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The Sands Family: News

Spring, 2014 - May 29, 2014

We all got together again for a series of weekend trips to Germany in the merry month of May!

A few flights - and a couple of thousand kilometers on the Road - but, thankfully, the driving was carried out by Dave Powles, who doubles as our first-rate Sound Man.  

We survived the travel and thoroughly enjoyed the concerts, carried along by the energy and support of many old and new friends!  

Our next get-together is for the always memorable Fiddlers Green Festival in Rostrevor, County Down at the end of July - maybe see some of you there!

And hopefully see many friends at the massive Bardentreffen Festival in Nürnberg, Germany during the first weekend of August!

Here's a pic from the May tour, taken just before leaving Oldenburg.


All the best for now!



New CD/Tour - December 5, 2013

New CD "Home for Christmas" released to coincide with tour of Irish theatres in December 2013/January 2014



November, 2012 - November 14, 2012

We all thoroughly enjoyed meeting many old and new friends during the recent series of concerts that brought us to Belfast, Omagh, Armagh, Enniskillen, Cookstown, Ballymena, Newry and Derry. Great days and nights! Thanks to all who came along!

A lot of great feedback from the TG4 series Ceol ón Chlann, which featured families who have contributed significantly to the fostering and propagation of Irish music and song ... have a look at ... or at the following links on YouTube and

Concert Tour, Ireland - August 25, 2012

A series of concerts to promote recently released DVD "The Sands Family : Live in Concert" begins in Belfast Waterfront Hall ... see calendar for all dates

All Ireland Fleadh - August 19, 2012

The Sands Family made an historic appearance at one of the world's greatest musical festivals, The All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil, held for the third consective year in Cavan Town. The concert in Cavan Town Hall was shared by legendary uilleann piper, Paddy Keenan of Bothy Band fame.

DVD Released - August 19, 2012

DVD - The Sands Family "Live in Concert" released

Tours - January 23, 2012

Sands Family in Denmark, Feb 5 to 12 - see Calendar

Sands Family in Germany, May 3 to 23 - see Calendar

TV/DVD - December 3, 2011

November, 2011

Concert in Newry City Hall was filmed for DVD to be released in 2012.

Sterling Productions recorded footage for a TV documentary to be shown on TG4 in Autumn, 2012.

TV Documentary - March 4, 2009

RTE, Ireland's national TV Station, broadcast a 30 minute documentary on the Sands Family on February, 27, 2009.
Produced and presented by Newry man, Rowan Hand, the film featured song clips and interviews with Tommy, Ben, Colum and Anne in various locations, including their former home on the Ryan Road and at the fiddlers Green Festival in Rostrevor.
The documentary, which was shown at prime time on the Nationwide programme, can be viewed online at the RTE archive at

Press release. - October 28, 2008

The Sands Family were named Best Irish Folk Band at the Newry Gala Music Awards held recently at the Canal Court Hotel, Newry.

There were a total of 14 categories and the winners were chosen by readers of The Newry Democrat newspaper.

Over 400 people, including entertainers and music industry professionals, attended the awards supper which raised money for two cancer charities, the Marie Curie Foundation and the Macmillan Nursing Homes.

Denmark, January 2009 - October 15, 2008

The Sands Family are currently planning a tour in Denmark - in January 2009.

Tour Dates coming soon!

Anne becomes Gran! - October 13, 2008

On Monday, October 13th, Anne's daughter Sorcha gave birth to a fine baby boy, who weighed in at 10lbs 1 oz (4.6kgs).
Baby, mother and grandmother all doing well!

End of Summer, 2008 - September 1, 2008

Well, summer is over, September is here and we hope you are all fit and healthy and happy – and ready to look ahead to the autumn and winter!

First a quick look back to the summer: in Ireland, at least, the weather was far from summery – in the same way that our spring was far from springy!!!
Fortunately, the best week of summer weather coincided with the mighty Fiddlers Green Festival in Rostrevor – once again an extravaganza of music, song, story, poetry, drama and sport – fun and games of every description and for all ages. It gets better and better every year! Too many great musical moments to list here but some personal highlights were concerts by the Dubliners, Dougie MacLean, The Rooney Family, Four Men and a Dog and The Black Family, (Mary received the Hall of Fame Award)…. A marvellous reflective concert in the Church … some stirring performances on the Open Stage … renewing acquaintances with John Sheahan, Mary Black, Allan Taylor, Svend Erik and his musical Vikings, Moya Brennan and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, who collected the Literary Award on behalf of his grandfather Pete Seeger … but, as always the best part is meeting again - or for the first time – all those folk friends from all over Ireland, UK, Europe and beyond, who make this great festival the amazing success that it is. Once again, a million thanks to the small but wonderfully hard working committee who put the whole thing together and guide it safely through to its conclusion …

A very enjoyable summer series of Sands Family concerts came to an end at the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine on 23 August. We managed to film some of this one and hopefully, sometime soon, we can show you snippets of how we looked and sounded in the summer of 2008! We are also coming near to the end of filming a “Sands Family” documentary for RTE, (Irish National Television) which will be shown on their “Nationwide” programme some time in October.

So now The Sands Family once again head off in our separate directions to USA, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, England and Israel. Our individual websites have the details.
We’ll be in touch again soon.
All the best for now!

"Keep On Singing" - March 31, 2008

The new album "Keep On Singing" has just emerged from the furnace and will be officially launched at the beginning of May in Ireland. The launch will coincide with three Family Concerts in Letterkenny, Bangor and Armagh - more details later.
Meanwhile the album is available to buy online with PayPal - see "Buy" page.

NEW ALBUM!!! - February 16, 2008

For the past number of months we have been working steadily and enthusiastically on a new studio album. And now, finally, it is nearing completion.
All recording, mixing and cover art-work has been concluded and the album is ready for "the oven".
We expect to have "Keep On Singing" for sale by early May.

Tommy Makem - August 1, 2007

The passing of Tommy Makem on 1st August was a sad milestone on the road of Irish and world folk music. It would take a lot of space to document the life and achievements of the legendary Keady man who, with The Clancy Brothers, completely revolutionised how Irish people in particular viewed their rich heritage of song, poem and story and in so doing launched what became known as the “Folk Revival” on this side of the Atlantic. A marvellous interpreter of traditional songs, he was also a prolific songwriter, adding many classics such as “Four Green Fields”, “The Winds are Singing Freedom”, “Gentle Annie” etc etc to the tradition. His influence on folk singers and writers like ourselves is quite incalculable. In life irrepressible and in death irreplaceable, this true folk hero will be remembered for as long as songs are sung.

Fiddlers Green Festival - August 1, 2007

The 21st Annual Folk and Arts Festival in Rostrevor, County Down took place from July 21 to 29 and was again a roaring success. One of many highlights was the reunion of "Sweeney's Men", performing together for the first time in 40 years. Johnny Moynihan and Andy Irvine were joined by"super-sub" Paul Brady who was a last minute replacement for the third founder member, Joe Dolan. Other memorable performances came from "Flook", Steve Cooney, Laoise Kelly, Liam O'Maonlaí, Frankie Gavin's "Hibernian Rhapsody", Mickey McConnell ("Only our Rivers, "Supermarket Wine")and the legendary McPeake Family of Belfast. The Sands Family concert on the closing night was again a wonderful occasion with children and grandchildren joining us on stage for the encore. As always there were plenty of great performers playing in the afternoons, inside and outside - a feast of music and entertainment for a week and a day!

What's new? - January 1, 2007

Well, a new website and a new year and a few new songs in the making - for a start!
Hope you all enjoyed the Christmas and the turn of the year.
Very best wishes for 2007!

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