with Paul Brady, Donal Lunny, Liam O'Flynn, Frankie Gavin
This was recorded in Windmill Lane Studio, Dublin for Tara in 1979-80. Tara sold the rights to Carsten Linde's record company Wundertute in 1989 and they added the bonus track of "Bonny Woodhall" with Mick Hanly from 1977. Dónal Lunny produced it and I was really lucky to be able to get such a star cast to play on it.
It was my idea to stick the first three tracks together, seguéing from one to the next. I like them all but it meant that, later that year, Dónal and I were playing them as one long piece in Germany and Holland. Changing instruments and banging hurdy-gurdys off microphone stands as we tried to keep the mood going for about 12-15 minutes.
"Longford Weaver" was one I used to do with Paul Brady. There's a great live recording of us doing it in Rotterdam somewhere. I was going to do "Ballymoney" with Dónal on bouzouki and me on mandola and Paul on guitar but Paul got a notion to play piano. Trouble with pianos is that their like elephants in the room, they just don't need or want anything stringy like a bouzouki or a guitar to be playing with them! (Unless you happen to be Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell)
"The Romanian Song (Blood and Gold) is nice, though I think I should have sung it myself. It's in 5/16 as it was supposed to be. Anybody who recorded it subsequently didn't quite get that and recorded it in 6/8. Pity...
I like "Rainy Sundays" very much. I had been impressed by a band called 'Metropolis' and decided to use the musicians from it on this track. Keith Donald had just been to the dentist to have a tooth out and his mouth was a bit numb - not the best preparation for playing the soprano sax! You'd never know it, listening to him play though.
Recorded and mixed at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin
Produced by Dónal Lunny
Engineered by Brian Masterson
Andy Irvine - vocals, bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, hurdy-gurdy, harmonica.
Dónal Lunny - guitar, bouzouki, 10-string bouzouki, harmonium, Pan flute, percussion, backing vocals.
Liam O'Flynn - uilleann pipes.
Paul Brady - guitar, piano.
Frankie Gavin - fiddle, viola, flute.
Rick Epping - accordion, harmonica, jaw harp.
John Wadham - bongo and congas.
Paul Barrett - fender Rhodes and polymoog.
Garvan Gallagher - bass guitar.
Keith Donald - soprano saxophone.
Lucienne Purcell - vocals.
Mick Hanly - guitar (Bonus track). (*)
1. The Emigrants (Come To The Land Of Sweet Liberty / Farewell To Old Ireland / Edward Connors) 13:52
2. Longford Weaver / Christmas Eve 05:13
3. Farewell To Ballymoney 04:32
4. Romanian Song (Blood and Gold) 04:08
5. Paidushko Horo 03:37
6. King Bore and the Sandman 03:06
7. Rainy Sundays 06:14
8. Bonny Woodhall (Bonus Track) 05:31