Carreg Lafar means ‘speaking stone’, an echo stone. At the forefront of the Welsh traditional music scene for 20 years, we have changed many peoples’ view of traditional Welsh music with our passionate and lively performances.
Through a mix of traditional and original music, Carreg Lafar presents a vibrant spirit whilst remaining rooted in the language and living tradition of Welsh song and dance music. We’ve made three albums with Sain records, ‘Ysbryd y Werin’, ‘Hyn’ and ‘Profiad’.
Carreg Lafar formed in Cardiff in 1993 with Antwn, James, Rhian and Simon O’shea. Linda joined the band in ’94 to complete the line-up. In the summer of ’95 we made our debut album ‘Ysbryd y Werin’ (Spirit of the People) with Sain Records. The album was released in November and received great reviews from the folk music press in the UK and North America.
In the summer of 1996 we played our first major festival in Lorient, Brittany, representing Wales at the Interceltic Festival. Ten days of performances, culminating with the band supporting the Dan Ar Braz concert ‘Heritage of the Celts’ to an audience of some 10,000 people. In 1997 ‘Ysbryd y Werin’ was also released in North America by Blix Street Records and we launched the album with a two week tour of the States. Since then, the band has returned to North America for three further tours in 1998, 2000 and 2001, as well as trip to Atlanta for the Celtic festival in 1999 and the Celtic Colours Festival, Nova Scotia in 2009.
In 1997 we started work on our second album ‘Hyn’ (This) which was recorded in Cardiff at Albany Studios. The album was released on the Sain label in August ’98 and also received rave reviews in all the major folk and roots music magazines in the UK and across North America. We also made videos for two tracks from ‘Hyn’ which were featured on a Welsh language TV arts programme, ‘Sioe Gelf’. On New Year’s day 1999, Simon left the band to concentrate on his visual art practice and Dylan Davies joined as the new guitarist. Later that year we returned to Lorient to represent Wales again at the Interceltic Festival.
‘Hyn’ was released by Marquis Classics in North America in May 2000 and the album was launched with a very successful three week tour of Canada and America in August 2000.
The band began recording its third album ‘Profiad’ (Experience), in April 2001, also at Albany Studios. The album features three guest musicians, Robin Huw Bowen on triple Harp, Lawson Dando on additional guitar and piano and Claudine Cassidy on Cello. The album was released by Sain records in August 2002 and launched at the Lorient Interceltic Festival ‘Year of Wales’ that year. Dylan decided to leave the band after Lorient in order to concentrate on his own solo work.
In 2006 Danny KilBride joined the line-up on Guitar and the band returned to Lorient, also joined by Gafin Morgan on extra pibgorn and pipes. We have continued to perform every year, both at home and internationally, between busy family lives and other work commitments. We recorded a new EP, Y Cadno in the autumn of 2013 and followed that with a new, full album entitled ‘Aur’ (Gold) which was released in 2016 to mark our 20th anniversary. Aur was launched at the Lorient Interceltic Festival, a home from home. We followed up with a launch party back in Cardiff in April 2017.
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Listing Title: Carreg Lafar