Feature

In the first urban commune in Ljubljana…

An nice article on Andys time in Ljubljana (scroll down for a rough English translation)

Original Article

V prvi urbani komuni v Ljubljani je živel tudi irski glasbenik Andy Irvine Komuna v Tacnu, spomini Goranke Kreačič

Člani komune v Tacnu, med njimi irski pevec Andy Irwine
Člani komune v Tacnu. Foto: Osebni arhiv Goranke Kreačič

Komunarde v Tacnu so obiskovali tudi Tribunaši, člani Gledališča Pupilije Ferkeverk … Foto: Slobodan Valentinčič (1971)

Komuna v Tacnu (G7) je bila prva urbana komuna v nekdanji Jugoslaviji. Ustanovijo jo večinoma primorski študentje, pridružili so se jim tudi nekateri Ljubljančani. V komuni je stalno živelo 10-15 ljudi, hiša je bila vedno polna obiskov, domačih ali tujih. Čeprav so bili prvotni nagibi ustanovitve take skupnosti predvsem ekonomske narave, pa so se stanovalci komune kmalu intelektualno in politično profilirali kot anarho-sindikalistična smer, čeprav so nekateri zagovarjali popolno apolitičnost. Pojavili so se tudi začetki ekološke zavesti; vzpostavile so se povezave z ekogibanjem amsterdamskih “kobouterjev” (palčkov) – začetnikov porajajoče se ekološke zavesti v Evropi. Njegovi člani so redno obiskovali komuno v Tacnu, zlasti Roel van Duyn, ki je pisal tudi za študentski časopis Tribuna. Člani komune so se preživljali na različne načine – od štipendij do priložnostnega dela in so v skupnem gospodinjstvu skušali uveljavljati egalitarizem in solidarnost med člani.

Glavna polja dejavnosti so bila filozofija, družbena misel (Frane Adam), ekologija, v smislu samozadostnosti v oskrbi s hrano (Vinko in Vera Zalar) ter umetnost (likovna: Jože Slak – Đoko (1951-2014), književna: Ivan Volarič – Feo (1948-2010), zadnja dva sta tudi na zgornji fotografiji). Drugačnost od “normalne” družbe so kazali tudi z videzom, dolgimi lasmi, z oblačilno kulturo.

Pomemben status so bila potovanja – od Amsterdama, kjer so obiskovali svoje somišljenike “kobouterje”, do nepalskega Katmanduja. To potovanje je bilo nekakšna iniciacija, ki si jo moral opraviti, če si hotel bili del tega “plemena”. Ta potovanja v Indijo in Nepal niso bila omejena samo na prebivalce Tacna, široko so zajela tudi del ljubljanske mladine.

Večina članov komune v Tacnu in nato na Brodu, ki so sicer živeli neko vrsto utopije, se je udeleževala akcij študentskega gibanja, na neki način tudi utopičnega, se spominja Goranka Kreačič, ki je bila v letih, ko je bilo študentsko gibanje v Ljubljani najmočnejše, študentka Filozofske fakultete. Bila je vpeta v jedro dogajanja in hrani dragocene spomine na tisti čas. Avtor fotografije Žare Veselič, prebivalec komune in pozneje njen stalni obiskovalec, je s fotoaparatom vneto dokumentiral takratne dogodke.

Ste bili tam? Pošljite nam svoje spomine!

Če tudi sami hranite kakšen spomin na tista prelomna leta – fotografijo, ploščo, spomin na proteste ali pa kak drug prelomen dogodek tistega časa –, delite ga z nami in sodelujte pri obujanju tistega pomembnega obdobja.

Pišite nam

Eden izmed tujih stanovalcev komune (na sliki v sredini spredaj) je danes slavni irski glasbenik in kantavtor Andy Irvine. Svojemu večmesečnemu bivanju v Ljubljani – v Tacnu – je posvetil pesem Autumn Gold na zgoščenki Rain on the Roof. O pesmi je Irwine zapisal: Napisal sem jo v Ljubljani leta 1968, medtem ko sem sedel v sončnem parku in zaman čakal na zmenek. Kot vedno, sem čakal na Vido.


