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Recorded at a variety of locations between lockdowns, Whatever Happened to Betty is the first offering from Cousin Tablet and features superb guest appearances from well known Galway based, Finnish born violin player Juliana Erkkonen (The Raines, Mikey and the Scallywags, Molly Hicks), former Waterboy and Sawdoctor Anto Thistletwaite on saxophone and Galway folk musician and multi-instrumentalist Dave Clancy on piano and hammond.
The song is inspired by the story of a woman called Betty who had worked in Gibbons' family pub and house for a few years in the early 70's. As Gibbons explains: "To this day there is a bedroom in my family home called Bettys Room. None of my siblings are named Betty so I always wondered who this mysterious woman was who had a room named in her honour in our home. As I got older I started to ask questions and was told she was a lovely woman who had worked in the family pub and helped my mother around the house and the room that bore her name had been her room for a couple of years. That was that for many years until her name came up at a family function a few years back and a few more hazy details emerged. There was talk that she had come from a mother and baby home. There was talk that she got pregnant. There was talk that a priest heard of her predicament and she was sent back to a mother and baby home. It was all very hazy and no one really knew for sure. My mothers memory is not what it was and my siblings would have been too young to remember much detail but I bacame fascinated with her story and always wondered Whatever Happened to Betty?
This song is my imagining of Bettys story and also a reflection on the horrors of the mother and baby homes that cast a long shadow over our not so distant past."
Donal Gibbons - Guitar/Vocals
Stephen Monaghan - Guitar/Vocals
Wil Merrigan - Bass/Vocals
Jamie O'Neill - Drums
Juliana Erkkonen - Violins
Anto Thistlethwaite - Saxophone
Dave Clancy - Piano/Hammond
Recorded by Liam King at Black Gate Studio and Stephen Monaghan at Stelor Studio
Mixed by Paul Keegan
Mastered by Brian Masterson
All photos by Kevin Fahy