Down the Old Plank Road

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
This soulful set of lovingly entangled Irish music, country, and bluegrass is not the first Chieftains album to explore the inextricable link between the Emerald Isle and American country. Down the Old Plank Road comes ten years after the quintessential Irish folk band's double-Grammy winner, Another Country, and a second volume of the sessions that produced this album is scheduled for release in early 2003. But the material unearthed here is as fresh as Kentucky bluegrass -- or Irish heather. Some jubilant instrumentals find Paddy Moloney's gracious boys ceding some hot picking to a who's who of American roots -- notably Earl Scruggs on an explosive rendition of "Sally ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
This soulful set of lovingly entangled Irish music, country, and bluegrass is not the first Chieftains album to explore the inextricable link between the Emerald Isle and American country. Down the Old Plank Road comes ten years after the quintessential Irish folk band's double-Grammy winner, Another Country, and a second volume of the sessions that produced this album is scheduled for release in early 2003. But the material unearthed here is as fresh as Kentucky bluegrass -- or Irish heather. Some jubilant instrumentals find Paddy Moloney's gracious boys ceding some hot picking to a who's who of American roots -- notably Earl Scruggs on an explosive rendition of "Sally Goodin," Bela Fleck's exhilarating dissertation on Irish reels "Bela's Reels", and the jaw-dropping displays of virtuosity on the ambitious album closer, "Give the Fiddler a Dram," which boasts the Big Sky sweep and unabashed frontier brio of an Aaron Copland piece. But nothing really tops the heartfelt singing on beautiful songs such as "Dark as a Dungeon" a prime Vince Gill moment and "Molly Ban," yet another stunning Alison Krauss reading of a haunting traditional tune. There's not a dull or rote performance to be found among the contributions from Buddy & Julie Miller, Martina McBride, Patty Griffin, Jeff White who energizes that old warhorse "The Tennessee Stud", Gillian Welch & David Rawlins, Lyle Lovett, Ricky Skaggs, and, on an earthy, folkish take of the title track an Uncle Dave Macon song dating back to 1926, a simpatico quartet comprised of Fleck, John Hiatt, Jeff White, and Tim O'Brien. After four decades at it, the Chieftans are still charting new musical vistas, and the jewels they've returned with from this voyage are earthy and life affirming.
All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
In the wake of the success of O Brother Where Art Thou?, this collaboration between Irish supergroup the Chieftains and some of country's best known neo-traditionalists was almost inevitable. Luckily for all involved, the idea actually makes a lot of sense too. Most of the ballads and work songs that were born in the Appalachian hills have deep roots in the traditional music of Scotland, England, and Ireland, and crying fiddles, ringing banjos, and tales of drunkenness, outlaws, and loss are woven deeply into both cultures' musical heritage. Through most of the tracks, the instrumentals work better than the vocal tracks, but the droning "Katie Dear" performed by the impeccable Gillian Welch and David Rawlings and Alison Krauss' mournful "Molly Bán" are both heart-wrenching and beautiful no matter what continent they came from. Other highlights include Béla Fleck's firey banjo rolls on a trio of reels, and the underrated Patty Griffin's turn on the traditional "Whole Heap of Little Horses." While the interpretations on Down the Old Plank Road turn out to be successes, the sum of these collaborations aren't as good as the Chieftains doing what they do best: traditional Irish music with subtle contemporary flourishes. Still, anyone who enjoys the music of any of the guests on this release will be pleased with the entire package; sweet and mournful, historic and unprecedented, fun and engaging all rolled into one.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/17/2002
  • Label: Imports
  • UPC: 090266397129
  • Catalog Number: 897609
  • Sales rank: 106,248

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Down the Old Plank Road - Jeff White (2:02)
  2. 2 Country Blues - Buddy Miller (3:15)
  3. 3 Sally Goodin (3:15)
  4. 4 Dark as a Dungeon - Vince Gill (3:25)
  5. 5 Cindy - Kentucky Thunder (2:38)
  6. 6 Molly Bán (Bawn) (4:48)
  7. 7 Don't Let Your Deal Go Down - Lyle Lovett (2:42)
  8. 8 Ladies Pantalettes/Belles of Blackville/First House in Connaught ... - Béla Fleck (4:17)
  9. 9 Whole Heap of Little Horses - Patty Griffin (2:46)
  10. 10 Rain and Snow - The Del McCoury Band (2:52)
  11. 11 I'll Be All Smiles Tonight - Martina McBride (4:30)
  12. 12 Tennessee Stud - Jeff White (3:08)
  13. 13 Katie Dear - David Rawlings (4:27)
  14. 14 Give the Fiddler a Dram (Finale) (10:18)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Chieftains Primary Artist
Alison Krauss Viola, Vocals, Background Vocals
Del McCoury Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Earl Scruggs Banjo
Ricky Skaggs Mandolin, Vocals
Marc Savoy Accordion
Derek Bell Harp, Keyboards, Tiompan
Matt Molloy Flute
John Hiatt Vocals
Lyle Lovett Vocals
Matt Rollings Piano
Glen Duncan Fiddle
Seán Keane Fiddle
Martina McBride Vocals
Julie Miller Vocals
Barry Bales Upright Bass
Mike Bub Upright Bass
Steve Buckingham Mountain Dulcimer
Kevin Conneff Vocals, Bodhran
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Béla Fleck Banjo
Shannon Forrest Percussion, Drums
Vince Gill Vocals
James Gilmer Percussion
Patty Griffin Vocals
John Hagen Cello
Viktor Krauss Upright Bass
Jeffrey Lesser Vocals
Paddy Moloney Vocals, uillean pipes, tin whistle
Rob McCoury Banjo
Ronnie McCoury Mandolin
Jim Mills Banjo
Tim O'Brien Mandolin, Vocals
Jeff Taylor Accordion
Jeff White Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Gillian Welch Vocals
Cody Kilby Acoustic Guitar
David Rawlings Vocals
Mark Fain Upright Bass
Randy Kohrs Dobro
Glenn Work Upright Bass
Bryan Sutton Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Mandolin, Claw Hammer Banjo
Andy Leftwich Fiddle
Technical Credits
Derek Bell Arranger
Matt Molloy Arranger
Seán Keane Arranger
Jimmie Driftwood Composer
Neal Cappellino Engineer
A.P. Carter Composer
Kevin Conneff Arranger
Tony Daigle Engineer
Jeffrey Lesser Engineer
Paddy Moloney Arranger, Producer
Brian Masterson Engineer
Jeff White Engineer
Leon Zervos Mastering
Kentucky Thunder Contributor
Traditional Composer
Erick Jaskowiak Engineer
John McBride Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Fine Fusion

    I suggest buying both of the Old Plank Road CDs together as I did. I do feel this is slightly weaker than the second session, although I am not sure why. Perhaps it's because a couple of Further Down's songs stick with more than these numbers. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down w/ Lyle Lovett would probably be my Number One pick on this CD. However, at this price you won't go wrong buying both sets.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Didn't know I wanted it until I saw it

    So glad I saw this CD on display in the music dept at my local B&N. Loved the fusion of the Chieftains and Nashville stars.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful collaborations

    This is a fantastic album. There is a wide of variety of guest artists almost all of whom work beautifully with The Chieftains. It was better than I thought it could be.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews