Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
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Music meets politics; both win
paul pirate | New York, New York | 11/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is such a fierce, strong masterpiece, I can't understand its "limited availability." But this IS the music business, isn't it? If you know Irishman Andy Irvine from Sweeney's Men, Planxty, or Patrick Street, you've got some idea of his skill on the plucked strings, that perfectly controlled ragged voice, and his songwriting ability. Seems he likes to do albums with other people, though (the duo with Paul Brady is another masterpiece, and the best thing Brady ever did, I think). So there are precious few "Andy gets out into the spotlight" moments in recorded history. This one is for the most part a series of narrative songs with a careful lyrical wit and fine tunes and playing. Arrangements tend toward the small combo and work throughout. And this album is, in its amazing way, "telling" without trying to wave that fact in your face. Some folks discussed will be familiar (Wallenberg), some won't (polar explorers); but the picture of Sinclair Lewis on his way down is painfully spectacular. Andy records when he's ready, rarely enough, sadly. Grab this stirring, tough-minded, beautiful moment before it disappears entirely."
Superb, soul-stirring tribute to extraordinary men
Rob Stuart | Utrecht, Netherlands | 01/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a deeply personal and moving album of songs cleverly crafted and perfectly performed that laud men who dared where others faltered - in exploring the globe, defending the rights of the downtrodden, or shouting out against self-serving hypocrisy. Not only a master musician and a great singer, Irvine is also a committed socialist (in the true sense).
Here, 'James Connolly' is quintessential - a lament for an Irish union leader who was (reluctantly) enlisted into, and played a key role in, the 1916 Easter Uprising against British dominion over Ireland. During the ill-fated rebellion, he was in charge of Dublin's General Post Office - 'rebel HQ' to the Brits. Seriously wounded in the fighting, he was arrested, court-martialled for 'treason', and humiliatingly tied to a chair for his execution by a British firing squad. This outraged many in Ireland, even those who had not approved of the uprising. After years of listening to this song, it never fails to move me.
Each track on this superb album is equally soul-stirring. Nothing can compare to the simple, honest power of Irvine's music and his integrity as a man of warmth and compassion."