Live Album

Pre-Order: Live in Telemark

by Andy Irvine & Lillebjørn Nilsen

  • Cover: tapestry “Gardian Valkyrie” by Borghild Georgine Kraus 1915-1982.
  • 1.Jenta i Chicago (The Girl in Chicago) 
    2.Come to the Bower 
    3.Alexander Kiellands plass 
    4.Stewball and the Monaghan Grey Mare 
    5.Hav og himmel (Ocean And Sky) 
    6.My Heart’s Tonight in Ireland 
    7.Valle Auto og Bensin (The Gas Station Song) 
    8.A Prince Among Men 
    9.Danse ikke gråte nå (Dance Do Not Weep) 
    10.Fort gjort å glemme (Easy To Forget It) 
    11.Patrick Street Halling (Jenta Med Garden) 
    12.Vidvinkel-stev (The Photographers) 
    13.Håvard Hedde/Jig 
    14.Martinmas Time/Hornpipe (Little Stack of Wheat)
    15.Ola Tveiten

    about

    Lillebjørn Nilsen and Andy Irvine had known each other for about 17 years when they met at the Telemark Festival back in 1994, what they both had dreamt about became a reality. Their collaboration resulted in an exhilarating concert. The live recording is finally released as an album in June 2021.

    If it hadn’t been for the invitation from the Telemark Festival, 17 more years might have gone by.
    “We got together this summer when I visited Dublin, but decided that there was no rush to practise, since we had so much to talk about. Today was the first time we really sat down and went through our material.” Lillebjørn Nilsen said back then, before starting the concert with one of his own songs, “Danse, ikke gråte nå”.

    The album is filled with a superb variety of songs, both serious and humorous, characterised by two performers in top form. Norwegian and Irish folk music suit each other admirably.
    “We were on the same wavelength from the moment we met.” Andy Irvine also said back then. And that Saturday this common wavelength gave the audience an unforgettable experience.

    The two troubadours complement each other perfectly, musically as well as thematically. When Lillebjørn Nilsen sings about the Norwegian emigrant who became “The Girl in Chicago”, Andy Irvine counters with the homesick Irish emigrant in “Indiana”.

    Lillebjørn Nilsen is a Norwegian singer, songwriter and folk musician. In total he has five Spellemannspriser (Norwegian Grammy’s) both as a solo artist and as a part of bigger groups. He is often mentioned as Norway’s “Folk King”.

    Andy Irvine is known as one of the greatest Irish singers and songwriters and is referred to as “a tradition in himself”. He is also well known for being at the helm of such legendary bands as Planxty and Sweeney’s Men. 

    credits

    releases June 18, 2021

    Andy Irvine: vocals, harmonica, mandola and bouzouki (string instruments built by Stefan Sobell)
    Lillebjørn Nilsen: vocals, willow flute (seljefløyte), guitar (Gibson L-00 ca 1930) and Hardanger Fiddle (The “Bente” by Sverre Sandvik. Given to Lillebjørn by Tinn Municipality, Telemark, as Solprisen, The Sun Prize.)

    Cover: tapestry “Gardian Valkyrie” by Borghild Georgine Kraus 1915-1982.
    Telemarkfestivalen, 11.-14. August 1994
    On site recording, Theatre Gulbring, Bø Telemark, Norway.
    Magic wand and remix: Audun Strype, Strype Audio, Oslo Norway 2020

    pre-order

    Pre-order now in digital download or CD formats on Andy’s Bandcamp

    REVIEW: Planxty – One Night In Bremen [Folk Radio UK]

    PLANXTY: ONE NIGHT IN BREMEN

    written by David Kidman 27 April, 2018

    Planxty – One Night in Bremen

    M.i.G. – 23 March 2018

    This hour-long live album treat, recorded on 24th April 1979 at Bremen University (Germany) by Radio Bremen, captures the “original Planxty” lineup (i.e. Andy Irvine, Christy Moore, Liam O’Flynn & Dónal Lunny), reunited (effectively “re-created”) for a monster (58-date) spring-1979 tour (in other words, pre-dating – by just a week! – studio sessions for the After The Break album, for which much of the material performed on the tour – eight out of the twelve selections on this live set, in fact – was re-recorded). The foursome was augmented on this tour by the Bothy Band’s master flautist Matt Molloy (he was to join The Chieftains shortly after recording After The Break). If the set encapsulated here is anything to go by, it was a stunning tour, and there’s no escaping the chemistry of a great band in full flight at the top of their game, where the music’s so good you just don’t want it ever to end.

