Friday, June 20, 2008



The Chieftains are the only traditional Irish folk band out there (as far as I am concerned) and the only one I can listen on and on for years (to come). Musically, they are absolutely the richest thing that came from Ireland. Their otherworldly traditional music seems warmingly familiar but also it sounds like it was made in a forgotten time that only exists in history books and people's imagination.

Most of their works (except for some commercial shit they did with Jagger, Sting and some other shitfaced famous Irish stars) is brillliant because it has no decorative, atmospheric kitchy "feeling" that most of the bands (that followed them) have and the best example of that is this album which is my favourite Chieftains recording. Some songs on this album (for instance - Dueling Chanters or Tears Of Stone) are so furiously well played that they sound like something that was not played and recorded by musicians but something that always existed and you are just somehow hearing the music.

For instance, the closing song - Dublin In Vigo, sounds like a dream/celebration/party that never began and will never end. It just is and you can just enjoy the celebrating crowd and the enchanting music that melts between their voices and binds them forever in one of the most lively and glorious songs I have ever, and I mean - fucking ever heard.

Read the excellent album review below from

Here the Chieftains have embarked upon an exploration of the "lost Celtic province" of Galicia (the northwest corner of Spain) and areas extending to Portugal, the Basque provinces, and Cuba. They have used the finest musicians from these areas to propel their music with a conviction that staggers the imagination. Santiago catapults the listener into a musical excursion that seamlessly flows through the styles and musics of these different lands, so that a beginning and an end can no more be distinguished than the waters of the Mississippi River can be separated from those rivers that flow into it on its journey from its heart to its mouth. Attempting to find album highlights is virtually impossible due to the incredible musicianship displayed by the guests, too numerous to mention, who populate this work. Nevertheless, the opening five-part suite "Pilgrimage to Santiago" is worthy of singling out, with its use of ancient traditional instruments such as the tralaparta (large wooden planks that are laid on baskets and maize leaves and played with sticks) and the participation, in a different section of the suite, of the Ulteria Choir. Another notable track is "Dueling Chanters" with "seventh Chieftain" Carlos Nunez, a Galician gaita player, who had toured with the group for about two years at the time of this recording. As Paddy Moloney on uilleann pipes and Nunez on gaita trade dazzling licks, it is an absolute delight to hear these two, on their cousins to the bagpipes, playing off each other so beautifully.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the share. -- Murf

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