Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Mist Covered Mountains
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
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My first traditional Irish album!
Colin P. Lindsey | Manchester, NH | 07/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a great fan of traditional Irish music and De Danaan is the band that started me down that road....well over 25 years ago, gasp!! I remember buying the Mist Covered Mountain when I was no more than 10 or 11 and listening to the LP on the turntable every evening with my brothers. My favorite tune on this album is the eponymous Mist Covered Mountain, a searingly beautiful and plaintive song, and well worth the price of the album just for the one song. If you haven't heard this one, do yourself a favor, get this album, and play yourself this song. It's a rare delight.
Those initial days when I was so young yet, and just learning Irish music, spawned some great evenings, filled with laughter and games, crackling wood fires, and music both haunting and evocative. Even as I write this my memories turn to how I would drift to sleep, my brothers quiet about me (we three shared a room), thinking thoughts about the fabled Emerald Isle that I could know only through this wonderful new music. I went on to purchase other De Danaan albums, and many other albums by other traditional Irish bands. This is great stuff, the album that started it all for me, and if you are a fan of this type of music this is one you'll want to add to your collection.
Four and a half stars for hall of fame level instrumentals,
Michael | Placerville, CA USA | 10/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fáilte! This album is hard to rate. One the one hand, this is hall of fame quality instrumentals with reels, jigs, hornpipes and polkas. De Danann is one of the groups that started the Irish music renaisance in the early 1970's and they were in their prime in this album. Tom Phaiden was a community elder that provides vocals that are an oral local history and folk songs. Tom certainly has my respect, but is no match to Mary Black and others that sang with De Danann later. Tom's perfect Gaelic is sometimes hard to understand as he was in his 80's, but his presence on the album is probably due to Irish culture and the typical fierce loyalty to your local community and clans.
As for the instrumentals, this is as top notch as they get. You have Frankie Gavin providing his raw youthful energy and talent with a fast and fluid fiddle lead. He is accompanied by Alec Finn, a pioneer for bouzouki (large deeper voiced mandolin) counterpoint playing. You have Charlie Pichot, a pioneer for playing triplet style on the banjo. You have Jackie Daly, a pioneer for playing button accordian. An you have Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh, a pioneer for playing bodhran (Irish Drum). They were playing in the same time period as Planxty, the Bothy Band and the Chieftains. I regaurd all members of the band as in the top half dozen players of all time in their instrument categories. And it must be respected that many of the instrument categories were founded by these pioneers, as the bouzouki had recently come from Greece, the tenor banjo from America, and the bodhran was historically looked down upon as a war drum or sod carrier (not to mention hard to tune in those days without hex wrench tuning in the middle of typical Irish rain most of the year). It was a process of the Irish adopting instruments and making them their own by different adaptations and style of music.
The characteristic sound De Danann pioneered was fast paced reels, jigs, hornpipes and polkas. The two part, three part leads between instruments is totally in synch. My sentimental favorite in the group was Charlie, my all time favorite Irish tenor banjo player who pioneered the triplet style of playing. He tragically lost several fingers in an accident and retired from playing. Then there was Johnny, who had an enormous amount of bias to fight to establish the bodhran in those early years.
There are seven instrumentals on this album. That in and of itself may not sound exceptional, but the band that is playing those instrumentals was De Danann in their prime, and those band members were among the very best of the best to ever play Irish traditional music. That is enough for me to recommend the album. It is a must have album for any comprehensive collection of Irish traditional music. Slán agaibh!"