Masters Of Their Craft



Masters Of Their Craft

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Masters Of Their Craft is a compilation release on the Tara Music label containing eighteen tracks from some of the foremost artists and groups in the world of Irish music.
Over the last thirty years Tara Music has been privileged to have recorded and worked with artists such as Clannad, Planxty, Shaun Davey, Stockton’s Wing, Christy Moore, Moving Hearts and many more. This compilation portrays these artists performing at their best, with their music spanning genres from World Music to Contempory Irish and Folk.

Much of the music on this album has successfully pushed the musical boundaries of Irish traditional music to a more contempory level. This would be depicted by composer Shaun Davey composing music for Irish Uilleann Pipes and Orchestra, or Andy Irvine for the introduction and integration of Bulgarian dance tunes into Planxty’s repertoire, or the fusion of Irish and Spanish pipes music with Liam O’Flynn and Carlos Núñez……. the examples are many.

This album contains tracks from: master uilleann piper Liam O’Flynn with An Droichead (The Bridge) featuring Mark Knopfler, and composed for the inauguration of Ireland’s Presedent, Mary McAleese. Top Galician piper Carlos Núñez also features with Liam on Muiñeira de Poio / Muiñeira de Ourense. Ireland’s first supergroup Planxty recorded two outstanding albums on the Tara label which included the tracks The Good Ship Kangaroo and Smeceno Horo.
Leading Irish composer Shaun Davey is represented with Dia Do Bheathasa and May We Never Have To Say Goodbye from the music he composed for the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics in Ireland in 2003.
One of the first artists to record on the Tara label was a young folk singer by the name of Christy Moore with songs like The Crack Was Ninety In The Isle Of Man and Black Is The Colour Of My True Love's Hair. Another supergroup to record for Tara was the family group from Donegal - Clannad, and here they perform An tUll and Mhórag's Na Horo Gheallaidh. Whistle player and piper Davy Spillane made his name with Moving Hearts before recording a number of solo albums for Tara, here he is joined by Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas for Daire's Dream and Atlantic Bridge.
World renowned Stockton’s Wing perform their first big hit song Beautiful Affair and a rousing set of tunes The Rossclogher Jigs. The enchanting voice of the often underrated Rita Connolly presents Ripples In The Rockpools and Amiens, both composed by Shaun Davey
Also included are tracks by the innovative Moving Hearts performing The Storm and the superb fiddle and guitar duo Nollaig Casey & Arty McGlynn with Jack Palance's Reel.

"The theme of boundary pushing is the focus of the album which opens to Moving Hearts title track from ‘The Storm’ (1985), founded in 1981 by Dónal Lunny (bouzouki) and Christy Moore (vocals and bodhrán) they blended traditional with a very modern sound which again pushed traditional Irish music to a more contemporary level....
The album is well rounded in selections and some speak louder than others but this is, as always, dependent on the listener. It does offer diversity and you do feel the stretch of time…some have greater longevity than others but for me Planxty still are the most ground-breaking traditional Irish band and their music spoke loud and clear on this album as did Christy Moore’s early live album. But I also know for a fact there will be those who find this album a nostalgic trip down memory lane so go on and enjoy it!
Folk Radio UK - Read full review HERE

Over their many years in music production, Tara Music have recorded some of the best and biggest names in Irish music. Many of these performers started their professional careers with Tara and this compilation reflects the wealth of talent that have passed through their doors. Christy Moore, Planxty, Clannad, Stockton's Wing and Davy Spillane amongst many others all started their recording careers with Tara and, as we all know, the rest is history!

As compilations go, this is a varied collection – from the classic sound of Planxty's Smeceno Horo to the classical sound of Shaun Davey's May We Never Have To Say Goodbye and all points in between. There is plenty here to suit all tastes - the rocky piping of The Storm by Davy Spillane, the fun of a live version of The Craic Was 90 In The Isle Of Man from a very young sounding Christy Moore, the clarity of Liam O'Flynn and Carlos Nunez's piping in Muiñeira De Poio / Muiñeira De Ourense, timeless tracks like Mhórag's Na Horo Gheallaidh from Clannad and many, many more.

Plenty of other greats are featured on the CD - Moving Hearts, Rita Connolly, Nollaig Casey and Arty McGlynn.

The liner notes give us information on the original albums from which the tracks are taken, along with some background information on the artists themselves.

Altogether a superb collection - 18 tracks of some of the best ground breaking artists of their time, many of whom continue to greatly influence the direction of Irish music today. Well done to Tara Music for what is a great sampler of their back catalogue.

Jim Byrne - The Living Tradition


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