    Every track’s a winner. Vocal highlights include Christy’s take on The Pursuit Of Farmer Michael Hayes (a storming choice for opening number!), Andy’s magnificently delicate account of You Rambling Boys Of Pleasure, and an ably harmonised Bonny Light Horseman. Returning to the days of the eponymous second Planxty album, Andy revisits Raggle Taggle Gypsy (complete with its lilting Tabhair Dom Do Lámh playout), while Christy brings to this stage the Barney Rush song Nancy Spain from his own repertoire (and 1976 solo record), which receives a deft new small-scale band arrangement.

    The various instrumental sets come off brilliantly too, with plenty of individual spotlight moments and tight, vigorous and generous ensemble work at all times. Two of the tune-sets (the East Of Glendart double-jig medley and the Blackberry Blossom reel-set finale) were to crop up again on After The Break, as was the by-then-customary (but still crowd-pleasingly welcome!) tricky (9/16)- metred Balkan dance tune (the Bulgarian Smeceno Horo). The two remaining instrumental items, however – the First Slip set of slip-jigs and The Humours Of Carrigaholt reel-medley – are (as far as I can tell) unique to the set-list for this tour. But none of them can fail to get the feet tapping, and the lively sense of true craic runs through these performances for sure.

    As to the recording of this concert, I feel that (aside from a slight trace of distance in some of the vocal entries), it gets well inside the intimacy of the performance, as well as the difficult band dynamic. It helps to remind us of the acuteness of interplay between these expert musicians – enabling us to marvel again at features such as Liam’s stirring uilleann pipes work, the jaw-dropping intricacies of the Irvine/Lunny bouzouki and mandolin working in consort, the eagerly driven rhythmic verve of the bodhrán behind the pipes, as well as many other felicitous and naturally managed details of balance.

    One small point: although the running order of the items on this disc is for the most part perfectly credible and contrasts are preserved, it’s not clear whether the correct actual sequence of the concert has been reproduced. The audience’s presence (and healthy appreciation) are heard after each item but fairly quickly faded out (there must’ve been plenty of between-song banter), so it’s hard to tell. But the fire and fury and commitment of Planxty as a hell of a performing unit is there in full force. Live sets are by their nature usually best aimed at the converted, but for someone outside of the established Planxty fan-base One Night In Bremen certainly steers closer into the “worth acquiring” category than the majority of live releases.

    Order via Amazon

    source: http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2018/04/planxty-one-night-in-bremen/

    Planxty Live 1979 Album to be released March 23rd 2018!

    Radio Bremen Issues 1979 Planxty Recording

    Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine, Liam O’Flynn, Christy Moore and Matt Molloy

    Radio Bremen Issues 1979 Planxty Recording

    Concert took place at Bremen University during an extensive European tour.

    Radio Bremen and the MIG (Made in Germany) label have released One Night in Bremen, a live recording of the original Planxty line-up along with Matt Molloy in April 1979.

    The concert took place at Bremen University amidst an extensive European tour in which they played forty-seven concerts in fifty-eight days.

    Recalling the tour, Andy Irvine writes in the sleeve notes:

    In the spring of 1978, Christy was playing with The Christy Moore Band, Donal was in The Bothy Band, which was in the process of breaking up, Liam was playing solo and I was either touring with Mick Hanly or playing solo too.

    Christy saw it as a good time to recreate the ‘Original Planxty’. Liam and myself agreed wholeheartedly. I think I had been hoping for this moment for a couple of years. Donal still felt a responsibility towards the other members of The Bothy Band, but eventually he was persuaded and he brought with him the great Bothies flute player Matt Molloy…

    Things were different. Looking back at it, we had all grown up by this time. Life was not as freewheeling as it had been. Mortgages had to be paid and children fed. Still we felt that we could pick up where we had left off in 1975 and a monster tour was planned for the spring of 1979…

    I remember we played our tryout gig at The Meeting Place in Dublin, a pub that held about 60 people and two days later we opened the tour at the Hammersmith Odeon that held about 3,000! It was a nervous start.  The tour went on through Britain and Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Holland and finally Ireland. 45 gigs in 58 days. We finished in Dublin and the following week we were in the new Windmill Lane studios to record After the Break.