English Translation (via Google Translate!)

In the first urban commune in Ljubljana, Irish musician Andy Irvine also lived Commune in Tacen, memories of Goranka Kreačič

Members of the commune in Tacen, among them Irish singer Andy Irwine
Members of the commune in Tacen. Photo: Personal Archive Goranka Kreačič

The communards in Tacen were also visited by Tribunaši, members of the Pupilija Ferkeverk Theater … Photo: Slobodan Valentinčič (1971)

The commune in Tacen (G7) was the first urban commune in the former Yugoslavia. It is mostly founded by students from the Primorska region, and also by some of the residents of Ljubljana. There were 10-15 people living in the commune, the house was always full of visits, domestic or foreign. Although the original inclinations of the founding of such a community were primarily of an economic nature, the villagers of the commune soon became intellectually and politically profiled as anarcho-syndicalist direction, although some argued for complete apolitism. The beginnings of ecological consciousness also appeared; links have been established with the ecstasy of the Amsterdam “kobouteri” (dwarfs) – the beginnings of the emerging ecological awareness in Europe. His members regularly visited communes in Tacen, in particular Roel van Duyn , who also wrote for the Tribune student newspaper. Members of the community have been living in various ways – from scholarships to ad hoc work and have tried to promote egalitarianism and solidarity among their members in the common household.

The main fields of activity were philosophy, social thought ( Frane Adam ), ecology, in terms of self-sufficiency in food supply ( Vinko and Vera Zalar ) and art (visual: Jože Slak – Đoko (1951-2014), literary: Ivan Volarič – Feo (1948-2010), the last two are also in the above photo). The differences from the “normal” society were also reflected in the appearance, long hair, and clothing culture.

An important status was travel – from Amsterdam, where they visited their co-habits “co-workers”, to Nepalese Kathmandu. This trip was some kind of initiation that you had to do if you wanted to be part of this “tribe”. These trips to India and Nepal were not limited to the inhabitants of Tacen, but also included a part of the Ljubljana youth.

The majority of the members of the commune in Tacno and then on Brod, who otherwise lived some sort of utopia, took part in the actions of the student movement, and in some ways also utopic, recalls Goranka Kreačič , who was during the years when the student movement in Ljubljana was the strongest , a student at the Faculty of Philosophy. It was embedded in the core of events and held valuable memories at that time. The author of the photo Žare Veselič, a resident of the commune, and later her permanent visitor, has documentfully documented the events at that time with the camera.

Were you there? Send us your memories!

If you also keep yourself remembering those crucial years – a photo, a plate, a memory of protests, or some other turning point event of that time – share it with us and participate in the recapture of that important period.

Contact us

One of the foreign community dwellers (in the middle of the picture in front) is now famous Irish musician and cantor Andy Irvine . He spent his two-month stay in Ljubljana – in Tacno – dedicated the song Autumn Gold to the Rain on the Roof CD**. Irwin wrote about the song : I wrote it in Ljubljana in 1968, while I was sitting in the sun park, waiting for a date in vain. As always, I waited for Vido***.


source: http://www.rtvslo.si/1968/spomini/v-prvi-urbani-komuni-v-ljubljani-je-zivel-tudi-irski-glasbenik-andy-irvine/446678

 

**CORRECTIONS: The Song Autumn Gold was released on the Andy Irvine/Paul Brady LP, not Rain on the Roof.

***CORRECTIONS: Most likely a typo. Should be Vida.
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Backcover story on “The Planxty Collection”, written by Colin Irwin – 1975

Liner notes from “The Planxty Collection” written by Colin Irwin give an excellent pen picture of the band and its impact. 

planxty-the-planxty-collection-2-ab

In October, 1975 Planxty went on tour in Britain for the last time. At the end of their gig at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, the audience shuffled silently homeward, exhilarated by the music but simultaneously saddened by the significance of the occasion. A girl stood weeping in the foyer, unable to comprehend the news that had filtered from Ireland a couple of months previously that Planxty were splitting. “We’ll never see their like again”, she muttered. She said it all.

