Saturday, March 15, 2008

What I'm Listening to in Honor of St. Patrick's Day

My favorite Irish artist, Van Morrison, sings with Ireland's most famous traditional musicians, The Chieftains. Some wonderful recordings of traditional Irish songs, including "Star of the County Down" and "Raglan Road", plus some Van originals such as "Irish Heartbeat" (which can be heard in the movie The Matchmaker). I want the version of "Carrickfergus" on this recording played at my wake.

Far and away, Ireland's best traditional musicians are the Donegal-based Altan. I was fortunate enough to see the group perform live shortly before the death of co-founder Frankie Kennedy. Despite Kennedy's untimely passing, Altan continues to make outstanding music, driven by the outstanding vocals of Kennedy's widow and Altan co-founder Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh.

Every collection of traditional Irish music should have something by The Chieftains. These are my favorite Chieftains recordings.

The first traditional Irish recording I ever owned was "Trad at Heart", a compilation of traditional music from various artists that I purchased on my first trip to Ireland in 1993:

A slight but entertaining change of pace from my other listings, Christy Moore's recording "Live at the Point" is well worth a listen or two. I purchased this CD on my first trip to Dublin in 1999.

An honorable mention of outstanding Irish traditional music, which, apparently, can no longer be found anywhere. I purchased this CD in a small music shop in Dingle, Co. Kerry, upon the recommendation of the store's clerk during my last trip to Ireland in 2000.

(It's been too long since my last visit ... I need to go back and buy some more music.)

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At 3/15/2008 10:45 AM, Anonymous Brian Saint-Paul said...

You have good taste in music, Jay. And if you're in the mood for some rebel music for the holiday, Battering Ram is always a good choice to get the blood moving.

At 3/15/2008 11:42 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Thanks, Brian, for the compliment and the recommendation.

Tiocfaidh ár lá!



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