Interview

Folk & Tumble: INTERVIEW WITH ANDY IRVINE

FT: You’re known for your travels, and there can’t be too many spots in the world you haven’t been to. Many artists complain about life on the road, but you seem to thrive on it. Why so?

AI: I’ve always been excited by travel. When I was about 13 I started collecting maps and planning journeys on my bicycle. I started hitchhiking when I was about 17 and often travelled to places just to see what they looked like! I bought a motor bike when I was 19 and travelled all over Ireland on it. I don’t know where all this love of travel came from but it still drives me on.

FT: The new album, ‘Precious Heroes’ is a collaboration with Australian musician Luke Plumb. Can you tell us a bit about it and how it came to be?

AI: I heard Luke Plumb playing at a session in Tasmania, where he comes from and made a mental note to remember him. He joined the Scottish band – Shooglenifty – and a few years later he produced an album for a couple of Australian friends of mine, and did a really good job. I wanted to do something a little bit different and asked him if he’d produce it. That’s how it came about.

FT: The new album celebrates working class heroes, people who have fought the system and that theme has run through your music throughout your career. People like Damien Dempsey and Mick Blake are keeping that tradition of protest alive. Folk music rather than any other type of music, has always been seen, and continues to be seen as the perfect medium for such protests. Why do think that’s so, and is it still the case?

AI: Yes, I think it is the perfect medium for songs of protest and more, for me, a medium of reminding the listener of people who had fought the bad things of the system they lived under. I was always horrified that history in school was about kings and rulers and never even made a mention of those who had fought for the shorter working day and better wages.

FT: Over the years you’ve played with some of the finest musicians in the world. Difficult I’m sure to narrow down, but which stand out? Either in terms of sheer musicality or just who they are?

AI: I’ve spent a lot of my life playing with Donal Lunny, certainly one of the finest musicians in the world. All the bands I’ve been in were made up of great musicians. Mozaik for instance, playing with Bruce Molsky and Nikola Parov, Usher’s Island, playing with Mike McGoldrick, John Doyle and Paddy Glackin, playing as a duo with Paul Brady, Planxty, Liam O’Flynn, Christy Moore, I can’t think of any world famous household names that I’ve played with though! Just the usual suspects!

FT: Are there any musicians that you haven’t played with, that you would like to?

AI – Can’t really think of any! I’m pretty happy with my own set!

FT: Do you listen to other styles of music. Who are listening to at the moment?

AI: I listen to jazz a lot. Miles Davis, Coltrane. I started listening to Charlie Parker many years ago and then got stuck in the 1960s with Miles etc.!

FT: Have you heard any new acts or artists of late, and thought, they are worth keeping an eye on?

AI: I’m very impressed with many of the new young musicians that I’ve heard. I met the Friel Sisters in Newfoundland last summer and our plane home was delayed so they played there while we waited and were wonderful. I also love the girl singer in Lankum, Radie. She’s the best female singer I’ve heard since Dolores Keane.

FT: What the plans for this year?

AI: Solo Tours of Norway and Sweden in April, Canada in July, UK in October and Japan in November. Never tire of the road!

 

source: folkandtumble.com

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Irish Post – Podcast Interview: London Calling |Paul Brady and Andy Irvine |

Irish folk legends Paul Brady and Andy Irvine on collaboration, friendship and their return to London after four decades

BY: Ryan Price
October 03, 2018

VETERANS of Irish music, Paul Brady and Andy Irvine joined the London Calling podcast ahead of their upcoming return to London.

On the 12th episode of the podcast, Brady and Irvine spoke to host Ryan Price from Paul’s studio in Dublin, as they prepare to play London together for the first time in over 40 years.

On the 15 October, two of Ireland’s finest musicians will take to stage at Barbican Hall to play songs from their 1977 album, Paul Brady and Andy Irvine, which remains to be regarded as a seminal piece of work in Irish music.

