Format: CD
Artist: Loreena McKennitt
CatNo: QRCD121
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Loreena_McKennitt The_Road_Back_Home CD
Exploring more traditional forms of Celtic music, Loreena McKennitt’s brilliant 2024 release The Road Back Home marks an inspired return to her roots.  
The album features 10 songs, including many pieces that date back to McKennitt’s earliest days on the folk circuit and which have remained unrecorded until now.
CD in 6-panel digifile.
Based in Stratford, Ontario since the early 1980s, several years ago McKennitt serendipitously encountered a group of local Celtic musicians. A meeting of musical minds ensued, resulting in an impromptu collaboration as part of her 2021 Christmas concerts (released as Under A Winter's Moon in 2022).
These musicians accompanied McKennitt again this summer at the Ontario folk festivals, along with her long-time band mate, cellist Caroline Lavelle. In the spirit of the tradition, one show featured an unplanned guest vocal on “Wild Mountain Thyme” from Canadian singer-songwriter James Keelaghan.
Although recognized today as a cultural cross-pollinator and a ground-breaking leader of the contemporary Celtic Music scene, McKennitt's journey began in the humble folk clubs and the nascent festival scenes of her childhood home in Western Canada.
She recalls it vividly: “My time in Winnipeg would lead me to perform at folk clubs and one of the earliest Winnipeg Folk Festivals. We all got lost in the magic of the music which inf used the summer night air. And on Sunday night when the festival came to an end, all the artists gathered on stage, linking arms to sing ‘ Wild Mountain Thyme’."
Initially influenced by the 1960s and 1970s revival of interest in the folk music of both Ireland and England, McKennitt revelled in the recordings of the Bothy Band, Planxty, Steeleye Span and Alan Stivell, among many others. It was during these humble beginnings, including a tour of the busker pitches of Vancouver, Toronto, Dublin and London, England, that the foundations were laid for a four-decade career as a multi-platinum recording artist, entrepreneur and concert performer. In November Loreena completed the initial leg of her first US tour since 2015 and in March 2024 embarks on her first European theatre tour since 2019, playing to more than 55,000 people in eight countries. 
1. Searching for Lambs (3:32)
2. Mary & The Soldier (4:04)
3. On a Bright May Morning (4:33)
4. As I Roved Out (4:54)
5. Custom Gap (3:56)
6. Bonny Portmore (3:42)
7. Greystones (3:32)
8. The Star of the County Down (3:42)
9. Salvation Contradiction (4:22)
10. Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór/Wild Mountain Thyme (6:15) 
Musician Credits
Loreena McKennitt – Vocals, Harp, Accordion
Caroline Lavelle – Cello, Backing Vocals
Miriam Fischer – Pads, Accordion, Piano, Backing Vocals
Errol Fischer – Violin, Mandolin, Tenor Banjo, Kick Drum
Cait Watson – Whistle, Backing Vocals
Pete Watson – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Romano DiNillo – Bodhran
James Keelaahan– vocals on Wild Mountain Thyme
Recorded at the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival in Goderich, Ontario, Canada on August 12, 2023, and at the Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada on August 18, 2023.
Production Credits
Produced by Loreena McKennitt
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Jeff Wolpert at Desert Fish
Graphic Design by Jeri Heiden and Ryan Corey, SMOG Design, Inc.
Cover painting “Allihies Parish“ by Barrie Maguire
Photography by John Fearnall
All songs traditional, arranged and adapted by Loreena McKennitt except Custom Gap (traditional), Greystones (music by Cait Watson) and Salvation Contradiction (The Salvation Reel: music by Simon Bradley & The Contradiction Reel: traditional) all arranged by The Bookends.
All songs Quinlan Road Music Ltd. (SOCAN/BMI) administered throughout the world by peer music, except Tracks 5, 8, 11, administered by peer music.