The tradition of Irish folklore and music is one of the oldest in Western Europe. Having come through centuries of domination, hardship, depression and famine and seen her sons scatter to all corners of the world her music is descriptive of the sorrow, resurrection and joy of the many and various episodes of history, some written and many to be found only through her music. This album does not intend to portray that history, but merely takes a selection of some of the most popular tunes of the last decade.
Planxty: Out of the wealth of tradition in Ireland a group of specialists came together in the early seventies and called themselves Planxty. Their first single ""Cliffs of Doneen" quickly became a best seller and set them on the road to repeated success. In the space of a few years they made three albums which coloured the interpretation of Irish traditional music and won audiences all round Europe.
Spud: This is the newest group of Celtic-Folk-Rock bands to break the international barriers. Ever since they released "The Wind In The Willows" in October 1974 they have continued to gain fame around Europe.
Phil Coulter: Phil is the contemporary writer who has written Eurovision winning songs, has nurtured pop groups and can easily write an earthy song about his hometown.
The Fureys & Davey Arthur: A Dublin family of folk musicians so steeped in tradition that it goes back generations. Their father, Ted Furey, is known and respected around the four corners of Ireland and in folk circles throughout Europe. The brothers, Finbar and Eddie have been entertaining and making albums for more than ten years while the younger brothers, George and Paul with Davey Arthur (a young Scot) had their own group "The Buskers" around Europe until they all came together in 1976. Between them they have resurrected many old traditional songs and have lately developed into pop ballads highlighting contemporary folk material.
Christy Moore: Christy is one of the outstanding characters of the Irish music scene. He is a true balladeer with a warmth and mellowness of voice to soothe the sternest and enrapture everyone with his interpretation. Christy was one of the stalwarths of Planxty who embarked on a solo career when they disbanded.
DeDanann: Based in Spiddal, the focal point of the Connemara Gaeltacht, this group is a unique combination of the traditional music styles of Galway and Kerry. They inherit a cool and impeccable style which is a refreshing addition to the traditional musical culture that still thrives in Ireland.
Wolfe Tones: For the past five years The Wolfe Tones have been voted Top Folk Group by a National Irish Magazine and in a country steeped in folk that is no mean achievement. The secret of their success is not really a secret as everybody interested in this sort of music knows they play it and sing it to perfection. The Wolfe Tones are folk singers in the true sense of the word, they sing the songs of the people past and present.
Tommy Makem: The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem are known in many parts of the world as the team who made Irish music popular in America. When they disbanded some years ago Tommy devoted his efforts to a solo singing career which gave him time to write many Irish folk songs.
Munroe: A duo Michael Hanley and Michael O'Domhnaill made one outstanding album "Celtic Folk-weave" before going their separate ways. The former to travel and the latter became part of the now international Bothy Band.
Dublin City Ramblers:
As their name suggests they are Dubliners steeped in the Ballad and Folk tradition who have delighted audiences all over the country. Because of their raucous interpretation they portray a different style which adds further to the wealth of Irish folklore.
Few, if any, countries can vibrant national folk memory, match Ireland's tradition of folk music. From times immemorial, songs and music song, was greatly enhanced in were sung and played at wakes and weddings, hearth and home, markets and crossroad gatherings. In fact, wherever people came together.
Many colourful "characters" emerged as balladeers and musicians. Their compositions covered every subject under the sun-love, war, triumphs, tragedies, acts of man and nature, local events and people. The songs and ballads were carefully passed down from generation to generation to become part of a proud and vibrant national folk memory.
The safe preservation of this vast store of folk music and song, was greatly enhanced in vast store of folk music and recent decades by the advances in recording techniques. Similarly, advances in communication helped the rise of many Irish folk singers and ballad groups to both national and international fame.
In 1977, Polydor compiled an LP which featured many of the best under the title " A Feast of Irish Folk". It became one of the most prized folk albums of all time and also a best-seller in Europe and the U.S.A. This album is another welcome compilation of the most popular ballads around Ireland. We trust you will enjoy it every bit as much as its great predecessor.