Extravagant praise always embarrassed the members of Planxty, but I suspect that even years ahead any attempt at critical analyses will collapse in a heap of gushing compliments. For in the three years of their existence, Planxty represented the best of Irish music and a lot more, at all times preserving its inherent beauty, yet treating it with a rare freshness and originality.

They drew on influences as wide as the rock’n’roll that Paul Brady had been weaned on to the Eastern European folk music that fascinated Andy Irvine. But more important: in doing so, they proved (1) it was possible to popularise Irish music outside of its immediate environment without diluting it in any way, and (2) an acoustic band could match an electric one every inch of the way for fire and excitement.

They started in 1972. Christy Moore, who had striven long and hard to establish himself as a popular British folk club attraction, assembled a group of Irish musicians to back him on his Trailer album “Prosperous”. Out of the sessions Moore, Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine – formerly a member af the imaginative, highly influential band Sweeney’s Men – and piper Liam O’Flynn decided to gig together.

They called themselves Planxty (an expression of goodwill used in the context of “cheers” and in the title of many Irish tunes) and it was soon obvious they were much more than a backing band for Christy Moore. They immediately had an Irish hit single with ballad “Cliffs Of Dooneen”, and after being signed to Polydor in England, the first album “Planxty” confirmed their importance. It was full of subtleties with a sharp undercurrent of energy, evident here on “Raggle Taggle Gipsy” flowing into the beautiful 17th Century harp tune “Tabhair Dom Do Lámh.” That first album created a bridge between the informal gatherings common in Irish folk circles and the boozy mass appeal chorus style song that had previously been the public face of Irish folk music. There was an unparalleled joy vibrancy in their playing, and coupled with the enlightened treatments in their playing and the use of bouzouki as a rhythm instrument and integrating Uilleann Pipes with guitar, mandolin and occasionally fiddle, it gave them excitement and “commercial” appeal.

Yet the overwhelming characteristic of “Planxty” and the two subsequent albums, was the fact that it was genuine, with not one speck of artificially in sight. The presence of Liam O’Flynn raised a few eyebrow in traditional circles when he decided to link up with Moore, Irvine and Lunny, but his integrity never wavered, his piping was always the focal point of Planxty’s arrangements, and as a result the band never lost the respect of the purists.

Their reputation and their following grew quickly and even the departure of Donald Lunny after the making of their second album “The Well Below The Valley” in 1973 didn’t stunt their progress. Lunny (who left to join another band that subsequently never got off the ground although he has since become a member of Bothy Band), was replaced by Johnny Moynihan, another former Sweeney’s Man, and a much travelled widely versed revivalist who brought a further range of ideas to the group.

Tours in Ireland, Britain and Europe increased their following further, and though they were sometimes plagued be the inevitable raucous sector of an audience who would charge in with stamps and hand claps (out of time) at the slightest whiff of a reel, they maintained a remarkably consistent standard of performance on live gigs. It was marked by that farewell tour for which they worked on and introduced a substantial amount of new material which would never be recorded or played again.

The third and final album “Cold Blow And The Rainy Night” earned selection as Melody Maker’s folk album of 1974, although by the time of its release that autumn, Christy Moore had reluctantly quit, wanting to spend more time at home in Ireland with a quieter lifestyle. Paul Brady, who had been with the much underrated Johnston’s, was rescued from America to take his place.

Moore enjoyed much popularity amongst Planxty followers and there was a feeling that his departure and replacement by Brady, who had been heavily involved with contemporary music in recent times, meant the ruination of Planxty. In fact Brady brought in a new enthusiasm in that final year – One of the saddest aspects of the split was that the last line-up of Planxty was never recorded, the band flatly refusing a farewell album on the grounds that it would be cashing in Brady’s showstopper “Arthur McBride”, a different version to the one the band had played in the earlier line-up, would have made any record memorable. Alas they decided to break up before the pressures of touring and recording weakened their music.

