Friday, January 30, 2009

Andy Irvine & Paul Brady

As a Christmas present, my beloved got me the album Paul Brady and Andy Irvine did together back ages and ages ago. From this far remove, it is hard to think of Paul Brady ever having been a credible figure on the folk-trad scene; musically he is more associated with stuff like the title song from the Eat The Peach soundtrack or Tina Turner album tracks. Back in the day, though, he seems to have been a serious tradder, having already made a bit of a name for himself before recording this record with Handy Andy. The record (produced by Dónal Lunny, who may also play on it here and there) features the kind of tunes you would be familiar with if you have had any exposure to the Planxty/Irvine songbook. So, lots of songs about soldiers, though not so many about young ladies being relieved of their maidenhead by same (though not for want of trying – see 'Martinmas Time'). There is 'Arthur McBride', which features soldiers but is primarily a tune from the And-Then-We-Beat-The-Shite-Out-Of-Them songwriting tradition. I understand that people sometimes point to the oddness of that song appearing here (sung by Brady) as Irvine had already sung it on a then-recent Planxty album, though the two version are quite different.

I am still only getting used to this record. One thing I find a bit odd is the contrasting voices on it. Brady's voice is quite different to Irvine's, and I have not entirely warmed to it yet. But even on early listens one can see the excellence of this album.

image from Claddagh Records

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