Various Artists -The Irish Folk Festival – Celtic Roots & Celtic Moods (1996)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Irish Folk Festival (not to be confused with the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration tour organised by Petr Pandula) exists since 1974, and is the oldest of the German Celtic Folk Festival tours. The Festival has yet presented 18 tours (in a couple of years the tour did not take place); since 1988 it has taken place every year again. All in all, 145 different musicians (from Ireland, along with a few from the United States, Scotland, England and Brittany) have participated, and 427 concerts have taken place in 100 different towns. Nearly half a million visitors have come to the tours, mainly in Germany, with sometimes extensions to Switzerland, Austria or Denmark. Over the 25 years, the size of the festival tour has stayed always quite at the same level: Mostly ca. three weeks long, with between 13 and 17 musicians, and concerts with an average 1.000 head audience. These 1.000 visitors per evening were needed as soon as – after a few wild first tours – the festival became more musician-friendly, with a chartered tour bus with driver and accommodation in single rooms in hotels. Both organisers, Carsten Linde and Axel Schuldes, have a permanent job since a long time, and do the festival tour parallely more as a hobby.

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Tour Poster 1974

The whole story started in the early 70s when Carsten Linde discovered the Furey brothers, after having been an important person in the German folk scene already in the 60s promoting American folk music. He was impressed by them, and thought that this kind of music should be brought to a bigger audience than just the back rooms of pubs. These thoughts resulted in the first Irish Folk Festival Tour in May 1974, which was quite a Furey invasion, with Eddie, Finbar, George Paul and father Ted, joined by Davey Arthur and Bobby Clancy representing the emigrated Irish. The second festival presented again several Fureys, but also Clannad and Micho Russell. “The idea of combining a festival and a tour was new, and that has been and is still one of the reasons of the success of the IFF.”

Today, the Irish Folk Festival has the reputation as one of Europe’s most important tours for Irish Folk music. What rank does it have today for Irish Music? Thinks Axel, “I hope quite the same as it had right from the start, which is defined by the intention of the festival. The Irish Folk Festival has never wanted to be a trend setter; it never wanted to define what is important in the Irish Folk Scene. It always tried to be a reflection, a micro cosmos of what is happening in the Celtic scene in Ireland.” Still, the organisers were often very much in time with the Irish scene; a good example being that Clannad played as a brand new band on the second Irish Folk Festival in 1975.

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Seamus Creagh with Aidan Colley; photo by Sean Laffey The importance of the maxim to reflect the current scene in Ireland is also represented in the break of the IFF between 1982 and 1987. “The scene not only in Germany was at a low point – mainly because of ‚overfeeding’ with too much poor quality music from Ireland -, simultaneously in Ireland there did not happen very much. So we were consistent and stopped the tour for some years. Until in the mid-eighties, with Moving Hearts, new life was breathed into the scene. The scene simply had to regenerate a bit after the huge boom in the 70s. When the Irish tree was in full bloom once again in the end of the 80s, the Irish Folk Festival tour came back in 1988.” (folkworld.de)

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And here is a sampler (all songs were recorded in the studio) to promote the Irish Folk Festival in 1996 … all tunes are beautiful … and if you love and like this very unique Irish Folk (like me), than you have to listen !

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Personnel:

Reel Time:
Eilis Egan (accordion)
Mairin Fahy (fiddle, vocals, tin whistle)
Yvonne Fahy (percussion)
Benny Heyes (keyboards)
Chris Kelly (guitar)

Maire Breatnach Band:
Maire Breatnach (fiddle, viola, keyboards)
Conor Byrne (flute, tin whistle)
Alan Connaughton (guitar)
Steve Dunford (bodhran)

Conor Keane & Kevin Griffin:
Kevin Griffin (banjo)
Conor Keane (accordion)