    One Night in Bremen features 12 tracks, including ‘The Pursuit of Farmer Michael Hayes’, ‘You Rambling Boys of Pleasure’ and ‘Smecana Horo’. Listen to the opening track below.

    The album will be released on vinyl, CDand online in March. For more, visit https://goo.gl/3UqtnQ

    Published on 28 February 2018

    Source: http://journalofmusic.com/news/radio-bremen-issues-1979-planxty-recording


    PLANXTY – Superb live recording for Radio Bremen from 1979

    The release of a previously unreleased concert of PLANXTY brings us further into the realm of Irish folk. Their influence on the development of contemporary Irish music is still huge.

    One of the first to witness PLANXTY’s live debut at Easter 1972 at Galway was DONOVAN Philips Leitch. Neither the Scottish singer nor his management knew that it was the band’s very first performance in front of a bigger audience when they took the four folk newcomers on as support.

    However, Andy Irvine, Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny and Liam O’Flynn passed their baptism of fire with flying colours. Donovan and the crowd felt well entertained. As a result, the scouts from the label Polydor had the band sign a longer-term contract. The first single “Three Drunken Maidens” went into the charts. During the years to follow, PLANXTY worked for the rating “most influential band in the history of traditional Irish music”. In doing so PLANXTY did not only concentrate on Irish traditionals but let also enter more and more influences and elements from other cultures into their music while drawing on a multitude of different instruments.

    Despite the success, PLANXTY’S line-up is rather a roundabout – i.e. as early as in 1973 Johnny Moynihan comes for Dónal Lunny, a year later Paul Brady replaces Christy Moore.

    As late as in 1979, PLANXTY played in their original formation again and released the album “After The Break”. Paul Brady had left the band again to start a successful solo career and Matt Molloy expanded PLANXTY to a quintet.

    The Irishmen went on tour and also stopped by in Bremen, at the university canteen on April 24, 1979. Radio Bremen recorded the show which MIG Music will release before long. For Molloy, it was the first and only tour with PLANXTY, because as soon as he was back on the island the versatile flautist replaced Sean Potts with the legendary Chieftains. Molloy is still performing and regularly making records with this Irish folk institution. Once in a while, you could also meet him at his pub “Matt Molloy’s” in Westport, pulling a pint for his guests or playing a couple of sessions with friendly musicians.

    The other members of PLANXTY are on the stages of the world, either solo or together in different formations like for instance Dónal Lunny, Liam O‘Flynn and Andy Irvine as LAPD (the name stands for their initials Liam, Andy, Paddy and Donal). Dónal Lunny found worldwide acceptation as album producer of artists like Kate Bush, Elvis Costello, Rod Stewart, Clannad or Sinéad O’Connor, whom he also has a child with. Christy Moore founded after PLANXTY the more rock-oriented Moving Hearts and supported his younger brother Barry with his start within the rock business who then made a career under the pseudonym Luka Bloom.

    PLANXTY’s influence on the development of contemporary Irish folk music to this day is huge. Christy Moore’s album with the Scottish guitarist Dick Coughlan as regarded as a milestone of acoustic folk. Critics also were on the same page after the show of PLANXTY at the Bremen University canteen forty years ago – more masterly, enthusiastic and expressive you simply can’t combine Irish traditionals with elements of modern folk. Once again, PLANXTY had set an exclamation mark in this genre.

    MIG Music has scheduled the release of the live album from 1979 to March 2018.

    source


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    Archive: 2004 – Reviews – Mozaik – Live from the Powerhouse

    Music Review/Album: 27 May 2004

    Rather fatuously billed on the CD sleeve as “the ultimate global stringband”, Mozaik are Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Bruce Molsky (USA), Rens Van Der Zalm (Holland) and Nikola Parov (Hungary), and this album was recorded live in Brisbane two years ago with the lads playing 18 instruments between them. The recording quality thankfully captures all the rapture of a terrific gig.

    As with anything Irvine and Lunny get up to, there are exhilarating tracks here (‘Sandansko Oro’, ‘Mechkin Kamen’) in the kind of Eastern European time-signatures that would move your pocket calculator to meltdown. ‘Pony Boy’ boasts some terrific fiddle duetting from Molsky and Van Der Zalm, and serves as a handsome build-up to Irvine’s gritty vocals on his own zestful ‘Never Tire Of The Road’. The versions of both ‘A Blacksmith Courted Me’ and the complex ‘Smeseno Horo’ stand comparison with the Planxty covers of yore.

