Clannad: Moya Brennan (vocals, harp); Ciar n Brennan (bass instrument); Noel Duggan, Padraig Duggan.
Personnel: Predraig Duggan, Padraig Duggan (vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin); Ciar n Brennan (vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards); Noel Duggan (vocals, acoustic guitar); Brian Kennedy (vocals); Vinnie Kilduff (whistling, mandolin); Ian Melrose (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Mel Collins (flute, saxophone); Ian Parker (keyboards); Ray Fean (drums, percussion); Deidre Brennan (bodhran, background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Chris O'Brien; Graham Murphy.
Arrangers: Ciar n Brennan; Clannad.
The families that make up Ireland's Clannad have been at it for over three decades. Siblings Moya (M ire) and Ciaran Brennan and their twin uncles Padraig and Noel Duggan have been the heart and soul of Clannad since the 1970s. (The latter three members have been together since the band's inception in 1970.) During this long tenure they've recorded 16 albums, among them a previous live offering and two soundtracks. They have been celebrated and reviled for their wonderfully idiosyncratic meld of traditional Celtic music with rock, ambient, jazz, and other world styles. This live offering was compiled from various performances from the band's 1996 European tour. The music performed runs the span of the band's career, but it is in "Robin of Sherwood Medley" that Clannad's multivalent gifts are brought to bear in full. This seven-part suite was originally a soundtrack for a TV series. Both on record and in this performance it is far removed from its original context and stands beautifully on its own as elements of the mythical past and atmospheric present commingle nearly seamlessly. The musicianship -- augmented by a number of guest performers -- is crackling and soulful, and M ire Brennan's singing is utterly beguiling and thought-provoking. Fans of Clannad will be delighted by the sound quality as well as the top-notch versions of old favorites. Those who have wondered would be well served if Live in Concert were their introduction to this band and its magic-making. ~ Thom Jurek