As it is we will have to be content with the three brilliant albums they made, the memories of some great gigs, and of course this representation of their various works. Everybody would probably come up with a different compilation of their best work but at least this one was made up in consultation with the band themselves. If you missed out on Planxty first time round, then that’s your severe bad luck – they were one of the very finest bands of the Seventies. Take solace, the evidence of their greatness is here.

planxty-polydor-abplanxty-2383397-ab

 

Bound For Glory – Andy Irvine & Woody Guthrie

"I thought since today is Andy's 75th Birthday now might be a good time to post this look back at the links between Andy & his all time hero Woody! Enjoy...If you have anything to add please do get in touch!" - AndyIrvineNews.com

Discovery

Andy Irvine loved music from the earliest time he could remember. His mother had a stack of old, cracked 78s that he used to play on a wind-up gramophone.

“They were mainly songs from long forgotten musical comedies but I wish I had them now.”

At thirteen, he studied classical guitar for two years, initially with Julian Bream and later under one of Bream’s pupils but switched to folk music after discovering Woody Guthrie during the Skiffle boom of the 1950s.

Julian Bream – Andy’s first music teacher.

A young Andy & his classical guitar.

Guthrie was to become an enduring influence on his music, on his choice of additional instruments (mandolin and harmonica) and general outlook on life. In a 1985 interview, Irvine expanded on how, in the mid-1950s, he discovered Woody Guthrie through Lonnie Donegan’s recordings on the EPs Backstairs Session and Skiffle Session:

He had two EPs and I thought: ‘That’s it!’ – “Midnight Special”, “It Takes A Worried Man”, “Railroad Bill” and “When The Sun Goes Down”. On the back of the jacket, I read that Donegan learned these wonderful songs from the recordings of Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston. This fired my youthful imagination and I wanted so badly to hear the originals. […] In 1957, [I got] this record called More Songs By Woody Guthrie And Cisco Houston and it blew my mind. Eventually, I bought Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads, the original 78s, in mint condition for $40 each. I used to sit all day, alone, and listen to Woody Guthrie and practice. I was playing with my thumb. I didn’t know anything about a flatpick, but I could do the best imitation of Woody. I wanted to play every instrument he played. That’s why I took up the harmonica and mandolin. When I discovered Irish and British music, I figured out how to adapt my basic Woody Guthrie ‘scratch’ style on guitar to playing traditional songs on the mandolin.

—Andy Irvine, Celtic Roots… Dustbowl Inspiration by Joe Vanderford.

Finding Woody

“On the back of one of Lonnie’s EPs, I found the name Woody Guthrie. Even as I type it now, I feel the same thrill at this name. I had never imagined that anyone could be called Woody. I determined to find out more about this mysterious man. I started by sending a letter to: —

Mr. Woody Guthrie, USA.

After six weeks, it came back …

Some weeks later, I was passing by a small record company when I saw a yellow album sleeve in the window. I did a series of double takes but sure enough, it was called More Songs by Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston. I bought it.

I can remember now the first bar of Columbus Stockade and the tingle that went down my spine as the instrumental intro was followed by this Oklahoma voice, singing,

“Way down in Columbus Stockade
Want to be back in Tennessee”.

I had finally found my inspiration and mentor.”

—Andy Irvine, About Andy

Ramblin’ Jack (1958)

Ballads and Blues Club

In May 1959, Irvine began frequenting the Ballads and Blues Club—started at the Princess Louise pub in High Holborn by Ewan MacColl in 1957—which, by September 1959, had moved to 2, Soho Square under the sole leadership of Malcolm Nixon. American folk musicians who had been closely associated with Guthrie would perform there: Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Derroll Adams and Cisco Houston; Irvine befriended all three of them, particularly Elliott, who taught him how to play the harmonica in Guthrie’s style:

“I use a harmonica holder that I have had for over 50 years! God knows how I never lost it! It was given to me by Rambling Jack Elliot at the time I was learning how to play. He also gave me the crucial information that Woody Guthrie used to play the harp upside down!!
Apparently so did the southern blues players of that period. There is no dis/advantage in this but I’m glad I learned to play it upside down like Woody! Jack played it the normal way…”

—Andy Irvine, Andy’s Instruments (Dec 2013).

