Amazon.com essential recording
This recording happened more or less by accident while the Chieftains were visiting Canada. At the time, there were "no plans to make a Chieftains recording as such," Paddy Moloney explains in a short introductory note. Canadian musicians came by to visit, and there was a prolonged kitchen party--with the tapes rolling. The Chieftains become accompanists and producers for some very talented fiddlers (the Leahy family, Ashley MacIsaac, Natalie MacMaster), vocalists (the Rankins, Great Big Sea, Laura Smith, Rita MacNeil, Mary Jane Lamond, the Barra MacNeils family, and the Ennis Sisters), and others. With such a diverse cast, a variety of styles are explored and the quality is comparable with that of the Chieftains' own work. While songs like "My Bonnie" may be familiar, they get distinctive treatment from this crew. --Joe McLellan
Similarly Requested CDs
Member CD Reviews
from ENFIELD, NH
Reviewed on 3/17/2007...
This is NOT by The Chieftains, as the system indicates. It's a compilation including cover versions by The Ennis Sisters, Ashley MacIsaac, Rita MacNeil, Great Big Sea, Leahy, The Rankins, and more.
Hot, Smokin', Explosive Celtic Music ...
Erika Borsos | Gulf Coast of FL, USA | 05/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Paddy Moloney & the Chieftains travelled around Canada jamming & with some of the finest traditional musicians on this side of the planet (N. America). They roamed about Halifax, Nova Scotia; stopped near Toronto, Ontario; did a hop, skip & jump to Montreal, Quebec and even visited Newfoundland, to collaborate and collect wild, raucous, party music *just* for our listening pleasure. They succeeded beyond their wildest imaginations.
Leahy burns the first set of tunes with so much fire and smoke that no one wants to put it out. "Madame Bonaprte/Devil's Dream/Mason's Apron" lights the first fire, with an unmatched medley, played on fiddles, guitar, bass, piano, mandolin and drums. They demonstrate just how they catapulted to center stage & why they will always remain there. The hauntingly beautiful voices of the Rankin sisters will melt the coldest of hearts, truly inspirational ... The clear, crisp voice of Laura Smith with her unique rendition of "My Bonnie" gives off sparks, ready to ignite anything within hearing distance. Ashley McIsaac on fiddle accompanied by guitar leaves nothing standing in her path ... Natalie MacMaster "burns the house down" playing with her inimitable style and step dancing as she does it. "A Mhairi Bhoidheach" sung by Mary Jane Lamond will bring smokey tears to anyone's eyes. "La Bottine Souriante" from Quebec, gives us the final searing finishing touch, as they play "Le Lys Vert" on trombone, accordion, fiddles, saxophone, trumpet, mandolin, and piano. This CD keeps exploding with so much fire and smoke you just don't want the music to stop! It is one of the best complilations of Canadian Celtic music that money can buy! Erika Borsos (erikab93)"
Kelly L. Norman | Plymouth, MI United States | 07/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another of the Chieftain's brief stops on their journey to bring Celtic music round the world....or more to the point, to prove that Ireland is everywhere and in every tongue. I was a bit disappointed to find this wasn't a live recording; it looks it from the cover photo. But never mind. The guest artists couldn't be better: La Bottine Souriante, Great Big Sea, Natalie McMaster are all here, bringing us Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Quebec sounds. The Ennis sisters deliver a "Red Is the Rose" (to the tune of "Loch Lomond") so sweet that I'd bet butter wouldn't melt in your mouth if it doesn't bring a tear to your eye. And move back the chairs and get ready to dance some jigs and reels when Leahy or Ashley MacIsaac take over ("Devil's Dream" has always been a favorite tune of mine to contra dance to). Always, of course, we have Paddy Malone and the boys as the world's greatest backup band, on traditional harp, pipes, fiddle, and more.
I want to point out one special song on this collection, because it's normally the type of thing on a Chieftains CD I dislike, because it seems to distract from the traditional purpose. Laura Smith turns in a modern version of "My Bonnie" that starts out as a typical pop vocal. She plays with the original lyrics and melody in a playful rubato. The musicians back her up, in the expected manner, as she adds a verse of her own adhering to the traditional melody. The chorus returns. Then suddenly, as the musicians play the verse a bit louder, she begins a beautiful descant, with a different rythm and melody:
"Soon there will be no difference between the land and the water/
I can walk out on the ice to places I've never been/
When I can get as far as I can go I can throw my cares over my shoulder/
Along with my memory or just let it flow down the Golf Stream
and I'll walk on singing /My Bonnie...."
It brings goosebumps. But what else would you expect in the Great White North?"