Andy Irvine and Paul Brady

Andy Irvine and Paul Brady

Andy Irvine and Paul Brady had already made history together on the Irish folk scene as members of Planxty when they recorded this 1976 duo album (with help from fiddler Kevin Burke and fellow Planxty alumnus Donal Lunny). But this record would come to be regarded as a milestone of traditional Irish music rivaling even Planxty's output. Wielding guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, hurdy gurdy, harmonium, and more, Irvine and Brady tackle trad material (plus one Irvine original, "Autumn Gold") with a perfect blend of poignancy and punch. The rugged riffs of the opening tune, "Plains of Kildare," introduce the album on a visceral note, while the almost unearthly-sounding combination of Brady's keening tenor and Irvine's ghostly hurdy gurdy creates a haunting tension on "Lough Erne Shore." Brady's solo turn here on "Arthur McBride" has become an Irish folk classic unto itself, with his fleet fingerpicking evoking acoustic Richard Thompson. Irvine's reflective "Autumn Gold," the only non-trad tune, offers a touch of melodic contrast without straying too far from the old-school folk feel.

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