An Old Shirt

“Andy Irvine was one of Jack’s more notable disciples. Irvine, later the guitarist and singer of such seminal roots music groups as Patrick Street and Planxty, had been introduced to the music of Woody Gutrie through skiffle, and he breifly befreinded Elliot sometime around 1958. Elliot was a decade older than Irvine but had taken an immediate liking to the enthusiastic kid who once discreetly followed him home through the streets of london just so he could learn his address. Elliot demonstrated some of the nuances of Guthrie’s guitar methods to Irvine and even gave him the prized gift of an old shirt that had once belonged to Woody. Irvine admitted he wore that old shirt “until it fell of my back”.

—Excerpt from “Ramblin’ Jack Elliott: The Never-Ending Highway” by Hank Reineke

Andy in his “Woody” days.

Around this time, I went to see Jack Elliott play a hootenanny at The Ballads and Blues Club.

Jack had traveled with Woody in the early fifties and sang Woody’s songs and told stories about Woody that thrilled me. At the end of the evening, he was surrounded by hardier souls than I and I waited until he left the club and followed himself and his wife, June, home on the train. I stalked them from train station to lodgings, made a note of the number of the house and sent a letter. Good at sending letters I was in those days!

Jack rang me a day or two later and said : “Come on over!” Little did he know what he was letting himself in for … I used to ride my bicycle over there every morning after that. I’d arrive at about 10am, bang on the door and sit on the end of the bed till they got up! Davy Graham was another frequent visitor. Jack, June and I would go out, leaving Davy to play Jack’s guitar. When we got home, Davy would be gone and Jack would be lamenting that his “goddam strings” had been new that morning!

Derroll Adams and his Belgian wife, Isabelle came over from Brussels where they were living and Jack and Derroll, who were old friends and playing partners, did some great gigs together. Derroll was much taken with my mother and he and Jack listened with interest to her stories of “treading the boards” in the Thirties.

Derroll and Isabelle went back to Belgium and Jack went off to Israel where he parted with June. She wrote me a letter, telling me this and asking me to look after Jack when he came back that spring. Jack was pretty cut up about the split when he got back to London. I went down to Waterloo station to meet him with his agent, Malcolm Nixon.

Jack seemed a bit lost without June but he wasn’t alone for too long. He used to come round to my flat with various girlfriends and we’d sit and record tapes for Woody. One evening we recorded a Woody song and Jack turned to me in amazement and said, “Andy, you sound more like Woody than I do!” As Woody had once said to Jack, “Jack you sound more like me than I do!” I felt pretty proud.

Jack showed me how to play the harmonica in Woody’s style, holding the low notes on the right hand side and ‘’sucking when the instructions tell you to blow and blowing when they tell you to suck’’.

—Andy Irvine, About Andy

Derroll Adams & “Rambling” Jack Elliott: during the Topic recording session for the album “The Rambling Boys”, 1957. (Photo Herb Greer).

Letters To Woody (1959-1960)

After locating Guthrie at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morristown, New Jersey, Irvine began corresponding with Sid Gleason who, with her husband Bob, would take Guthrie out of hospital and entertain him at weekends. She was the first person to call him “Andy”, and thereafter remained a conduit between him and Guthrie.

I can’t quite remember how I finally located Woody. It must have been around 1958 and he was lodged in a hospital in New Jersey with a genetic wasting disease called Huntingdon’s Chorea, which he had inherited from his mother. I sent off another letter. This time I was very excited to get an answer from a woman called Sid Gleason. She and her husband Bob had taken it upon themselves to entertain Woody at weekends. I wrote sometimes twice a week, asking questions about various aspects of Woody’s life. Woody was mentally alert and meticulous in making sure that I was given the right answers. I made plans to go over and live with the Gleasons.

