Uisce Beatha (band)

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Uisce Beatha
OriginLondon, Ontario, Canada
GenresFolk rock
Years active1990s
Past members
  • Alan Glen
  • John Glen
  • Paul Meadows
  • Damian Morrissy
  • Doug Watt
  • Marty Coles
  • Patrick McLaughlin

Uisce Beatha was a 1990s Canadian folk rock band based initially in London, Ontario and after 1993 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.[1][2] The band took its name from the Irish name for whisky, meaning water of life. Their music ranged from Celtic to punk.[3]


Uisce Beatha formed in 1988 in London, with members Alan Glen on lead vocals and banjo, John Glen on mandolin and tin whistle, Paul Meadows on fiddle and harp, Damian Morrissy on bass guitar, Doug Watt on guitar and Marty Coles on drums.[2] Coles was later replaced by Patrick McLaughlin.

The band released two albums and two EPs as Uisce Beatha, including Voice of the Voyager in 1994.[4] They toured regularly in both Canada and Germany.

They were sued in 1997 by a Scottish distillery over rights to the band name, and subsequently changed their name to Red.[5] They released one further album under that name, The Fabulous Mushman, on which their style changed from mainly Celtic to more pop music,[6] but subsequently broke up.[7]


  • 1991 - Drinking with the Lord (SOCAN)
  • 1992 - The Mystic of the Baja (EMI)
  • 1994 - Voice of the Voyager (EMI)[8]
  • 1995 - Living in a Cuckoo Clock (6-song EP)
  • 1998 - The Fantabulous Mushman (no/PageMusic/EMI), as Red


  1. ^ "The marriage of roots music; Punk and Celtic music come together when Uisce Beatha takes to the stage". Halifax Daily News, September 16, 1993.
  2. ^ a b "Hybrid of Celtic rock bound to lift some spirits". Edmonton Journal, June 10, 1993.
  3. ^ " Uisce Beatha". AllMusic, by Gina Boldman
  4. ^ "Uisce Beatha "Voice of the Voyager", Uisce Beatha "The Mystic of the Baja". FolkWorld CD-Besprechungen, 1 November 1997
  5. ^ "Better Red than dead: With a new band name and a no-compromise attitude, Alan Glen insists on making music his own way". Halifax Daily News, April 25, 1997.
  6. ^ "Red The Fantabulous Mushman". AllMusic review by Sean Carruthers
  7. ^ "Great Big Mushman: Red (formerly Uisce Beatha) play ambitious Celtic rock". Halifax Daily News, May 25, 1997.
  8. ^ "Uisce Beatha Voice of the Voyager". AllMusic review by Sean Carruthers