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Makem and Spain Brothers play folk standards and originals

Makem and Spain Brothers have a new album called “Sessions” out now.

Makem and Spain Brothers have a new album called “Sessions” out now.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s been 20 years since Rory Makem has performed in Albuquerque.

“The last time I played there it was at the zoo,” he says. “I remember that the cicadas were very loud.”

Two decades later, Makem will be back – this time at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden. He will return with Makem and Spain Brothers.


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“It’s been a long time and we have some new music for the crowd,” he says.

Makem and Spain are an Irish music outfit that performs classic standard Irish songs and some originals.

“We really play folk music and come from an Irish tradition,” he says. “We are doing what our families did years ago.”

Makem is from a family of weavers in northern Ireland. He says that after work they would meet up with friends and other family members at a home or pub and just play music.

“It’s music about life,” he says. “That’s what people really enjoyed about it. There are songs that everyone can understand. You don’t have to be from a certain area.”

Makem and Spain also are gearing up to release a new album, “Sessions.” Makem says the album will be available at the Albuquerque show. It has taken the band nearly two years to complete it.

“It’s not that we didn’t have the music,” he says. “One night we were all drinking in a pub and the idea came up to make an album and work with some of our heroes in music. So that’s what we did.”

Featured on the album are Tom Paxton, Jonathan Edwards and The Shaw Brothers, as well as many others.

“We went out and asked each one and they obliged,” he says. “In fact, we had too much material so we’re going to have to release a second record.”