The Woody Guthrie Newsletter was a mimeographed couple of sheets sent out to those interested in knowing how Woody was and what was happening with his records and songs.

I received a copy that listed a whole page full of famous names that Woody wanted to thank. I waded through Pete Seeger, Alan Lomax, Ralph Rinzler, Oscar Brand, Lionel Kilberg, Ernie Marrs, Harold Leventhal, Bill Doerflinger, Jack and June Elliott……

I think I was hoping against hope that I might see my name in there and I read through all these famous names and came to the end of it and right at the bottom it said, ‘’…And to Andy Irvine from Woody personally’’.

I was always very proud of the fact that I knew Woody…personally… if only by letter.

—Andy Irvine, About Andy

Andy’s letters to Woody are catalogued in “S2 Box 2 – Folders 01/02/03 (1959-1960)” at The Woody Guthrie Centre

Letters to Woody

S2 Box 2 – Folder 01
Irvine, Andy
1959
S2 Box 2 – Folder 02
Irvine, Andy
1960 (Jan.-Mar.)
S2 Box 2 – Folder 03
Irvine, Andy
1960 (Apr.-June)

Andy Dreams of Hard Travelin’ (1959-1961)

The Gleason’s got me a job at a petrol station in East Orange, New Jersey, but then I got invited on to the BBC Radio Rep and couldn’t get out of it. I did that for a couple of years and grew out of the desire to be a petrol pump attendant at East Orange, New Jersey.

—Andy Irvine, The Greeking of the Irish by Colin Irwin

I also met Cisco Houston that summer. I had written to him in California and he had sent me a couple of signed photos. He came over to play a few gigs after touring India with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. At the beginning of his tour I missed my great opportunity. He invited me over for tea and I was about to cycle over when I suddenly thought, “I’ll take a mandolin and I can be Woody and he can be Cisco”. Remembering that I had not practised the mandolin for a while, I sat down and played it for what I thought was about five minutes. It wasn’t, it was 40 and when I got over there, there was a message saying he’d had to go out! I’ve agonised over that missed moment ever since. I went to both his London concerts and was just a little disappointed. He never sounded like he had with Woody when he was singing alone. I met him a few times subsequently but never again had the chance to get him on his own. He seemed like a really nice person. I told him I was going to live in New Jersey near Woody and he said that I should come out to California.

One year later, Cisco died of cancer. Same day as my mother died of the same disease.

Well, I grew up pretty fast after that. I got a job on the BBC Repertory company that lasted for two years and gave up all thoughts of going to New Jersey…

—Andy Irvine, About Andy

Cisco & Woody


Woody Guthrie By Andy Irvine (1968)

In 1968 Andy wrote a piece “WOODY GUTHRIE BY ANDY IRVINE” in FOLK MAGAZINE VOL. 1, NO. 4.

Images courtesy of the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

Tønder Folk Festival 1984 – Woody Tribute

Geraint Watkins, Derroll Adams, Joe Locker, Hans Theessink, Mike Whellans, Gary Richard, Odetta, Allan Taylor, Hannes Wader, Holly Near, Andy Irvine, Hamish Imlach, Tom Luke & Iain MacKintosh : tribute to Woody Guthrie, Tønder Folk Festival, 1984. (By courtesy of the Tønder Folk Festival Committee).

1984 saw Andy at the Tønder Folk Festival in Denmark for a major Woody Guthrie tribute. Derroll Adams read some of Woody’s lyrics and introduced a glittering array of fellow artists, among them Odetta, Geraint Watkins, Joe Locker, Hans Theessink, Mike Whellans, Gary Richard, Allan Taylor, Hannes Wader, Holly Near, Andy Irvine, Hamish Imlach, Tom Luke, Ian MacKintosh, Davis Craig, Kieran O’Connor, Robin McKidd and Arthur Kitchener.

