San Patricio (feat. Ry Cooder)

San Patricio (feat. Ry Cooder)

The San Patricios were Irish immigrant soldiers who deserted the United States Army during the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848 and fought for the other side. The story so fascinated Chieftains leader Paddy Moloney that he and guitarist Ry Cooder decided to join forces and tell the story together. As a result, the album plays best in its entirety where one can hear the tale unwind and feel the general pace of the tunes, as many serve as complimentary pieces to each other. A number of Mexican musicians were employed (Los Tigres del Norte, Chavela Vargas) along with Linda Ronstadt, Liam Neeson, Galician bagpiper Carlos Nunez and orchestrator extraordinaire Van Dyke Parks. The songs move between Spanish and English and tell tales of unorthodox heroism and genuine love and loss. History offers no easy answers, but the beauty of songs such as “La Golondrina,” “The Sands of Mexico,” “Luz de Luna” with Chavela Vargas and “El Relampago” with Lila Downs make for musical transcendence no matter what the language.

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