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Ghost Canyon

Title - Andy Irvine & Paul Brady [180g Purple Vinyl]
Artist - Andy Irvine & Paul Brady

For those not in the know, Compass Records Group is excited to announce the release on March 4th, 2022 of a special edition version of the Mulligan Records classic ANDY IRVINE / PAUL BRADY.

In 1976, Irvine and Brady, fresh from the demise of the Irish supergroup Planxty, entered legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales with mystic producer/bouzouki player Dónal Lunny and fiddler Kevin Burke to record what has become an Irish Music classic.

ANDY IRVINE / PAUL BRADY propelled them forward to be viewed as one of the most accomplished Irish traditional duos that ever recorded.

The 2022 special edition CD and LP release of ANDY IRVINE / PAUL BRADY is the ultimate version of this classic album. It’s the first time since the 1970s that an LP version has been pressed.

Before pressing, the ten track album was remastered from the original analog tapes, which were transferred at 192k/32 bit to maintain the highest resolution and mastered with the best combination of classic analog and state of the art digital equipment.

The packaging for both the CD and LP versions was approached with painstaking detail and features a tri-fold CD wallet and a gatefold LP, with the record itself having been pressed on exquisite 180g purple vinyl!

Side A:
1. Plains Of Kildare
2. Lough Erne Shore
3. Fred Finn’s Reel / Sailing Into Walpole’s Marsh
4. Bonny Woodhall
5. Arthur McBride And The Sergeant

Side B:
6. The Jolly Soldier / The Blarney Pilgrim
7. Autumn Gold
8. Mary And The Soldier
9. The Streets Of Derry
10. Martinmas Time / The Little Stack of Wheat

This (still) quite stunningly orchestrated, wholly ambient, and tremendously heartfelt, honest and genuine album opens on the beautiful, layered playing by Irvine and Lunny on the mandolin and bouzouki and Brady’s guitar work and voice within, well everything to be quite honest.

The Celtic folklore of Plains Of Kildare and the captured love story within Lough Erne Shore are first brought forth and are backed seamlessly by the upbeat and gently playful instrumental Fred Finn’s Reel / Sailing Into Walpole’s Marsh, the traditional, Irish-imbued Bonny Woodhall and then comes the melodic storytelling (about conditions confronting soldiers circa 1840) of Arthur McBride And The Sergeant.

On an album completely, and purposely veined with a pretty melancholy vibe, and which is, without a shadow of a doubt, an album worthy of a place alongside the best Planxty recordings, Side B opens on the fiddle and mandolin-enhanced, and simply beautiful The Jolly Soldier / The Blarney Pilgrim and that is in turn backed by the lushly orchestrated Autumn Gold, the wartime, ponderance-imbibed Mary And The Soldier, the album rounding out on the pure acoustic gossamer of The Streets Of Derry, coming to a close on the rhythmic, 1970’s Renaissance of Irish traditional music (about a maiden sneaking past the English garrison to visit her lover) found within Martinmas Time / The Little Stack of Wheat.

This album offers a time capsule of the past when musical groups were not much removed from being pub musicians. Simpler times with simpler pleasures, such as a few pints of Guinness and a few live tunes.

Due to the near poverty, not many people could afford instruments, lessons or sheet music. It was typical to find two to four musicians playing at a pub with a hat out for donations.

The styles they developed were not taught to them, they developed their styles based on raw creative energy. They took instruments like the bowl back Greek Bouzouki and made their own flat back Irish Bouzouki.

The songs were memorized, and most musicians would have prodigious memories of long playing lists. The songs and the lyrics came from all the familiar places people knew in Ireland, places where they had grown up and had extended families and friends. The pub and the music were the central meeting place for the craic or community friendship and fun.

For nearly half a century, this legendary album has been regarded as of as one of the most important in the Irish music cannon. All these years later, no record more pointedly reflects the time and the spirit of innovation within one genre of music.

Over the past nearly half a century, the music Irvine and Brady created has reached across genres topping the personal playlists of iconic artists including Bob Dylan (who recorded Paul Brady’s arrangement of “Arthur McBride and The Sergeant”), Bono, Liam O’Maonlai (Hothouse Flowers), Radie Peat and Daragh Lynch (both of Lankum) and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Perhaps best of all, both aforementioned new CD and LP formats include a 12,000 word essay by noted music journalist Gareth Murphy (Cowboys and Indies – The Epic History of the Record Industry and Siren Song: My Life in Music [with Seymour Stein]) which tells the fascinating story of how the record came together and includes brand new interviews with Andy Irvine, Paul Brady, Dónal Lunny and Kevin Burke, as well as testimonials from artists including Glen Hansard, Liam O’Maonlai, Brian MacGloinn of Ye Vagabonds, Daragh Lynch of Lankum, Consuelo Nerea Breschi and Lucie Azconaga of Varo, PJ Curtis and more.

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