    The latter is a veritable stringfest, with Parov’s kaval going head to furious head with the instruments of Lunny and Irvine. But perhaps the most touching of the material is Irvine’s heartfelt tribute to the legendary Willie Clancy in ‘My Heart’s Tonight In Ireland’.

    The quintet on this performance may not be as pioneering as Lunny’s short-lived Coolfin project, but their unquestionable virtuosity and sheer joy in playing together makes this a memorable memento of what must have been a live gig to remember.

    Jackie Hayden – Hotpress

    source:hotpress.com


    Hummingbird HBCD0036; 62 minutes; 2004

     According to legend, the term “World Music” was apparently coined by a group of record label marketing executives at a dinner held somewhere in London sometime in the mid-1980s. However, if such an event ever took place, none of those present could possibly have envisaged the existence of a band like Mozaik, even in their wildest brandy-fuelled, post-prandial deliberations.

     For Mozaik, dear reader, is that rarity, a truly international band which consists of the London-born of mixed Scots/Irish parentage Andy Irvine, Kildare alumnus Dónal Lunny, American old-timey fiddler and banjo player Bruce Molsky, Dutch multi-instrumentalist Rens van der Zalm and the similarly skilled Hungarian Nikola Parov. Add to that brew Irvine’s well-documented affection for the music of the Balkans and all manner of quirky time signatures and the fact that the Powerhouse in question is in Brisbane, Australia and those marketing executives would be chortling into their glasses and calling for trebles all round.

    It was Andy Irvine, of course, who was behind the original Mosaic (presumably, someone else now has the licence for the name) which first appeared after the final break-up of Planxty in 1983 and featured, alongside Dónal Lunny and uilleann piper Declan Masterson, and various European musicians.

    That band never recorded, but thankfully this one has, though the concerts from which this album are drawn took place in March 2002. Nevertheless, a recent conversation with Andy revealed his desire for the album to achieve some recognition and, on the evidence provided, you’d be well advised to take heed.

    One of the attractions of Planxty was the band’s never to be replicated line-up of instruments – uilleann pipes plus the various stringed instruments of Irvine and Lunny and the bodhrán of Christy Moore – and this is equally where Mozaik’s innate attractions lie. Apart from Andy’s occasional harmonica and Nikola’s whistle and clarinet, this is very much a string driven band (though any connection with the lamentable 1970s UK progressive band String Driven Thing should be firmly avoided). Like Planxty, Mozaik seem to be masters of all they survey, although it’s a substantially different landscape – one in which they can move from Aegean Macedonia (Suleman’s Kopanitsa, in the extraordinary time signature of 11/16) to Bruce Molsky’s Tennessee-inspired version of The Rocky Road to Dublin which itself segues into a wild Kentucky breakout, with Nikola’s whistle blowing hell for leather, on Indian Ate the Woodchuck. And from there it’s off to a Dutchman, Rens, playing a Rumanian tune on the fiddle which Andy once heard on a tour of Italy with the Breton band Gwerz!

    If this all sounds as though musical passports are an essential requirement, fear ye not! Every listening unearths gems which possess an inherent commonality, but it’s Andy’s songs which, ultimately, provide the coat peg on which this truly international  and thoroughly enjoyable musical exploration can hang its hat (and, as Marvin Gaye wrote, “Wherever I hang my hat is my home”).

    So amidst all the musical exploration there’s a wonderful reading of A Blacksmith Courted Me and perhaps everybody’s favourite Irvine composition, My Heart’s Tonight in Ireland “in the time of Sweeney in the sweet County Clare”, to which Dónal adds Robinson County, learnt from Pumpkinhead, and Bruce finales with a splendidly exuberant Trip to Durrow. Then there’s the Macedonian song Mechkin Kamen and a stirring tribute to Woody Guthrie – Never Tire of the Road.

    Naturally, the album has to include the tune with which Planxty opened ears to Eastern Europe, Smeseno Horo (in a bizarre mix of 15/16 and 9/16 signatures) and the CD aptly closes with an evocative clarinet-led rendition of the Hungarian tune The Last Dance.

    All told, this is a stunning confection and an extraordinary collaboration which should be valued and cherished. More treble brandies all round!

    Geoff Wallis – 11th May, 2004

    source:www.irishmusicreview.com