FolkWorld Issue 34 11/2007; Photo Report

A Decade of Folk A Decade of Folk

A Decade of Folk

Irish Music Magazine

Irish Music Magazine

Irish Music ... as seen through the eyes of the Irish Music Magazine. The Dublin based magazine strives to inform readers and musicians alike about all major developments in the Irish traditional music community, according to their motto: Irish traditional music is at the heart of the Irish culture and history, never as a static antiquity, the tradition is alive and vital, open to change yet conservative of its core values.

Liam Clancy, Irish Music Magazine title In all arts and parts of society there are the golden ones. The adventurous, the brave, the risk-takers and the fearless. There have been many past heroes who have pushed the boundaries and redrawn the map, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape. One such hero, who still to this day continues to fight the good fight, is the favourite son of Tipperary and evergreen entertainer, Liam Clancy. 2006 marks a milestone for the musician. Five decades of success. Dozens of albums. TV shows, radio and theatre. And I'm sure that when the all-time list of Irish legends is created you'll be sitting proudly at the top, and very deservedly so.
Eddie Creaney (January 2007)

Luke Kelly, Irish Music Magazine title His sheer uncompromising energy normally meant that once Luke [Kelly] sang a song, he put his stamp on it, and his version became the yardstick. Maybe his greatest number is the one, which Paddy Kavanagh gave him in McDaid's off Grafton St., Raglan Road, written to fit the air of Fáinne Geal an Lae, which was a song taught in schools, and probably the first tune anyone learns on a tin whistle. He was irreplaceable. Every so often, someone is hailed as the new Luke Kelly, but the comparison doesn't stand up. Quite simply, he was unique.
John Brophy (March 2004)

Planxty, Irish Music Magazine title Planxty: The album that caused the biggest paradigm shift is [Christy Moore's] Prosperous from 1971. Where for the first time the instrumental combination of strings and pipes were successfully conjoined with the ballad repertoire. Thousands of bands have adopted that formula as being the traditional thing to do.
Sean Laffey (November 1999)

It's now over thirty years ago that Christy Moore assembled what is arguably the most influential set of traditional musicians to come out of Ireland in the second half of the twentieth century. Theirs was one of the earliest attempts to blend traditional Irish music with more modern instrumentation and influences. Christy Moore, Irish Music Magazine title Without compromising tradition Planxty paved the way for integrating Irish sounds into other contexts and genres, something we take for granted today.
John O'Regan (January 2004)

Christy Moore epitomised the song-writing circuit, his songs simple, exact and to the point reached the masses, he redefined the term solo performance, his shows reqired no frills or gimmicks. In an era when so much folk music has become bland and safe, retreating behind the lace curtains, Christy Moore was always there, prepared to be angry for just causes and to be the lyrical voice of the ordinary man.
(May 1998)

For yet again, he has served up a selection of songs to make us think, feel, question, rage, weep and perhaps, smile. He will say what needs to be said and damn the consequences. Always has. Always will.
Cindy Reich (December 2005)

Solas: Here is a band of dazzling individual talents with the discipline to produce a sound that is never less than good and at times breathtaking.
Jim Kelly (July 1996)

Solas, Irish Music Magazine title Solas, Irish Music Magazine title Laurels seem to be bestowed at Solas' front door and it has to be said that though America has some fine homegrown Celtic bands, none has captured the imagination in the same way Solas has done.
John O'Regan (August 1996)

Forged in the hot cauldron that is Irish music in America today, Solas has introduced a new vibrancy to the genre. Their sound is fresh, yet firmly rooted in tradition -- full of youthful exuberance, yet shot through with the kind of spirit and authenticity only the cream of traditional musicians can produce. True to their name, Solas have lit a fire under Irish traditional music all over North America.
Paul Dromey (August 1998)

Karan Casey, Irish Music Magazine title It's been ten years since Solas took the Celtic world by storm. Solas has continued to capture the imagination of not only America but of the world. Playing their own brand of musically-tight, often lightning-fast, and always uniquely well-crafted traditional music, Solas has proven itself as a supergroup on the Celtic scene.
Helene Dunbar (June 2006)

In 1993 Karan Casey struck off for New York in search of work and to further her interest in jazz. Needless to say she fell in with the wrong crowd and before she knew it she was singing Irish traditional songs She met Seamus Egan and Winifred Horan who asked if she would like to sing a few songs with a new band called Solas and, as they say, the rest is history.
Richie O'Rourke (April 2001) Kila, Irish Music Magazine title

The versatile vocalist from Waterford has a voice of gorgeous tone, a subtle and powerful delivery, a gracious and beautiful spirit evident in the feel of the material, a great intelligence in the selection of the songs, and a palpable integrity in every syllable of her vocals.
David Ingram (June 2003)

Kila is on a sharply rising experience curve and it's ready to go off the chart. But it's only to be expected. It would be hard to find another seven people who between them are so musically eclectic, artistically diverse, energetic, enthusiastic and good vibe orientated. Fighting off all-too-obvious labels such as neo-Celtic music -- or indeed anything with the word Celtic in it -- Kila prefer to see their unique concoction of traditional sounds, prominent percussion, rock shadings and exotic ethnic tinges, as simply new Irish music.
Roderick O'Connor (March 1999)

Dervish, Irish Music Magazine title Altan, Irish Music Magazine title Dervish were never a diehard purist outfit although their sound has always been authentic, acoustic and rooted in the tradition of the northwest. They are still thankfully a long way from rock and roll, but in terms of energy and exuberance in performance however they are close.
Ita Kelly (July 2003)

Altan: The Local Ground is again Donegal. The tunes, the references, the songs are all steeped in the landscape, both physical and musical.
Brian Witt (June 2005)

Lunasa, Irish Music Magazine title Lunasa, Irish Music Magazine title Truly, although all of Lúnasa are superb musicians standing alone, when they play together, they form an amalgam known as "Lúnasa" that is greater than the individual parts. Traditional music's "dream team".
Cindy Reich (April 2004)

Lúnasa, much to their own surprise, have been playing together and enthralling audiences all around the world for ten years. That's not bad for an Irish band. Their timing was beautiful, catching the post-Riverdance wave of interest in Irish music. The band are the undisputed masters of the shape-shifting set, full of graceful and dramatic pivots from one tune to the next, one tempo to another.
Tom Clancy (May 2007)

Teada, Irish Music Magazine title Grada, Irish Music Magazine title Youthful energy keeps Téada going forward. But it is the mixture of that enthusiasm with a keen regard for age-old long-held traditions which give them a sense of purpose as well as a dynamic playing style which takes the best from yesterday into tomorrow.
Sean Walsh (May 2006)

[Gráda] have gelled into a clean, lean music machine in the last couple of years and have honed their considerable skills with a formidable touring schedule. The arrival of lead vocalist, Nicola Joyce, has added a certain solidity to their repertoire. Gráda have been moving towards the top tier of contemporary Irish bands for a while and their ambitions are clear on this vibrant new album [Cloudy Day Navigation] where they ramble smartly across a folk-tinged Irish music landscape.
Tom Clancy (June 2007)

Text excerpts by courtesy of the Irish Music Magazine.

Photo Credits: (1) Irish Music Magazine: A Decade of Tradition, (2) Liam Clancy, (3) Luke Kelly, (4) Planxty, (5) Christy Moore, (6)-(7) Solas, (8) Karan Casey, (9) Kila, (10) Dervish, (11) Altan, (12)-(13) Lunasa, (14) Teada (15) Grada (by Irish Music Magazine).

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