Never Tire Of The Road (1991)

In 1991, Irvine wrote his tribute song to Woody Guthrie: “Never Tire of the Road”, first released on the solo album Rude Awakening. He recorded it again for the album Rain on the Roof, released in 1996, after including another verse plus the chorus from a song Guthrie recorded in March 1944: “You Fascists Are Bound to Lose”.

“This started out as a song about my great hero, Woody Guthrie. Somewhere along the way it made a slight diversion and took in the early days of the “Wobblies” (Industrial Workers of the World) who followed the harvest in the Western States of America and, I suppose, just about anybody who finds themselves with a job of Hard Travelling.”
In a 2000 interview, Irvine stated: “I never met Woody, but I corresponded with him in hospital. […] The kind of values that Woody represented are one of my great passions.”

Lyrics

I was just a smalltime country boy
When I left that dusty town…(more)

Alternative Last Verse

Andy has often sang an alternative last verse to this song which directly mentions Woody:

“Don’t let them ever fool you or take you by surprise
That dirty smell of the politician and the man with the greed in his eyes
Woody might be dead & gone
But the words he wrote they still live on
May his spirit ever shine upon
The cause that never dies”

The Woody 100 Concert (2012)

Billy Bragg & Andy Irvine performed “The Woody 100 Legacy Show” at Vicar Street, Dublin – Monday 17th September 2012.

Andy wrote on of the event at the time in his online journal:

“I’m very flattered to have been asked to share the bill with Billy Bragg for the Woody 100 Concert in Vicar Street, Dublin on 17th September.
Having been a devotee of Woody Guthrie’s since the age of 15, it’s a great chance for me to re-learn the songs that I used to play way back when!
I recently located my old Gibson L0 guitar. It was in the shed where it has been languishing for some years.
I used to be able to do a pretty good impression of Woody’s guitar playing. Hope I can get it all back!
Playing 6 single strings instead of the bouzouki’s 4 double strings presents a few problems – it’s amazing the way the single string of a guitar is ‘stopped’ by the left hand, precisely between the callouses built up by the double string of the bouzouki!! There will be roars of pain after the first couple of practices!!
Also the plectrum held in the right hand has a wider string span to cover when doing Woody’s ‘Church’ lick.
I have asked Dónal Lunny to play my set with me and I hope he has put it in his diary!! I’d better get practicing…”

—Andy’s Journals 22nd June 2012

Andy with his Gibson L0 6 guitar from his Woody days. Photo by Chris Larkin Guitars.

Possible Tribute Album

It has long been a goal of Andy’s to record a full album of Woody material as he has mentioned in interviews over the years. However, to date Andy has not found the time. Perhaps he will get there soon, it would surely be a real treat.


Andy Plays Woody

  • Talkin’ Dust Bowl Blues – Live At Foxrock Folk Club 1970-72 (2015) – Various Artists
  • The Ludlow Massacre – Prosperous (1972) Christy Moore featuring Andy Irvine
  • Seamen Three - Parallel Lines (1982) Dick Gaughan & Andy Irvine
  • The Dodgers Song - Parallel Lines (1982) Dick Gaughan & Andy Irvine
  • Tom Joad - No. 2 Patrick Street (1988) Patrick Street
  • The Ranger’s Command – Performed live but Unrecorded to Date
  • Buffalo Skinners - Performed live but Unrecorded to Date

Andy Sings Woody Playlist


Press and Peer Quotes

  • “Andy Irvine is Woody Guthrie’s representative on earth.” – Hot Press

  • “Woody would have been proud.” – Denver Post

  • “Andy Irvine is Ireland’s Woody Guthrie, with a philosopher’s ear and a prophet’s passionate voice.” – Si Kahn

  • “Never Tire Of The Road, the Woody Guthry tribute, is a wonderful song with such a glorious unbending spirit, it might easily have been written by the man himself!” – Colin Irvin for “Folk Roots”