Album

Archive: Reviews – Rain On The Roof (1996)

Label: AK (2) ‎– AK-1

Released: 1996


Andy Irvine has been labeled as a ‘ Legend of Irish music ‘, over the years and this must be a very heavy weight to carry around and to record new material under. Though he seems to do so with ease.

Rain on the Roof is a solo album, which up until very recently, was only sold at his concerts. It is an album of exceptional quality and freshness, that leaves you wanting more of the atmosphere created on this disc. It is mainly recorded in one take, just Andy, bouzouki and microphone. It is as close to a live recording as they come and is a small taste of what you would experience from his concerts. A small taste, as he has a very large repertoire now. This album leaves you wishing for more of that repertoire to be recorded in the same vein. I am not a big fan of people re-recording old tracks, they never seem to capture the emotion and energy from those first attempts, but there are very rare exceptions to that and this is definitely one of them.

The first track is prince among men, I loved the original with Andy and Patrick Street but this version knocks it flat. The emotion and atmosphere created here and to be honest, on the whole album is astounding. It reminds me of the feeling I had when I first heard him play live. Fantastic !

The second Track is Banesas’s Green Glade and I have admit that my first thoughts when reading the track listing was, why would anyone even try to redo this track. The original is a classic but somehow the emotion on this recording is spot on. This was originally done together with Planxty and it asks how would ‘Rambling boys of Pleasure’, ‘ Aragon Mills’ or a mountain of others sound with this treatment. I have seen Andy play ‘You Rambling boys of Pleasure’ live and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, magical. Baneasa is following by a Balkan tune called Daichevo Horo, an excellent tune and I love the way this slow emotional track progresses to the fury of the Balkan melody. I have to say that I prefer the original combination of Baneasas being followed by Mominsko Horo but that takes nothing away from this version. I have seen him play Banesas/ Daichevo Horo live and it is quite breathe taking.

Rain on the Roof/ The Blue Mountains of New South Wales. Turn this track up to get full effect of the Rain and Didgeredoo. Surprising really, how well the mandolin works with the didgeredoo. Andy has spent so much time in Australia, that I am surprised he hasn’t recorded more of it. I love the feeling in this track !

My Hearts tonight in Ireland first appeared on a compilation album called Common Ground around ’96. Again a beautiful tune played together with Donal Lunny , Rens Van Der Zalm etc. But once again this version has so much more feeling to it. A tune of remember the good ol’ days back in Ireland and times of Sweeney’s’s men. In this version you can really hear it in his voice. This is sure to be one of those classic Irish tunes.

Forgotten Hero, was another track done with Patrick Street, about Michael Davitt. Again this opens the thoughts of a few more Patrick Street tracks reworked with this solo treatment. ‘Brackagh Hill’, ‘Springfield road/ monday Blues ‘ to name a few.

Pamela’s Ruchenitsa/ Gruncharsko Horo/ Bakers Dozen, I never get tired of hearing Andy playing this type of Balkan tunes. In the first concert I ever saw him play, it was these type of Balkan music that made me want to play the bouzouki. It still does !

He Fades Away is a new track and a wonderful one too. Written by Alaistar Hullett it paints a grim picture of asbestos miners, through the eyes of they’re wives. It is a very powerful tune and one that Andy sings with his heart.

Come with me over the mountain/ smile in the dark. A very lively set here, and the mandola here sounding in top form. I will have to get around to learning the Smile in the Dark. Wonderful. If anyone out there can play this, send me the tab.

The monument, the only track on the album that I don’t personally like. Maybe this is where Aragon mills or even Raoul Wallenberg could have been slipped in. A sad song with a serious not, and still beautifully sung.

Take no Prisoners and Old Brunswick are brilliantly played here. I get great pleasure listening to these tunes and even greater pleasure playing them. A really great set of tunes, for the bouzouki. The Balkan tunes on this album have a real edge to them and this is something that I would have like to have heard a lot more of on East Wind. A great album with Davy Spillane but Andy is washed out a little too much in the mix for my taste. I could listen to these tunes all day!

Never Tire of the Road, first appeared on Andy’s Rude Awakening album. A tune that has over the years, become Andy’s signature tune. I really like the original tune from the moment I heard it and was singing it for days. The Rain on the Roof version of this tune is more up beat, faster and is played with a little more aggression in its attack. A really great choice, for a final track and an incredible version too.

This is a very impressive rework of some of Andy’s material and presented together with some wonderful new songs and tunes. I must admit to have grown a little tired of a lot of albums these days being so over produced and a lot of the instruments being lost in the mix. While music is being mixed and produced to the ceiling, I feel so much of the emotion and feeling is falling through the floor. This album comes across with a fresh, crisp mix and performed with such emotion that you are sucked in to the atmosphere that is created in the words sung. I have to say this is my favorite album by Andy Irvine, and quite possibly my favorite album in my entire CD collection!

by Kieron

source: China2Galway.com [deadlink]

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Review: Live Ireland – The old and the new: Usher’s Island.

