Best of Altan

Best of Altan

by Altan
     
 

Altan are clear successors to the Bothy-Planxty-DeDannann dynasty, and perhaps more than any other Irish band, they've won the ardor of both purists and Celto-pop fans. Founder Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (that's "Marayed Nee Wheenie") is a fiddler with few peers, her woody tone -- with just the right hint of scratch -- is a true delight, as is her delicate golden voice. She… See more details below

Overview

Altan are clear successors to the Bothy-Planxty-DeDannann dynasty, and perhaps more than any other Irish band, they've won the ardor of both purists and Celto-pop fans. Founder Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (that's "Marayed Nee Wheenie") is a fiddler with few peers, her woody tone -- with just the right hint of scratch -- is a true delight, as is her delicate golden voice. She and late husband, flautist Frankie Kennedy, developed a core sound drawn from their shared Northern roots, then adorned it with Polish mazurkas, German barn dances, and other second-cousin styles. Impeccable, joyful playing is a given with Altan, winning them huge followings on both sides of the Atlantic, not to mention three consecutive "Celtic/British Isles Album of the Year" awards from the National Association of Independent Record Distributors (NAIRD), for THE RED CROW, HARVEST STORM, and ISLAND ANGEL. Each Altan CD could be called essential. What makes this best of a total must-have is the blazing bonus live disc, from a 1989 show. An Altan concert is a sublime experience, even if only on record.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
If you don't count the Chieftains, Altan is probably the most popular traditional Irish group in the world right now. And they continue to find favor among hardcore folkies where the Chieftains don't, since they resist the temptation to record albums with the likes of Roger Daltrey and Van Morrison. The band originally formed around the husband-and-wife nucleus of flutist Frankie Kennedy and fiddler/singer Maighread Ní Mhaonaigh, who recorded their first album in 1983. Other members joined the group over time, until it gradually hardened into the five-piece ensemble that is responsible for most of the music on this timely retrospective, which draws on the five Altan discs that have appeared on the Green Linnet label. All have been distinguished by exceptional energy and musicianship, and while some listeners will disagree with one or two programming choices, the selections here are all excellent; Ní Mhaonaigh's sweet singing is always a special highlight. Best of all, the first pressings include a bonus disc of live recordings -- a poignant addendum, given the tragic death of Frankie Kennedy from cancer in 1996. Very highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/21/1997
Label:
Green Linnet
UPC:
0048248117722
catalogNumber:
481177
Rank:
47792

Tracks

  1. Tommy Peoples/The Windmill/Fintan McManus's  -  Altan
  2. Moll Dubh A'Ghleanna  -  Altan
  3. Jimmy Lyon's/The Teelin/The Red Crow/The Broken Bridge  -  Altan
  4. The Sunset  -  Altan
  5. Glory Reel/The Heathery Cruach  -  Altan
  6. The Flower of Magherally  -  Altan
  7. Mazurka  -  Altan
  8. A Bhean Udal Thail  -  Altan
  9. King of the Pipers  -  Altan
  10. Sí Do Mhaimeo Í  -  Altan
  11. The Jug of Punch  -  Altan
  12. Emyvale/Ríl Gan Ainm/The Three Merry Sisters of Fate  -  Altan
  13. The Mhaighdean Mhara  -  Altan
  14. Dulaman  -  Altan
  15. Drowsy Maggie/Rakish Paddy/Harvest Storm  -  Altan
  16. An Feochán  -  Altan

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Altan   Primary Artist
Dónal Lunny   Keyboards,Bodhran
Frankie Kennedy   Flute,Background Vocals,Whistle (Instrument)
Daíthí Sproule   Guitar,Background Vocals
Ciarán Curran   Bouzouki,Guitar
Garvan Gallagher   Double Bass
Tom Hayes   Percussion,Jew's Harp,Bodhran,Shaker
Mark Kelly   Guitar,Background Vocals,Hi String
Liam Ó Maonlaí   Didjeridu
Paul O'Shaughnessy   Fiddle
Ciarán Tourish   Fiddle,Background Vocals,Whistle (Instrument)
Anna Ní Mhaonaigh   Background Vocals
Séamus Quinn   Piano
Dermot Byrne   Accordion
Marie Askin   Piano

Technical Credits

Altan   Arranger,Producer
Dónal Lunny   Producer,Engineer,Remastering
P.J. Curtis   Arranger,Producer
Dan Fitzgerald   Engineer
Brian Masterson   Producer,Engineer,Remastering
Earle Hitchner   Liner Notes
Paul Cunningham   Producer

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