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Best of Altan: The Songs
Altan
Best of Altan: The Songs
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

2003 compilation for one of the top traditional bands in Ireland features 14 tracks. Virgin.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Altan
Title: Best of Altan: The Songs
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Narada
Release Date: 9/23/2003
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Contemporary Folk, Celtic, Europe, British Isles
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724359302720

Synopsis

Album Description
2003 compilation for one of the top traditional bands in Ireland features 14 tracks. Virgin.

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CD Reviews

Bringing the beauty and joy of traditional music
Sam | Seahurst, Washington | 09/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Altan were formed in Donegal Ireland in the mid 1980's. The core of the band have always been the founders - Belfast flute-player, Frankie Kennedy, and Gweedore singer and fiddler, Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh. A combination of old Donegal fiddle music (then little known outside Donegal) and of unusual Northern flute tunes delivered with force and fullness made it hard to believe there were only two people playing. That combined with Frankie's immense wit and playfulness and Mairead's beauty and down-to-earth charm made an irresistible package. It quickly became clear to them and others that they could go places.


Gradually the duo grew organically into a band in the mid-eighties, forged in the bustle and crack of a thousand late-night sessions and festivals throughout Ireland -- the repertoire gave Altan (the name was taken from a deep and mysterious lake behind Errigal Mountain in Donegal) a totally unique stamp, while there was an undoubted inspiration from the great Irish bands such as the Bothy Band, Planxty and De Danann.


In succeeding years, the band recorded albums for Green Linnet, all of which won accolades and awards and appeared in the Billboard charts -- their collaborators on these albums were of the highest calibre and it shows: Donal Lunny, Brian Masterson and Steve Cooney in particular made great contributions over the years. Another friend played with the band for several years, master fiddler, Paul O'Shaughnessey, a dazzling and fiery player with a deep knowledge of Donegal music. The two-fiddle sound stuck, so when, as Altan toured more and more widely, Paul had to leave due to pressure of work, his place was taken by another great young Donegal fiddler, Ciaran Tourish, a player with a special love for the weaving of spontaneous harmony and counterpoint round the melodies of the other lead players.


Sadly, in the early nineties Altan was dealt a devastating blow, when band leader and manager, Frankie Kennedy, at the height of his powers as a brilliant and innovative flute-player and just when his and Mairead's musical dreams were being realised, was diagnosed with cancer. Through a long illness, the band, at Frankie's insistence, continued to tour and perform with Frankie's participation whenever possible. No words can describe the effects of his illness and loss on the band, but he continues to be a presence and inspiration in Altan's life and music -- more than anything else, Frankie was a lover of life and perhaps the deepest message of all music is that life goes on -- no matter what.


Altan's international status and success found a very practical recognition when they were signed in 1996 to Virgin Records, the first Irish band of their kind to be signed by a major label. The band gained gold and platinum albums in Ireland and toured larger venues, literally thoughout the world, with tours in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe as well as regular successful U.S. tours.

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Wonderful and relaxing
Avid Reader | 05/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Your best collection of Altan songs - if you like their Gaelic style, you will love this CD"
Listen to song 2!
Lori Scottford | Massachusetts | 02/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is a beautiful combination of music and lyrics. My husband plays the second song and my daughter dances around the house. It is a great way to introduce children to celtic music --- especially the music we love! This is one of our favorite CDs. I have purchased this as gifts for friends."