The pair first entered the studio together at the beginning of 1976, following the breakup of folk band Planxty. Brady was to take over from Christy Moore who had vacated the popular group, but it soon became clear that the two would fare better by collaborating between themselves.

That they did, and in the summer of ’76 they hunkered down in Rockfield Studios in Wales to compile a combination of songs which included ‘Plains of Kildare’, ‘Arthur McBride’ and ‘The Streets of Derry’.

In this conversation, both Brady and Irvine opened up about the Dublin folk scene of the 1960’s and 70’s, the creation of their much-loved album and their friendship which has remained strong over the years.

Paul Brady and Andy Irvine will be joined by Donal Lunny and Kevin Burke at their show at London’s Barbican on Monday 15 October.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.

The pair also play Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Cork Opera House and Prague’s Archa Theatre.

source: https://www.irishpost.com

Interview: Folk legend plays Ballina gig this Thursday night

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LIVING LEGEND Andy Irvine plays in the Ballina Arts Centre on Thursday night. Pic: Kása Béla

Fiona Kerrigan

IRISH folk music legend Andy Irvine is all set to play the Ballina Arts Centre this coming Thursday night, October 4, at 8pm. The gig comes hot on the heels of the news that Irvine is to receive a lifetime achievement award at the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, which takes place at the end of this month, Throughout his 50-year career; from Sweeney’s Men in the mid sixties to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, to the Irish super group, Patrick Street in the 80s, Andy Irvine has been a world music pioneer and icon for traditional music and musicians.
In reflecting on the recent news of this impending honour, Andy had this to say: “I am pretty thrilled by it! When it was put up on Facebook and Twitter, nearly a thousand people congratulated me over the weekend. Blown away!”

Like his hero Woody Guthrie, Andy is the archetypal troubadour and has toured extensively and remains to do so like his song ‘Never Tire of the Road’.
“I seem to have to live up to it!” he laughs. “ I got so many things from Woody and ‘the road’ seems to have been one of them. Too late to stop now. Paul Brady and I hit it off immediately when he came into Planxty in 1974. I think we learned a lot from each other musically. The Andy Irvine/Paul Brady album might well have formed the basis for Planxty’s fourth album if the band not broken up in 1975.”

Andy recently released the album ‘Precious Heroes’ with Australian mandolin maestro Luke Plumb earlier this year. How that came about.
“I had heard Luke many years ago in Tasmania where he comes from. Later I met him at ‘Zouk Fest’ in New Mexico where he was teaching bouzouki and mandolin players how to play the parts that Donal Lunny and I had played on Planxty albums. He produced an album for Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton which I greatly admired and I asked him if he’d produce an album for me and play on it.”

That album has many great guest musicians; a hallmark of Andy Irvine’s approach to making records over the years. “Apart from Luke, I’m more in the habit of asking players of my own vintage or a generation earlier. It is very exciting to work with the likes of Mike McGoldrick and John Doyle and I’m currently working on an album with Lindsey Horner – an American Jazz Bass player – we have recorded nine or ten tracks with a guitarist and a drummer of songs my mother used to sing. I’ve no idea what my fans will think of that in this country.”

Andy has a number of bands on the go all the time, such as Mozaik and Patrick Street. These projects are very much still alive and we can expect to see plenty from them in the future.
“Mozaik has a third album coming out soon called ‘The Long and the Short of it’. We recorded it in Budapest about three years ago and it’s taken all this time to get to the stage of launching it. I‘m not sure if Mozaik will tour again though. Similarly with Patrick Street. Usher’s Island is my number one band now … Donal Lunny, Paddy Glackin, Mike McGoldrick and John Doyle.  All wonderful musicians!”

A lifetime achievement award only goes half way towards saluting what Andy Irvine has done – and continues to – for music in Ireland and around the world. Don’t miss the chance to see him in concert at Ballina Arts Centre this Thursday night.

Tickets available on http://www.ballinaartscentre.com.

Source: http://www.mayonews.ie/living/going-out/32735-folk-legend-plays-ballina-gig-this-thursday-night