Sean Tyrrell:
Sean Tyrrell (vocals, mandola, mandolin, guitar, bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Reeltime: The Bridge Across The Atlantic (Traditional) 3.38
02. Reeltime: Buachaill On Eírne (Traditional) 4.28
03. Maire Breatnach Band: The Monaghan Twig / Jenny’s Chickens (Traditional) 2.18
04. Conor Keane & Kevin Griffin: Cooley’s Hornpipe / The Fairy Queen (O’Brien/ Traditional) 4.38
05. Maire Breatnach Band: Taimse Im Chodladh (Traditional) 4.24
06. Sean Tyrrell: The Moon Behind The Hill (Traditional) 4.00
07. Conor Keane & Kevin Griffin: The New Mown Meadow / The Dublin Reel / The Steampacket (Traditional) 4.12
08. Maire Breatnach Band: Nead Ná Lachan / Mall Rua (Traditional) 2.57
09. Sean Tyrrell: Lady My Love (Traditional) 3.21
10. Kevin Griffin: Two Barndances (Traditional) 4.44
11. Reeltime: The Trip To Germany (Traditional) 3.03
12. Conor Keane: The Jig Of Slurrs / Páidín O’Raifeartaigh (Traditional) 4.17
13. Sean Tyrrell: I Am A Rover (Traditional) 7.30

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WithLove

Still alive and well:

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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

Wild Geese – Flight 2 (1979)

FrontCover1.JPGUnfortunately I found no informations about the hisory of the Irish Folk group; maybe they lived in Germany, becaus all their albums were recorded in Germany.

But I found the liner notes from their first album, written by Finbar Furey:

The past twenty years or so have seen a great re-birth and development in the popularity and techniques of traditional Irish music. Many individuals and groups have concentrated on particular aspects of the music.

If one word were applied to WILD GEESE it must surely be “variety”. The 4 musicians — Peadar, Norman and Tony from Ireland, Steve from England — play the whole spectrum of traditional music — from unaccompanied slow-airs and street-ballads to intricate arrangements of dance music and traditional songs. This scope and versatility is well represented on this, their first record together. Finbar Furey, an old friend of the WILD GEESE, wrote to us the following about the musicians: “Sligo is a great County for music. Some of the finest musicians have emerged from here. Peadar is a grand flute player who plays in his native Sligo style, which yet has to be equalled. He’s a very modest man with a smile for the ladies and a great respect for fellow musicians; as Norman would say, ‘a mighty man’. Every group has to have one — what I mean is a Norman. What’s known as a man with a gifted tongue and a shake for the Bodhrán. He also plays guitar and has one of the best voices for singing Dublin street ballads and rowdy pub songs. His Dublin inheritance gives him one of the greatest humours on or off stage. A gentleman and a scholar.

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Tony has a beautiful voice and when he sings, not only does he sing the song but tells the story and lives every moment of it. Very few people have this gift, or if you like, this combination. Tony seems to thrive on it. In other words, he doesn’t force it. His accompaniment on guitar with the Irish Reels and slow Jigs is very tasty indeed. He’s the peace-maker in the group, a very necessary man.

Steve is the fiddle player, mandolin, guitar, five-string banjo and even knocks an odd tune out of the tin-whistle. What’s known as an all-rounder. Steve you might say, is the odd man out. You have to look twice to see if he’s there. He’s so quiet sometimes and shy, you’d be afraid to bring him into Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks, in case they might be stock-taking. A very important man.

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This is the combination of the WILD GEESE and when they play together they love every minute of it, and that’s the way a group should be. They’ve done many nice things in the arrangements of their material. This group have really sat down and put their heads together and the result is this fine LP.

So if you want some furious advice, get a glass of beer, or a glass of whatever you fancy, put the record player on, sit down and relax and listen to the sporting songs, the love songs, pub songs and music of the WILD GEESE!”

And here´s their second album … and if you like this wonderful Irish traidional tunes, then is this rre album  a must !

Enjoy the music of Wild Geese (and listen to the end of “The Foggy Dew” … what a great rhythm power !)

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Personnel:
Eoin O Duigneain (bagpipes, tin whistle)
Norman King (bodhrán, vocals)
Mike Ryan (fiddle, mandolin)
Tony Small (guitar, vocals)
Peadar Óh Uallaigh (flute, tin whistle, concertina, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. The First Of May (Traditional) 5.19
02. Galway Bay (Fahy) 5.46
03. Kerry Slide And Sligo Polka (Traditional) 2.28
04. Marrowbones (Traditional) 3.42
05. The Galway Rebel Boys (O Báiread) 4.09
06. The Hills Of Connemara (McCarthy) 3.05
07. Jimmy Clay (Sky/Small) 4.35
08. The Foggy Dew (Traditional) 5.26

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Taken from the sleeve notes:

THE FIRST OF MAY — The first of May: We learned this hornpipe from an old recording made in the 1920’s. The tune is used as the melody of a popular song called “The Skillet Pot”. A version of this hornpipe and also of the two following tunes is to be found in “O’Neills -The Dance Music of Ireland” edited at the beginning of the century by Francis O’Neill and now widely available. It appears as number 899 of this collection.

