Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Pop
Now that bluegrass is (again) momentarily cool, leave it to the Chieftains to (again) plunge an all-star country cast into the Celtic wellsprings of old-time music, just as they did 10 years ago with 1992's Another Country... more »
Now that bluegrass is (again) momentarily cool, leave it to the Chieftains to (again) plunge an all-star country cast into the Celtic wellsprings of old-time music, just as they did 10 years ago with 1992's Another Country. It's no surprise that the Chieftains can handle the rapacious rhythms of a hot fiddle tune; whether they can go toe-to-toe with the likes of Tim O'Brien, Béla Fleck, Ricky Skaggs, and Del McCoury is another matter. Rest assured they can, and they even coax some inspired jamming from Earl Scruggs--who sounds like he has something to prove on "Sally Goodin"--and a chilling vocal from Alison Krauss on "Molly Ban," the Celtic equivalent of "Fair and Tender Maidens." The Chieftains' only miscue comes in wasting Vince Gill's talents on a busily arranged "Dark as a Dungeon." While this set will likely appeal more to fans of contemporary Irish music than to hard-core twang fans, anyone who loves acoustic roots music will find these collaborations refreshing, if not down-right bracing. --Roy Kasten
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Member CD Reviews
Kathleen W. (Kathleen22) from BROCKPORT, NY
Reviewed on 7/1/2014...
Very nice compilation of songs; I enjoy this CD quite a bit.
Gregory T. from JACKSONVILLE, NC
Reviewed on 9/20/2011...
More bluegrass than celtic but still a fun album.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
I LOVE the Chieftains, but where are they on this album?
bensmomma | Ann Arbor, Michigan | 09/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe I would even CONSIDER giving less than 5 stars to a Chieftains album, over the years they have been my #1 favorite. I have especially enjoyed their collaborations with artists from other styles of music: county (Another Country), Galicia (Santiago), even pop stars (Long Black Veil). In every case the Chieftain's joy of creating music and the sheer brilliance of their musicianship creates a new blend of their own styles and the styles of the collaborators. Think of "Another Country's" take on Heartbreak Hotel, or Tom Jones singing Tennessee Waltz (!) on the same album.But on this album they seem relegated to the status of a back-up band! You can't hear them at all. Where are the wonderful solos of world-class musicians like fiddler Sean Keane or flautist Matt Meloy? Where is Paddy Moloney's banter? Where is Kevin Conneff's marvelous tenor? The artists that ARE featured are excellent, but they are no longer collaborating with the C's, they are merely using them as studio artists. If you are a fan of the Nashville stars on this album, you will enjoy it, but only on the Finale track do we get anything like enough Chieftains presence for my tastes."
Sharing the Stage
wysewomon | Paonia, CO United States | 11/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One sign of true stardom in the performing arts is the ability to share the stage, not only to let others have their moment, but to let them outshine you. In this respect, the Chieftains truly are stars of traditional music -- something I'm sure we all knew!__Down the Old Plank Road_ features lots of current giants in the Bluegrass & Newgrass scene. Performances range from stunning to amusing, and many both point out the differences as well as heighten the similarities between Bluegrass and its Grandfather, Irish Traditional music. There is a higher proportion of vocal music than you would expect to find on a strictly Celtic album and the arrangements struck me as more Bluegrassy than Celtic, too, with instrumental virtuosity peeking out between the verses of songs rather than taking center stage as much. So if you listen mainly to Celtic music, you might find this odd and unsatisfying. I really enjoyed all the songs, particularly Vince Gill's "Dark as Dungeon" and Allison Krauss' chilling "Molly Ban." The latter was probably the most "Celtic" track on the CD, with the possible exception of Bela Fleck's set of reels. I also liked the finale track, "Give the Fiddler a Dram" quite a bit and appreciated how it gave every player a solo moment -- something that both the Chieftains and Bluegrass tradition often do. I really would have liked the liner notes to be more detailed for this track, though; if you're unfamiliar with the artists' different styles it's hard to know who's doing what.A real treat for fans of Bluegrass and Celtic music alike!"