Precious Heroes

Album Review: The Australian – Precious Heroes

Precious Heroes

Andy Irvine and Luke Plumb

Independent

3.5 stars

Recorded at various locations over four months last year, Precious Heroes twins a venerable lion king of the late-20th-century Irish folk music revival with a Tasmanian tiger of the new millennium. Andy Irvine’s mandolas and bouzouki and the mandolin, guitar and bouzouki (predominantly the first-named) of producer and sound engineer Luke Plumb intertwine and dovetail as intricately and expertly as might be expected of two outstanding instrumentalists. Their expertise is perfectly showcased in the album’s three non-vocal tracks, assisted by Mike McGoldrick’s fluent flute and whistle in Plumb’s riveting reel medley The Appeal to Reason/The Fiddle in the Phones and in Tune for Angus, appropriately with John McCusker’s poignant violin in the Aussie’s lament to his recently passed partner in Shooglenifty, Angus R. Grant. In the jaunty Trip to Tir na nOg — a tune originally earmarked for Planxty — Irvine’s mandola and bouzouki dance delightfully in tandem. The remainder of the album puts a premium on Irvine’s vocal ability. While the troubadour’s singing might not quite be what it was in his heyday with Planxty and Patrick Street, it’s still admirably tuneful, as exemplified by the beautiful timbre exhibited in the co-composition Niamh and Oisin and in lower register on a late-18th-century resistance song Dunlavin Green. Elsewhere, Irvine slips slides and other ornamentation into the fabric of familiar melodies given added colour by the lusty harmony singing of Aussie duo Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton.

Tony Hillier

source: www.theaustralian.com.au

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“PRECIOUS HEROES” The new album will be released on 14th Feb 2018

The new album will be released on 14th February 2018 – AK Records (AK-7)

Precious Heroes

Price €18.00 (including shipping costs)
Pre-orders being taking NOW

“PRECIOUS HEROES”
ANDY IRVINE & LUKE PLUMB

Andy and the Australian mandolin maestro Luke Plumb (Shooglenifty) have teamed up to record a bold new duo album, “Precious Heroes”.

In 2016 Andy asked Luke to produce his latest album. Andy spent a couple of weeks in Melbourne in August of the year recording the songs with Luke on mandolin, bouzouki & guitar. The album features renowned international musicians, John McCusker (Battlefield Band, Kate Rusby) on fiddle, Mike McGoldrick (Capercaillie, Mark Knopfler, Usher’s Island) on flute & whistle, James Mackintosh (Shooglenifty) on percussion and backing vocals from Australian singers, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton. Andy’s old mate, Rens van der Zalm (Wolverlei, Mozaik) was added later on guitar and fiddle.

The songs range from traditional ballads – “Erin’s Green Shore”, “Dunlavin Green” and “Farewell to Ballymoney” to the classic Australian ballad – “The Death of Ben Hall” to Andy’s latest compositions about “Frank Ryan” who went to fight against fascism in Spain, Nixie Boran who fought for the rights of the coalminers in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny in the 1930s and his own version of the “Niamh and Oisín” story.

The continuously magical collaboration of all the players and singers shines throughout. Luke contributes two fine instrumentals, showing off his brilliant mandolin playing and combines with Andy and Rens on the instrumental “Trip to Tír na nÓg” which is a tune Andy wrote back in 1973 for Planxty but it was never recorded.

“We were moved to make an album which recognised the great, largely unknown, men and women who shaped working class and cultural roots. Through hardship, sadness, adversity and tragedy, triumphant stories remain. We share the history and continue to share the hope. This album is dedicated to those Precious Heroes.”

The album was released in Australia in December 2016 to coincide with a tour there that Luke and Andy were playing. Now the album is available worldwide!!


Track list 
1. Here’s a Health to Every Miner Lad (Andy Irvine)
Andy: mandola, harmonica & vocal / Luke: mandolin / John: fiddle / Mike: whistle / Rens: guitar / Kate & Ruth: vocals

2. Farewell to Ballymoney (Trad. Arr. Andy Irvine)
Andy: octave mandola & vocal / Luke: mandolin, bouzouki & guitar / John: fiddle / Mike: flute

3. Niamh and Oisín (Andy Irvine / Luke Plumb)
Andy: mandola & vocal / Luke: mandolin & programming / Rens: guitar / James: percussion / Kumiko: glass harp

4. Trip to Tír na nÓg (Andy Irvine)
Andy: mandola / Luke: mandolin / Rens: guitar & fiddle / James: percussion

5. Champion at Keeping Them Rollin’ (Ewan MacCall)
Andy: mandola, harmonica & vocal / Luke: bouzouki / John: fiddle / Mike: whistle / Rens: guitar / Kate & Ruth: vocals

6. The Appeal to Reason / The Fiddle in the Phones (Luke Plumb)
Luke: mandolin, bouzouki & guitar / Andy: mandola / John: fiddle / Mike: whistle

7. Hard Times in ‘Comer’s Mines (Andy Irvine)
Andy: bouzouki & vocal / Luke: mandolin & vocal / John: fiddle / Mike: whistle / Rens: guitar / James: percussion / Kate & Ruth: vocals

8. Dunlavin Green (Trad. Arr. Andy Irvine)
Andy: bouzouki & vocal / Luke: mandolin / John: fiddle / Rens: guitar

9. The Death of Ben Hall (Trad. Arr. Andy Irvine)
Andy: mandola, harmonica & vocal / Luke: mandolin & vocal / Rens : guitar / Kate & Ruth: vocals

10. A Tune for Angus (Luke Plumb)
Luke: mandolin & guitar / Andy: mandola / John: fiddle / Mike: whistle

11. Frank Ryan (Andy Irvine)
Andy: mandola & vocal / Luke: mandolin & guitar / Rens: guitar & fiddle / James: percussion

12. Erin’s Green Shore (Trad. Arr. Andy Irvine)
Andy: octave mandola, harmonica & vocal / Luke: mandolin / John: fiddle / Mike: flute


Quotes

“Beautiful album by Irish music pioneer and young Tassie music wizard”
– The Daily Planet (ABC National)

“Andy Irvine and Luke Plumb intertwine and dovetail as intricately and expertly as might be expected of two outstanding instrumentalists”
– Tony Hiller (The Australian)

 


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