“It’s definitely harder to coordinate because we are never in the same country,” the seven months-pregnant vocalist and violinist for The Corrs told the Irish Echo in a recent phone interview.
“It’s a bit of a joke sometimes. It’s sort of like we’ve become what we thought other people did. It’s strange, but the music is always the draw. So, that always brings us back together and so, it isn’t really that difficult. It’s a couple of extra flights here and there.”
The Celtic pop band released their first-ever album of entirely traditional Irish music, the aptly titled “Home,” on Feb. 7.
“We’ve always had a mix of traditional Irish music in our music,” Corr explained, adding that the group is considering going on tour to support the album at the end of the year.
“There has always been that influence. Traditional Irish music is something we grew up with and were surrounded by, so it always felt like this was something we were going to do, it was just a matter of when we did it.”
Produced by Mitchell Froom, this latest offering from the Dundalk family group features 13 Irish favorites and is a tribute to the four siblings’ mother, Jean, who died in 1999.
“Our mom sang all of these songs,” Corr recalled. “We found a lot of them in an old song book of hers, so we think of it as a tribute to her.”
“She used to play every weekend in pubs with Daddy,” Andrea Corr, film actress and the band’s lead singer and tin whistle player, added in a statement. “They’re songs we’ve loved over the years, and because our parents played them in their band, they’re very special to us.”
Working on material that resonated so much with them only helped the already close-knit family bond further, Sharon Corr confided.
“Playing music together does bring people closer together; there is no doubt about it,” she said. “There is a lovely team work in it and a lovely harmony in it, in all senses of the word. (This experience) did bring us closer together.”
Songs on the band’s fifth studio album include “My Lagan Love,” “Spancill Hill,” “Peggy Gordon,” “Return to Fingal,” “Old Town,” “Moorlough Shore” and “Black Is The Colour,” as well as “Brid Og Ni Mhaille” and “Buachaill on Eirne,” which are sung in Gaelic.
“The songs on the album are basically songs that we grew up hearing all around us,” Corr noted. “They are very popular songs in Ireland, so it was just a natural progression for us to do this.”
She admits weeding through so many great Irish songs to pick only a handful of gems for the new CD wasn’t an easy task.
“We did have a lot of choices,” Corr said. “But it really is always about the ones that feel the best and that are going the best arrangement-wise. Basically, what we did, was we sat in our rehearsal studio with our instruments and our producer and two guys who play with us and we just worked through each song. We played them and played them and played different versions of them and kept rearranging them until it felt good and the ones that felt the best are the ones we stuck with and kept on the album.”
Asked if there is a different set of challenges in re-recording songs people know and love so well rather than writing, recording and performing your own original music, Corr replied, “Definitely, there is.
“You always want to bring a freshness (to music that has been done before,)” she maintained. “So, our main purpose of doing these songs was-they’re beautiful songs-and we wanted to keep them beautiful, but to put our own stamp on them, as well. They have been recorded very often, these songs. But very often, they were recorded in the same way each time. So, we wanted to do something quite different with them and find new rhythms to work with.”
So, does Corr think the band’s latest effort might help create a wider global audience for traditional Irish music?
“It’s very possible,” she said. “If (people outside of Ireland) have been buying our albums up until now and we release an album, their tendency is to buy it again. I think they will just be very curious about what it is we grew up listening to and what we were inspired by to write.”
In addition to Andrea and Sharon, the group includes sister Caroline, who plays drums, bodhran, piano and sings, and their brother, Jim, who plays keyboards, guitar and sings. Their latest album comes nearly 15 years after the group appeared in Alan Parker’s hit film, “The Commitments.”
Since then, all of their albums have achieved multi-platinum status internationally.
“Home” is now available on the Atlantic/Rhino Records label and “The Corrs’ Live in Geneva,” a new DVD that captures the band performing hits like “Breathless,” “Only When I Sleep,” “What Can I Do?” and “Dreams” in front of a Swiss audience, is scheduled to hit stores March 14.
Corr also suggests fans who would like to see how the group got to where they are today check out the DVD, “All the Way Home.”
“It basically charts our career from the beginning until now,” she said. “I actually love watching it! It brings back so many great memories and sad memories, as well. It’s quite an emotional piece. You just kind of see us as we are-as just people, just us.”
For Sharon and Jim, who is also expecting a baby with his fianc