstage at Dublins National Concert Hall before the bands biggest headline gig to date, in October 2019. The sleeve was designed by Brían and Diarmuids brother-in-law Jesse Smith whose fiddle playing was central to the sound of The Hares Lament. We recorded both songs live within two or three takes. We're delighted with this snapshot we got at the end of the Before Time. - Brían Mac Gloinn, Ye Vagabonds.