Posted By on May 15, 2017

Usher’s Island brings together two generations of the finest and most influential Irish traditional musicians, stretching back to the acclaimed 1970’s era of Planxty, through Andy Irvine and Dónal Lunny, and the Bothy Band, through fiddler Paddy Glackin. They follow the last incarnation of Planxty, which ended in 2005, and later LAPD – Liam (O’Flynn), Andy, Paddy and Dónal. This next chapter, which began with shows in January 2015, brings in renowned players from the 1990’s generation, with Mike McGoldrick (Capercaillie, ex-Flook and Lunasa) on flute, whistle and uileann pipes and John Doyle (ex-Solas) on guitar and vocal. Both also play in The Transatlantic Sessions and as a trio with John McCusker.

Another legacy lies behind the story of the recording of the album. A year ago Usher’s Island’s five musicians assembled at Mike McGoldrick’s recently acquired cottage in Co. Galway. The woman who sold her brother’s cottage had been keen for Mike and his dad Brendan to know that it had a history of music making, having been where sessions were played in the village – which was confirmed by the presence of a number of old instruments. She was delighted that the new owner was a musician she had seen on TV.  Fittingly, the cottage was turned into a recording studio for three days, with quilts draped everywhere and Mike doubling as chef to fuel the ensemble’s playing. 

The resultant self-titled album is imbued with the musical history, both of the place where it was recorded and of the five celebrated members of Usher’s Island. Their debut exceeds the expectations that inevitably accompany musicians of this calibre joining forces.

The music combines the excitement of the 1970’s traditional Irish groups with a modern sensibility informed by a range of influences. There are lively sets of traditional tunes, including tunes from the Goodman Collection, from Donegal fiddle playing brothers John and Mickey Doherty, and from Chieftain’s fiddler Sean Keane. The songs range from fresh takes on the traditional Molly Ban, The Wild Rover and Bean Pháidín – which Dónal Lunny revisits 44 years after recording it with Planxty – to captivating originals by Andy Irvine and by John Doyle.

source: liveireland.com

New Album is out now! "PARACHILNA"

New Album is out now!
PARACHILNA

Further information at http://www.andyirvine.com

Andy Irvine with Rens van der Zalm


To be released on 13th Nov.2013
Order from HERE!
 
 

 ANDY IRVINE New Album
 with RENS VAN DER ZALM
 – Recorded in the Australian Outback –
 PARACHILNA AK-4
 Released on 13th November 2013

1. I wish I was in Belfast Town (Trad. arr. Andy Irvine) 5:13
2. Come to the Bower (Trad. arr. Andy Irvine) 5:06
3. Billy Far Out (Andy Irvine) 3:34
4. Sergeant Small (Trad. arr. Andy Irvine) 4:04
5. The Dandenong (Trad. arr. Kate Burke / Andy Irvine) 4:41
6. Braes of Moneymore (Trad. arr. Andy Irvine) 4:02
7. Outlaw Frank Gardiner (Trad. arr. Andy Irvine) 3:28
8. He Fades Away (Alistair Hulett) 3:58
9. Farewell to Kellswater (Trad. arr. Andy Irvine) 5:27
10. Douglas Mawson (Andy Irvine) 6:40

Produced by Andy Irvine & Rens van der Zalm

Andy Irvine’s new album is called “PARACHILNA” – the name of a tiny town between the desert and the Flinders Range mountains in South Australia where a lot of it was recorded.
With thanks to the Prairie Hotel!

Andy and his good friend and musical companion, Rens van der Zalm recorded 10 tracks in various woolsheds, shearers quarters and school rooms in the area during a wonderful journey in the Australian winter of July 2012.

The songs were recorded in the ‘wild’ but thanks to modern technology and the skill of recording, editing and mixing engineers, the finished article sounds much like a studio recording.

As a frequent visitor to Australia over the last 30 years, Andy has always been very interested in Australian folk music and has wanted to make an Australian album. This is nearly it!
However, The songs are a mixture of Irish and Australian.
Andy & Rens play and sing songs from their Irish repertoire like “Kellswater”, “Rambling Boys of Pleasure”,
“Come to the Bower” and Australian songs that Andy has either written during his travels there or traditional songs like “Sergeant Small” and “Frank Gardiner”.

Andy plays mandola, bouzouki, harmonica and sings and Rens plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin, viola and sings harmony. The songs were recorded live.

Andy will be on tour in Australia & New Zealand between December 2013 and March 2014.

Contact to irvine@andyirvine.com

source: andyirvine.com