Trip it Up Stairs: The rhythm changes to the triple time of a single jig (O’Neills No. 372).

Another Jig Will Do: Again a change of rhythm. This time a slip-jig, an unusual dance in 9/8 time. (O’Neills No. 437).

The Humours of Whiskey: We recently learned this slipjig from the fiddle playing of Charlie and Paddy O’Neill – father and son who live in Moy, Co Tyrone.

GALWAY BAY — The text is by Francis A. Fahy and the melody is one of Tony’s compromises.

KERRY SLIDE & SLIGO POLKA — Co. Kerry in South West Ireland has its own stock of music played mostly for dancing. The Slide is a popular dance, a type of jig, found in “sets” where a group of dancers, often eight, dance through a series of set patterns.

Peadar’s family come from the village of Curry in Co. Sligo and it was here that he learnt this Polka from the playing of the local musicians.

MARROWBONES — This piece begins with a jig which we learned from Steve Power who spent three enjoyable years with The ‘Wild Geese’.

There are several Irish songs on the theme of Marrowbones with varying melodies but only minor variations of the story line, for example, “The Old Woman of Wexford” and “Tipping it up to Nancy” and many other variants in the English song tradition. The wife in every case wants to rid herself of her old husband, beginning by finding a “medicine” to blind him — “Marrowbones”. The husband pretends to lose his sight and foils the wife’s attempt to drown him. Peadar came across this version in a valuable periodical called ‘Ceol’. The transcription was from a singer called Paul Ryan of Co. Wicklow.

THE GALWAY REBEL BOYS — In 1916 the revolutionary forces in Ireland took advantage of the British Armies’ involvement in the “Great War” and made yet another attempt to end British domination in Ireland. At Easter they took control of Dublin and some rural areas. The great majority of the insurgents were members of the Irish Volunteers, later known as the Irish Republican Army — The I.R.A.

Liam Mellows was an organiser of the Irish Volunteers in the West of Ireland and during Easter week he raised over 1000 men in County Galway, capturing the Police Barracks in Oranmore and holding the town of Athenry. Due to lack of communication with the Provisional Government in Dublin and being seriously short of arms the Galway rebels were forced to disperse. Mellows disguised himself as a priest and escaped to Dublin and later to the U.S.A.

Some years later Mellows was a leader of the Anti-Partition forces during the Irish Civil War and was captured and executed in Dublin in November 1922. While imprisoned in Mountjoy Jail he often played his favourite music on the fiddle – the old Irish airs.

The only son is of great importance in rural Ireland, becoming the farmer and maintaining the family as his father ages. In this song the father, although he supports the stand of Mellows and the Volunteers in their fight for Irish Freedom, nevertheless, asks his son to remain on the farm to meet the family needs. Tony learnt this song from his father John Small and the text is by Tomas Bairead.

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THE HILLS OF CONNEMARA — Poitín is the name for homemade spirits – illicit alcohol. The cost of fighting the Napoleanic War led the British Exchequer to raise the duty on Whiskey and other legal spirits by over 500% which caused a massive growth in illegal distilling among the poverty-stricken peasants in Ireland. Cheated of a great income in taxation, the British set up a special force of revenue police in the 1830’s with the sole task of wiping out illegal stills. In 2 years alone they siezed 16,000 stills but neither they nor subsequent police forces succeeded in putting an end to the making of Poitin.

The best alcohol was made from malt and barley but this was too much trouble for many ‘moonshiners’, so potatoes and even blackberries were used. Up to the introduction of bottled gas, turf was used to fuse the stills and although it gave a pleasant taste to the Poitin, the column of turf-fire often betrayed the location to the ‘Excise Men’.

The song was written by Sean McCarthy, the prolific song writer from Co. Kerry.

The Britches Full of Stiches: This is a popular Polka from South Western Ireland. A verse is sometimes sung to the first part of the tune.

