So thoroughly identified are they with Irish music, that even when the Chieftains depart from the tradition--to collaborate with Chinese, country, or pop musicians, for example--they lose not a drop of credibility in the process. On Tears of Stone, the group accompanies a bevy of internationally acclaimed female vocalists on traditional tunes with inventive new arrangements by Paddy Moloney. Sinead O'Connor and the Corrs remain close to their roots, while Bonnie Raitt, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Loreena McKennitt, and Joan Osborne all sound more than convincingly Celtic. The best performances, however, are by those artists least attached to the tradition. Moloney's take on Joni Mitchell's "The Magdalene Laundries" outdoes the original; "Sake in the Jar," composed for Japanese pop star Akiko Yano, sounds like a new form of music altogether; and Canadian jazz singer Diana Krall's "Danny Boy" doesn't so much tug at the heartstrings as rip them out by the roots. --Richard Gehr
Similarly Requested CDs
A collection of love songs from The Chieftains and some VERY
Jessica Lux | Rosamond, CA | 01/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Chieftains refuse to stagnate in their musical career, and this special-guest-filled albums proves that once again. This is an aboslutely all-star collection of traditional Irish songs sung by outstanding female vocalists such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Diana Krall, Natalie Merchant, Joni Mitchell, Sinead O'Connor, Joan Osborne, and Bonnie Raitt. The fact that this band can collaborate with musicians ranging from country to rock to pop to Asian proves their musical genius."
Bright Women of Song & The Chieftains
Jeff Farrow | 09/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Leading Female Singers from around the world joined in this Celtic innovation from Gaelic Master Musicians--The Chieftains! The result is a lovely sample of song.
It's difficult to simply comment on a few selections because I love them all.
Bonnie Raitt gives a surprisingly different & striking performance of A Stór Mo Chroí. The sense of deep emotional loss in this song is very Gaelic--and it's very beautiful too.
The Magdalene Laundries by Joni Mitchell is another surprise of sorts, with its bitter, angry religious themes concerning female sexuality & "unwanted" pregnancy. An excellent composition that may be partially autobiographical? [NOTE: 09/09 Since writing this review, I watched the film THE MAGDALENE SISTERS & everything fell into place & made sense. However, JM's song is not in that highly recommended film.]
Jimmy Mó Mhíle Stór with The Ranklins is a real treat for us Gaelic lovers.
In Factory Girl by Siníad O'Connor the singer reminds us once again of her great talent for delivering a raw, purist sound.
Sake in The Jar is an Asian composition by singer Akiko Yano. The title is a word play on the traditional Irish tune Whiskey in The Jar. This song is a real treat. It's great the way the song subtley builds to an almost Dionysian crescendo.
Natalie Merchant, another greatly talented musician offers an almost lighthearted rendition of the sad The Lowlands of Holland
Dina Krall presents a very different vocal interpretation of Danny Boy--and it may be just be the best I've heard.
Other notable contributions by Brenda Frickler & Anúna (Never Give All the Heart); The Corrs (I know My Love); Mary Chapin Carpenter (Deserted Soldier); Loreena McKennitt (Ye Rambling Boys of Pleasure); Joan Osborne (Raglin Road); Sissel (Siúil A Run) a great rendering of a very sad, always apt & traditional tune.; Eileen Rivers, Natalie Machmaster, Marie Breatnach & Annbjorg Lien (The Fiddling Ladies) you just can't help but clap & dance along.
The Magdalene Sisters
Diamonds & Rust
Dog Eat Dog
I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Essential Mary Chapin Carpenter
The Corrs - Best Of + 1
Twilight: The Best of Akiko Yano Live