Feature

Feature: Precious Musos

Here's some info on the great line-up of musicians who helps make "Precious Heroes" such a great album.

 
Name Andy Irvine
Instrument Bouzouki, mandola, octave mandola, harmonica & vocal
About Andy Irvine is one of the great Irish singers, his voice one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as “a tradition in himself”.
Site www.andyirvine.com
 
Name Luke Plumb
Instrument Mandolin, guitar, programming, bouzouki, guitar & vocal
About Through his work with Shooglenifty, Peter Daffy and as a Solo performer, Luke Plumb has established a reputation as a driving force in acoustic music on the global stage.
Site https://www.lukeplumb.com
 
Name Mike McGoldrick
Instrument Flute & Whistle
About Andy’s Ushers Island bandmate, Michael McGoldrick (born 26 November 1971, Manchester, England) is an English Low whistle, Irish flute, Uillean pipes, tin whistle and bodhran player. He also plays other instruments such as guitar and mandolin in some of his tracks.
Site https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_McGoldrick
 
Name John McCusker
Instrument Fiddle
About John McCusker (born 15 May 1973) is a Scottish folk musician, record producer and composer. An accomplished fiddle player, he had a long association as a member of the Battlefield Band beginning in the 1990s and was later a band member and producer for folk singer Kate Rusby. He has served as producer and arranger for artists in a range of genres and also has several solo albums to his credit.
Site http://www.johnmccusker.co.uk
 
Name Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton
Instrument Vocals
About Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton are two of Australia’s most respected and renowned folk musicians.  Their vocal harmonies, exceptional musicianship and unique interpretations of traditional song have won them national and international acclaim over the years.
Site http://www.kateandruth.com
 
Name Rens Van Der Zalm
Instrument Guitar & Fiddle
About Andy’s Mozaik bandmate, right-hand man. The Netherlands has few celebrities in the field of folk. But the Rotterdammer Rens van der Zalm definitely belongs in this select company. For three decades he has been giving colour – and more than that – to all sorts of different music groups with his violin, mandolin, guitar, accordion, bagpipe, whistles, harmonica and so on.
Site https://www.facebook.com/rens.vanderzalm
 
Name James Mackintosh
Instrument Percussion
About Hailing from the Scottish Highlands, James’s first forays into percussion were distinctly hand knitted. Fearing for the integrity of her pots and pans, his mother eventually bought him a drumkit for his 15th birthday. Some 30 years later James is widely recognised as one of Scotland’s most innovative drummers, and he is responsible for the deliriously danceable grooves underpinning Shooglenifty’s sound. The Shoogle drummer is much in demand elsewhere: with Capercaillie, Grit Orchestra, String Sisters and Michael McGoldrick to name a few.
Site http://www.shooglenifty.com
Name Kumiko
Instrument Glass harp
About Andy’s dear wife Kumiko!
Site www.andyirvine.com
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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.

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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.

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. 

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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.

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