JIMMY CLAY — This song was composed by Patrick Sky, the American singer, song writer and piper. It is a bitter comment on the degradation of the individual in capitalistic warfare. He is in total contrast to the individual in the Galway Rebel Boys who is a Freedom Fighter. Jimmy Clay is merely a disposable piece of machinery.

Tony would like to thank Norman King, Smokey and Gerry Carthy for kindly lending him guitars for this album

THE FOGGY DEW — This piece comprises five tunes. The Foggy Dew is an old march followed here by a jig called Jimmy O ‘Brien ‘s jig or Cossey’s jig. The pipes then play a reel which is in fact the same basic melody as the jig. The reel is called ‘The Green Fields of America’ and , a setting can be found in “Ceol Rince Na hEireann” by Breandan Breathnach Number 79. The fiddle and flute play a second reel which is heard in County Sligo and is called Anderson’s No. 1.

The final reel is a rousing farewell from the group until we meet you all again.

The Chieftains – 2 (1969)

FrontCover1.jpgChieftains 2 is the second album released by the Irish musical group The Chieftains in 1969. It was Peadar Mercier’s album debut on bodhran.

When Seán Ó Riada disbanded Ceoltoiri Chualann in 1969, several of the players wanted to continue the sound they had pioneered. The result was the reformation of The Chieftains. “The Foxhunt” had previously been known as a piper’s tune, but here it was given a full band treatment, and was widely played, as a direct result of this recording. (by wikipedia)

This is the real stuff, the very best of the group’s early albums and the best representation of the Chieftains’ original sound. If anything, the group is more confident the second time out, and the material, consisting of traditional airs, jigs, and polkas, is stronger than on the first album. Opening with the gorgeous double jig “Banish Misfortune, Gillan’s Apples,” which goes back to the time of the 16th century fiddler Raftery of Connacht, the record simply gets better all the way through. Though more familiar as a harp piece, “Planxty George Brabazon” (written by the harper-composer Turlough O’Carolan) comes off stunningly here played on pipes, flutes, etc., without a plucked instrument in sight; “The Foxhunt” is a great showcase for Martin Fay and Seán Keane’s fiddle skills; the mournful, somber, but beautiful “Am Mhaighdean Mhara” was the tune that Stanley Kubrick absorbed into his movie Barry Lyndon, and tells a magical story of torment and lost love. Production on the album is first-rate and, in particular, makes excellent use of stereo separation. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Martin Fay (fiddle)
Seán Keane (fiddle)
Peadar Mercier (bodhrán)
Paddy Moloney (uillean pipes, tin whistle)
Seán Potts (tin whistle)
Michael Tubridy (flute, concertina, tin whistle)

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Tracklist:
01. Banish Misfortune / Gillian’s Apples 3.34
02. Seóirse Brabston (Planxty George Brabazon) 3.29
03. Bean an Fhir Rua (The Red-Haied Man’s Wife) 2.49
04. Pis Fhliuch (The Wet Quirn) (O’ Farrells Welcome to Limerick) 3.33
05. An Páistín Fionn (The Fair-Haired Child)/ Mrs. Crotty’s Reel / The Mountain Top 4.12
06. The Foxhunt 5.13
07. An Mhaighdean Mhara (The Sea Maiden) / Tie the Bonnet / O’ Rourke’s Reel 4.13
08. Callaghan’s Hornpipe / Byrne’s Hornpipe 3.13
09. Pigtown / Tie the Ribbons / The Bag of Potatoes 2.34
10. The Humours of Whiskey / Hardiman the Fiddler 2.54
11. Dónall Óg 3.54
12. Brian Boru’s March 3.12
13. Sweeney’s / Denis Murphy’s / The Scartaglen Polka 3.30

