One of the strongest of these musical elements was introduced by the artist Andy Irvine who, having spent some considerable time in The Balkans, returned to Ireland and introduced Eastern European music and time signatures to the ground breaking band 'Planxty' who then proceeded to record a number of these superbly crafted instrumental tracks. Andy, who was a founder member of both Planxty and later Patrick Street, continued to blend Eastern European and Irish Celtic music over many years and introduced it to many Irish musicians.
It is thus that TARA would like to bring to your attention five precursor albums to Riverdance. The musical elements and instruments are easily recognisable in their influence on the Riverdance music and virtually all the musicians involved were at some point part of the Riverdance phenomenon.
Bill Whelan - The Seville SuiteBill Whelan's first major orchestral work The Seville Suite was inspired by the exploits of 'Red' Hugh O'Donnell, The Earl of Tirconaill - from The Battle of Kinsale until his eventual arrival in Galicia to the celebratory welcome of The Spanish Earl of Caraçena. The soloists who contribute invaluably to The Seville Suite are all outstanding musicians in their own field. Davy Spillane on Uilleann Pipes, Máirtín O'Connor on Accordion, Mel Mercier on Bodhrán, Mairéad Nesbitt on Fiddle. Harp, Whistles and Galician Pipes are performed by the Spanish traditional group Milladoiro.
The album also features a re-recording of 'Timedance' which was performed by Planxty (including Bill) for the interval of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest which was staged in Dublin. This re-recording features Planxty musicians Liam O'Flynn, Donal Lunny and Andy Irvine as well as Nollaig Casey on fiddle. Read More
Andy Irvine & Davy Spillane - East Wind (Tara 3027)This would be a culminating album for Andy Irvine that perfectly combines Eastern European and Irish Celtic music. This album was produced and arranged by Riverdance composer Bill Whelan and many of the musicians on the album includinf uilleann piper Davy Spillane were later part of the Riverdance Experience. Read More
Davy Spillane - Out Of The Air (Tara 2017) & Pipedreams (Tara 3026)Davy is a master uilleann (Irish) pipe and Low Whistle Player. He has been a featured musician on albums for such artists as Van Morrision, Chris Rea, Emmylou Harris, Gerry Rafferty, Kate Bush, Elvis Costello, and Enya. There was quiet simply no better artist than Davy to play these mystical instruments for the Riverdance recording. It is interesting to note on the track 'Mystic Seacliffs', composed by Bill Whelan, where the elements of Riverdance composer and artist have been previously combined. Read More