Christy Moore – Prosperous (1972)

FrontCover1.jpgChristy, a native of Co. Kildare, started in the music business in the mid-sixties, when his life as a bank clerk was interrupted by a bank strike, and he moved to England. There he became involved in the folk music scene at the time, and spent a few years playing pubs and clubs around the country.

His return to Ireland was marked by the album Prosperous, which proved to be a milestone in the rapprochement of Irish music to the popular mainstream. This album benefited from a collaboration of the leading talents of contemporary folk music, musicians such as Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny and Liam O’Flynn, and this one-off was to lead to the formation of Planxty, a band who were at the leading edge of the revival of Irish traditional music.

Over the following years the musical status of Planxty became legendary both in Ireland, Britain and throughout Europe. However in 1974 the band split up to pursue solo projects. It was during this period that Christy continued to explore new ground as a solo artist recording a number of solo albums including ‘The Iron Behind the Velvet’  which featured Andy Irvine and ‘Live in Dublin’ with Donal Lunny.

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PlanxtyThe original Planxty lineup of Christy, Andy, Liam and Donal then reformed in 1979. They recorded two further albums with Tara Records ‘After the Break’ (TARACD3001) and ‘The Woman I Loved So Well’ (TARACD3005). There were several additions and changes to their lineup most notably the addition of Matt Molloy, flautist from the Bothy Band, who later joined The Chieftains and Bill Whelan. In 1981 Planxty performed a Bill Whelan arrangement called ‘Timedance’ as the intermission piece for the Eurovision song contest, held that year in Ireland. Later it was released as a single and is now included on Bill’s CD of ‘The Seville Suite’ released by Tara in 1992.

In the eighties Christy again teamed up with Donal Lunny to form Moving Hearts, another ambitious and innovative Irish band which sought to mix jazz into the folk-rock fusion. Ever the wanderer, Christy was soon breaking out on his own again, and it was in the eighties that he began to establish himself as one of Ireland’s leading solo artists with a string of acclaimed albums and high profile tours. In the mid-ninties Christy decided to take a break from the music for a few years. In the year 2000 Christy return to live performances with a series of Dublin concerts. Over the last few years he has released a number of solo projects including a television series, a live album and a 6 CD boxset.

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In 2004 Christy once again teamed up with Planxty for a series of Irish concerts and a new live CD and DVD, while at the same time performing regularly in his own right with in Ireland and the UK, with Declan Sinnott. (taramusic.com)

As I got over the excitement of having made an album I began to hear what it was that had been recorded. I realised how important it was to work with musicians who could hear the work and empathise with the singer. All these songs have an atmosphere and a definite vibe of their own and that must be respected.†

When Bill Leader agreed to record my work for his Trailer label. I made contact with Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine, Liam O’Flynn and asked them to play on my second album. I’d known Donal since school and followed his music right from the start. He taught me how to play guitar and bowrawn and has always been the most sensitive collaborator and friend.

He also has a great understanding of the other instruments their capabilities and limitations and can write riffs and fills for all occasions. Liam O’Flynn is the first piper I encountered and forty years on is still my favourite. I’d known Andy from his work with Sweeny’s Men and occasional meetings along the trail.

This was a wonderful session of recordings. It was a time of great music and fun. Bill Leader was the most innovative of engineers and got on with his task of getting it down. Considering he was working with a Revox Reel to Reel and two mikes the sounds he recorded are ageing well.

I’ve talked about this album in many interviews. It has been viewed in lots of ways and taken apart, dissected and given all sorts weighty significance these past 30 years. It is flattering and titillating to hear of it’s debate but the truth is it was made primarily for the sheer joy of making music. We did it because we loved to do it. We had a ball and all we sought to do was to record the sounds that we liked. All that followed has been an unexpected and most welcome bonus. (Christy Moore)

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The album that started it all, the revival of traditional Irish music (which assumes, of course, that it needed reviving) and most importantly, led to the formation of the great Irish traditional band, Planxty.

A bunch of mates collect in a hotel, how Irish, and record, crudely, a belter of an album. Truly a great album. (prognotfrog.blogspot.com)

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Personnel:
Dave Bland (concertina)
Clive Collins (fiddle, banjo)
Kevin Coneff (bodhrán)
Liam Og O’Flynn (uilleann Pipes, tin whistle)
Andy Irvine (mandolin)
Donal Lunny (bouzouki, guitar)
Christy Moore (vocals, guitar)

ChristyMoore03Tracklist:
01. Raggle Taggle Gypies : Tabhair Dom Do Lamh (Traditional) 4.23
02. The Dark Eyed Sailor (Trad.itional) 3.58
03. I Wish I Was In England (Moore) 2.04
04. Lock Hospital (Traditional) 4.13
05. James Connolly (Traditional) 3.03
06. The Hackler From Grouse Wall (Traditional) 2.28
07. Tribute To Woody (Dylan) 2.15
08. The Ludlow Massacre (Guthrie) 4.13
09. A Letter To Syracuse (Cartwright/Caddick) 2.54
10, Spancil Hill (Traditional) 5.52
11. The Cliffs Of Doneen (Traditional) 3.04
12. Rambling Robin (Traditional) 2.19

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LinerNotes

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