All songs are Traditionals

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The Dubliners – Live (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Dubliners were an Irish folk band founded in Dublin in 1962 as The Ronnie Drew Ballad Group after its founding member; they subsequently renamed themselves The Dubliners. The line-up saw many changes over their fifty-year career, but the group’s success was centred on lead singers Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew. The band garnered international success with their lively Irish folk songs, traditional street ballads and instrumentals. The band were regulars on the folk scenes in both Dublin and London in the early 1960s, and were signed to the Major Minor label in 1965 after backing from Dominic Behan. They went on to receive extensive airplay on Radio Caroline, and eventually appeared on Top of the Pops in 1967 with hits “Seven Drunken Nights” (which sold over 250,000 copies in the UK)[2] and “The Black Velvet Band”. Often performing political songs considered controversial at the time, they drew criticism from some folk purists and Ireland’s national broadcaster RTÉ had placed an unofficial ban on their music from 1967 to 1971. During this time the band’s popularity began to spread across mainland Europe and they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in the United States. The group’s success remained steady right through the 1970s and a number of collaborations with The Pogues in 1987 saw them enter the UK Singles Chart on another two occasions.

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The Dubliners were instrumental in popularising Irish folk music in Europe, though they did not quite attain the popularity of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in the United States. They influenced many generations of Irish bands, and their legacy can to this day be heard in the music of artists such as The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. Much adored in their native country, covers of Irish ballads by Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly tend to be regarded as definitive versions. One of the most influential Irish acts of the 20th century, they celebrated 50 years together in 2012, making them Ireland’s longest surviving musical act. Also in 2012, the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards bestowed them with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Dubliners announced their retirement in the autumn of 2012, after 50 years of playing, following the death of the last of the founding members, Barney McKenna. However, the surviving members of the group, with the exception of John Sheahan, continued touring under the name of “The Dublin Legends”. As of 2019, Seán Cannon is the only former member still in this group, following Eamonn Campbell’s death in October 2017.

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And “Live” is a live album by The Dubliners recorded live at the Fiesta Club, Sheffield and released on the Polydor label in 1974. This was to be Ronnie Drew’s last recording with The Dubliners for five years as he left to pursue a solo career. Also following this album, Ciarán Bourke ceased to be a full-time member of the group when he suffered a brain haemorrhage. He sings “All for Me Grog” here. The reels that open this album (and which first were released on the group’s 1967 studio album A Drop of the Hard Stuff) have become the opening instrumental medley at most of their concerts since. (by wikipedia)

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To say that the Dubliners are Entertainers is to state the obvious. I can think of no better way of underlining this simple truth than in a live album.

‘The Dubliners Live” is a fairly typical Dubliners programme performed in front of an enthusiastic and appreciative audience in one of the Yorkshire Clubs These clubs have a well-earned reputation for expecting and getting the best in the entertainment field. This show is no exception It scores in other ways too Here is a completely new recording of a number of well loved Dubliners classics, alongside updated versions of numbers guaranteed to raise the roof. Then there are the first ever Dubliners recordings of “The Four Poster Bed” (a traditional Shetland wedding tune) and “The Belfast Hornpipe/Tim Maloney” medley played on tin whistle. John Sheahan then takes up his fiddle again for the “Blue Mountain Rag”.

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Add to this the between number talk and humour which is so much part of the Dubliners, and the atoum which has been long and eagerly awaited, is complete.

It is something of a minor miracle that five such diverse characters have remained together as a group for more than eleven years now. Maybe it is their very differences which provide the strong bond between them – that and the fact that they have never seen the need to use the slick trappings of showbusiness. To say that they have succeeded on a world stage is perhaps an over-simplification. However, it remains an irrefutable truth that by remaining themselves they have brought something very special to people the world over. Wherever they appear they engender warmth, affection, laughter and perhaps even an occasional tear.

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Their unique brand of magic has assured them of a niche in the annals of popular music. Even more important perhaps is their impact on people Barney McKenna once remarked that the Dubliners were made by their audiences No matter how talented they were individually or collectively, if people lost the will to listen to them then they would be finished This precept has undoubtedly played its part in their lives but as a member of innumerable audiences over the years one can say that without the Dubliners many lives would be the poorer. (by Mary Hardy, taken from he original linernotes)

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Personnel:
Ciarán Bourke (tin whistle, harmonica, guitar, vocals)
Ronnie Drew (vocals, guitar)
Luke Kelly (vocals, banjo)
Barney McKenna (banjo, mandolin)
John Sheahan (fiddle, tin whistle, mandolin)

