Altan The Best of Altan (2-CD)
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- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: January 21, 1997
- Label: Green Linnet
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Tommy Peoples / The Windmill / Fintan McManus's
- 2.Moll Dubh a Ghleanna
- 3.Jimmy Lyon's / The Teelin / The Red Crow / The Broken Bridge
- 4.The Sunset
- 5.Glory Reel / The Heathery Cruach
- 6.The Flower of Magherally
- 8.A Bhean Udai Thall
- 9.King of the Pipers
- 10.'Si Do Mhaimeo I
- 11.The Jug of Punch
- 12.The Emyvale / Ril Gan Ainm / The Three Merry Sisters Of Fate
- 13.Mhaighdean Mhara, An
- 15.Drowsy Maggie / Rakish Paddy / Harvest Storm
- 16.Feochan, An
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Con Cassidy's / Neil Gow's Highland / Moll And Tiarna / McSweeney's
- 2.The Yellow Tinker / Lady Montgomery
- 3.Thug Me Ruide
- 4.Ta Mo Chleamhnas a Dheanamh
- 5.The Curlew / McDermott's / Three Scones Of Boxty / Unnamed Reel
- 6.Tiurse Mo Chroi
- 7.Paddy's Trip To Scotland / Dinky's / The Shetland Fiddler
- 8.Johnny's Wedding / Rogue's Reel / The Gravel Walk
Altan: Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (vocals, fiddle); Mark Kelly, Daithi Sproule (guitar, background vocals); Ciaran Curran (bouzouki, bouzouki-guitar); Ciaran Tourish (fiddle, whistle, background vocals); Paul O'Shaughnessy (fiddle); Frankie Kennedy (flute, whistle, background vocals); Donal Lunny (keyboards, bodhran).
Additional personnel: Tommy Hayes (Jew's harp, bodhran, bass bodhran, shaker, percussion); Phil Cunningham (whistle, keyboards); Dermont Byrne (accordion); Liam O'Maonlai (didgeridoo); Marie Askin, Seamus Quinn (piano); Donal Lunny (keyboards, bodhran, bass bodhran); Garvan Gallagher (acoustic bass); Steve Cooney (fretless bass); Colm Murphy (bodhran); Steve White (percussion); Anna Ni Mhaonaigh (background vocals).
Producers: Donal Lunny, Phil Cunningham, P.J. Curtis, Brian Masterson, Altan.
Compilation producer: Thomas Rota.
Engineers: Donal Lunny, Dan Fitzgerald, Brian Masterson.
Disc 1 recorded at Aigle Studios, Lansdowne Studio, Westland Studios and Windmill Land Studios, Dublin, Ireland. Disc 2 recorded live at the Museum Bochum, Bochum, Germany on January 15, 1989. Contains liner notes by Earle Hitchner.
If you don't count the Chieftains, Altan is probably the most popular traditional Irish group in the world right now. And they continue to find favor among hardcore folkies where the Chieftains don't, since they resist the temptation to record albums with the likes of Roger Daltrey and Van Morrison. The band originally formed around the husband-and-wife nucleus of flutist Frankie Kennedy and fiddler/singer Maighread N¡ Mhaonaigh, who recorded their first album in 1983. Other members joined the group over time, until it gradually hardened into the five-piece ensemble that is responsible for most of the music on this timely retrospective, which draws on the five Altan discs that have appeared on the Green Linnet label. All have been distinguished by exceptional energy and musicianship, and while some listeners will disagree with one or two programming choices, the selections here are all excellent; N¡ Mhaonaigh's sweet singing is always a special highlight. Best of all, the first pressings include a bonus disc of live recordings -- a poignant addendum, given the tragic death of Frankie Kennedy from cancer in 1996. Very highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson
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