CD Absolutely Irish (CD 1348468),
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1. House in the Glen/The Bohola Jig/Josie McDermott's/Free and Easy [Jigs/, The - Athena/Niall/Billy/Darrah/Jerry/John/Mick/Tim/Darrah Carr/Niall O'Leary/Jerry O'Sullivan/Mick Moloney/Athena Tergis/Billy McComiskey/John Doyle
2. King's Shilling, The - John/Karen/Karan Casey/Samus Egan/Seamus/John Doyle
3. Before the Storm/The Black Rogue/The Lass of Ballintra/The (Other) High - Joanie/John/Liz/Joanie Madden/Liz Carroll/John Doyle
4. McNally's Row of Flats - Athena/Billy/John/Mick/Tim/Mick Moloney/Robbie/Athena Tergis/Billy McComiskey/John Doyle
5. Green Hills of Tyrol/The Fermony Lassies/The Pinch of Snuff, The - John/EIleen/Eileen Ivers/Samus Egan/Seamus/John Doyle
6. Jim O'Keefe's/The Clog/The Star Above the Garter/The Hare in the Corn [ - Athena/Jerry/Joanie/John/Liz/Tim/EIleen/Eileen Ivers/Brendan Dolan/Jerry O'Sullivan/Joanie Madden/Liz Carroll/Athena Tergis/John Doyle/Brendan
7. June Apple - Mac/Rhys/Mac Benford
8. Flower of Kilkenny, The - Jerry/Joanie/John/Liz/Mick/Tim/EIleen/Jerry O'Sullivan/Mick Moloney/Robbie/Athena Tergis/Billy McComiskey/John Doyle/Brendan
9. Planxty Miss Maxwell - Athena/Jerry/Joanie/John/Liz/Tim/EIleen/Eileen Ivers/Brendan Dolan/Jerry O'Sullivan/Joanie Madden/Liz Carroll/Athena Tergis/John Doyle/Brendan
10. Lark in the Morning/Cannabhan Ban/Humours of Ballyloughlin - Billy/Jerry/Joanie/John/Liz/Tim/EIleen/Eileen Ivers/Jerry O'Sullivan/Joanie Madden/Liz Carroll/Samus Egan/Billy McComiskey/Seamus/John Doyle
11. Fair London Town - Athena/John/Rhys/Susan/Tim/Rhys Jones/Samus Egan/Athena Tergis/Susan McKeown/Seamus/John Doyle
12. Kitty O'Neill's Champion Jig - Athena/Niall/Athena Tergis
13. Trip to Parliament/The Torn Jacket, The - Billy/Mike/Brendan Dolan/Mike Rafferty/Billy McComiskey/Brendan
14. Fiddle Extravaganza: Never Was Piping So Gay/The Chandelier/Paddy Fahey - Athena/John/Liz/EIleen/Eileen Ivers/Liz Carroll/Athena Tergis/John Doyle
15. Leaving of Liverpool, The - Whole Group
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 974480
Personnel: Mick Moloney (vocals, guitar, tenor banjo, mandolin); John Doyle (vocals, guitar, bouzouki); Robbie O'Connell (vocals, guitar); Karan Casey, Mac Benford, Susan McKeown (vocals); Eileen Ivers, Liz Carroll, Athena Tergis (fiddle); Joanie Madden (flute, tin whistle); Mike Rafferty (flute); Jerry O'Sullivan (Uilleann pipe); Brendan Dolan (piano).
Audio Mixer: Erick Jaskowiak.
Recording information: Irish Arts Center, New York, NY.
It does exactly what it says on the tin. The soundtrack of the PBS show is a live affair, using some of the very best Irish and Irish-American singers, musicians, and dancers to offer a showcase of the country. A lot of the instrumental work is stunning (listen to "Before the Storm" where the flute enters and it moves into an impossible double time, for instance), and some of the songs, like "Fair London Town" are moving. But some things might have been better left off the disc, like "Kitty O'Neill's Champion Jig," featuring step dancing. Wonderful as that may be onscreen, it simply doesn't translate properly to audio-only. "McNally's Row of Flats" is a commentary about living conditions for immigrants in New York, but the delivery is without anger, heading more toward the comic, nullifying its effect. That said, there's plenty of love here, like the gorgeous "Planxty Miss Maxwell" or "Fiddle Extravaganza" with some extraordinary violin work from some of the best. And it's inevitable that it would all end with an emigrant song, so "The Leaving of Liverpool," where the poignancy never becomes maudlin, makes for a strong closer. Ultimately, at least as a disc, this actually achieves nothing that's not already available on hundreds of Irish compilations. But for those who want a souvenir of the night, it's worth the money. ~ Chris Nickson
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Compass (USA) 974480
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