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Tracklist:
01. Fairmoyle Lasses And Sporting Paddy 1.52
02. Black Velvet Band 3.34
03. Whiskey In The Jar 2.31
04. All For The Grog 2.38
05. The Belfast Hornpipe/Tim Maloney 3.23
06. The Four Poster Bed/Colonel Rodney 2.26
07. Finnegan’s Wake 2.51
08. McAlpine’s Fusiliers 3.44
09. Seven Drunken Nights 3.44
10. Reels – Scholar/Teetotaller/The High Reel 4.12
11. Home Boys Home 3.20
12. Dirty Old Town 3.08
13. Blue Mountain Rag 2.31
14. The Wild Rover 3.04
15. Weile Waile 2.27
16. The Holy Ground 2.30

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One of my favorite tunes:

I met my love,
By the gas works wall.
Dreamed a dream,
By the old canal.
I kissed my girl,
By the factory wall.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.

Clouds are drifting,
Across the moon.
Cats are prowling,
on their beat.
Spring-s-a girl,
From the streets at night.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.

I heard a siren,
From the docks.
Saw a train,
Set the night on fire.
Smelled the spring,
On the smoky wind.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.

I’m going to make,
Me a good sharp axe;
Shining steel,
Tempered in,
the Fire.
I’ll chop you down,
Like an old dead tree.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.

I met my love,
By the gas works wall.
Dreamed a dream,
By the old canal.
I kissed my girl,
by the factory wall.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.

The Chieftains – Same (1) (1964)

OriginalLPFC1The Chieftains is the first album released by the Irish musical group The Chieftains in 1964. The album is now sometimes referred to as The Chieftains 1 due to the numbering system of their later albums. It was one of the first folk albums to be recorded in stereo. (by wikipedia)

Paddy always had a vision from the mid 1950’s. A sound he wanted to create, a sound that had never been heard before. He knew it would take much experimentation with different combinations of instruments and so he formed several groups with other musicians in duets and trios. In particular he played with Seán Potts, Michael Tubridy, Matt Molloy and Seán Keane in various combinations who would all later become Chieftains. But it was not until he had formed the original line up for The Chieftains in 1962 that he finally achieved the sound that had eluded him, a sound created by Paddy’s inspired choice of instruments, styles and players. It was only at this point did Paddy feel ready to give his group the title The Chieftains (a name which was inspired by the Irish poet John Montague) and confident enough to take his band into studio to record the very first of many, award winning albums. This recording came about at the invitation of his good friend, the Hon. Garech a Brún for his record label Claddagh Records. (offical press release)

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The debut album by the Chieftains, recorded when they were still a semi-professional outfit, is more restrained than their subsequent efforts. The opening number introduces each of the bandmembers, Paddy Moloney and Sean Potts on pipes, followed by Michael Tubridy on flute and David Fallon on bodhran, Martin Fay on the fiddle, and then Tubridy on the concertina. The group would later acquire what can only be called a more soulful approach, but the playing here was a revelation at the time, if only for its stripped-down authenticity. The music — mostly airs, reels, and jigs — and performances lack the otherworldly quality that characterized the Chieftains’ 1970s albums, but the melodies are still extremely pretty, and make up in immediacy and high spirits what they lack in mystique and mysticism. Martin Fay’s fiddle is more prominent here than on subsequent records, where Moloney’s pipes became the major voice within the group. Highlights include “Comb Your Hair and Curl It/The Boys of Ballisodare,” “The Musical Priest/The Queen of May,” “The Walls of Liscarroll,” and “The Connemara Stocking.” (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
David Fallon (bodhrán)
Martin Fay (fiddle)
Paddy Moloney (uilleann pipes, tin whistle)
Seán Potts (tin whistle)
Michael Tubridy (flute, concertina, tin whistle)

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Tracklist:
01. Sé Fáth mo Bhuartha / The Lark On The Strand / An Fhallaingín Mhuimhneach / Trim the Velvet 8.07
02. An Comhra Donn / Murphy’s Hornpipe 4.21
03. Cailín na Gruaige Doinne (The Brown-Haired Girl) 2.51
04. Comb Your Hair And Curl It / The Boys of Ballisodare 3.15
05. The Musical Priest / The Queen Of May 3.38
06. The Walls Of Liscarroll Jig 2.44
07. An Dhruimfhionn Donn Dílis 3.03
08. The Connemara Stocking / The Limestone Rock / Dan Breen’s 2.53
09. Casadh an tSúgan 3.47
10. The Boy In The Gap 1.22
11. Saint Mary’s, Church Street / Garret Barry, The Battering Ram / Kitty goes a-Milking, Rakish Paddy 6.54

All songs: Traditionals

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Bodhrán

Johnny Logan – Irishman In America (2008)

FrontCover1.jpgJohnny Logan is building a lot of bridges on his album “Irishman in America“. A bridge between Ireland and America. A bridge between past and present. A bridge between those of us who are still alive and those of our dear ones who have crossed to the land of the dead. Johnny Logan takes us down many roads and has many ambitions with his album. It comes as a continuation of the album called “The Irish Connection”. The recordings practically sent Logan on a journey around the globe. He recorded the rhythmic section – that is drums and bas – in Denmark together with his Danish band. Then he went to Germany to record all the keys, among others keyboard and piano, then he went to Nashville, USA to record the stringed instruments, pedal guitar and steel guitar, dobro, banjo, and the American fiddle – that is the violin. “There is not a single electric guitar on the album. Everything is made with acoustic guitars”, Johnny Logan explains in a voice reverberating with pride. From the USA he had to go back to Ireland to record the Irish fiddle and the characteristic Irish tin whistle. Beyond “Irishman in America” Logan has also written the songs “Sorry”, “Bridges of my Heart” and “Dancing with my Father”. The latter is also building a bridge to the beloved dear ones who have passed away, as it goes in the first lines of the chorus: “So I go/ dancing with my father/ through the streets of yesterday….”. The American link which Logan is making is connected to the history of Ireland, which saw thousands of men and women crossing the Atlantic Ocean to the land on the other side.

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Along they brought a musical tradition that has influenced the music which arose in the USA. “Thus bluegrass and the Cajun music have been strongly inspired by Irish music”, says Johnny Logan. But it is neither bluegrass nor Cajun songs that Logan has chosen for the album from America’s enormous backlist. He has chosen songs that in one way or another have meant something to him. And they are all very different. Right from “This Land is your Land”, which is an old American traditional, to “Piece of my Heart”, which is one of the biggest hits from the folk-rock-queen Janice Joplin. “It was important for me to find some songs which had a groove which touched me. They are all songs that were popular in the USA in the 70’ies, because I was very attracted to the country in those days and to everything on the music stage then. For example I simply love Janice Joplin, so it was only natural for me to include one of her songs”. Yet another bridge between the USA and Ireland – and between the USA and the Logan family – is the bridge that was built when Johnny’s dad, Patrick O’Hagan sang for the three American presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. But otherwise it is mainly musically that Johnny Logan wishes to build bridges. He does that by allowing the two musical traditions to blend in untraditional arrangements where for example the Irish and the American fiddle are practically battling in the same tune. But, of course, quite true to Johnny Logan’s heart – a mainly friendly battle. (by Rie Nielsen)

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Personnel:
Pauli Andreasen (guitar)
Jesper Andersen (drums, percussion)
Peter Dencker (accordion background vocals))
Lloyd Green (pedal steel-guitar)
Tommy Keane (pipe)
Andreas Linse (keyboards)
Johnny Logan (vocals)
Charlie McCoy (harmonica)
John Sheahan (fiddle, whistle)
Michael Sherrard (guitar)
Jacob Skytte (bass)
Wanda Wick (guitar, dobro, banjo, mandolin, fiddle)
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background vocals:
Heidi Trolle – Adam Sherrard – Fionn Sherrard – Jack Sherrard

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Tracklist:
01. Rocky Road To Dublin (Traditional) 3.19
02. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Robertson) 3.39
03. Belle Of Belfast (Traditional) 4.26
04. Dancing With My Father (Linse/Sherrard) 4.56
05. This Land Is Your Land (Guthrie) 3.55
06. Piece Of My Heart (Berns/Ragovoy) 4.07
07. The Alabama Song (Brecht/Weill) 4.37
08. Bridges Of My Heart (Sherrard) 3.41
09. Sorry (Linse/Sherrard) 3.53
10. Paddy On The Railway (Traditional) 3.17
11. Waxies Dargle (Traditional) 2.48
12. Irishman In America (Sherrard) 5.02
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13. Why Me (Logan) 3.32

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