Essential Chieftains

The Essential Chieftains

by The Chieftains

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This double-disc collection from Ireland's most beloved traditional ensemble spans their lengthy history with tracks from 1977 to 2002, and neatly traverses their inclinations from Celtic conservationism to globe-trotting experimentation. The Essential Chieftains also does a good job in representing some of the star power that Paddy Moloney's men have managed…  See more details below


This double-disc collection from Ireland's most beloved traditional ensemble spans their lengthy history with tracks from 1977 to 2002, and neatly traverses their inclinations from Celtic conservationism to globe-trotting experimentation. The Essential Chieftains also does a good job in representing some of the star power that Paddy Moloney's men have managed to draw around their efforts. Five cuts from Down the Old Plank Road, their second trip to Nashville, spotlight Alison Krauss, Béla Fleck, Emmylou Harris, Edgar Meyer, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Buddy & Julie Miller, for starters. Tears of Stone, their all-star Irish effort, featured the Corrs and the Rankins, both cited here. Elsewhere in the '90s were collaborations with Linda Ronstadt, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithfull, Los Lobos, Ricky Skaggs, Ry Cooder, Sinéad O'Connor, Jackson Brown, and myriad film and concert orchestras. But things were not always thus, as the first disc in this collection reminds us. Treading lightly over material covered in depth on The Claddagh Years and other comps, The Essential culls late-'70s gems that show the streamlined proficiency of the group, whose definitive lineup includes Moloney, Sean Potts, Martin Fay, Kevin Conneff, Mick Turbidy, and the late harpist Derek Bell. Certainly no need for all the boldface names back then. Yet if this set spends more time tracking the ensemble's peregrinations from Ireland to France to China to Nashville (twice) and back, that -- along with the guest stars -- is an essential part of the Chieftains' story.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
RCA Legacy's The Essential Chieftains breaks the legendary Irish collective's career into two sections. The first disc focuses on 18 of the group's finest traditional works like "Boil the Breakfast Early," "The Wind That Shakes the Barley/The Reel with the Beryle," and "Donegal Set," while the second disc relies on 17 of the band's billion or so collaborations, such as "Mo Ghile Mear" with Sting, "Shenandoah" with Van Morrison, and "Foggy Dew" with Sinéad O'Connor. At this point in their long and storied career -- 40 albums over 40 years -- a truly comprehensive anthology would have required the box set to end all box sets, but this Essential collection is fair enough for purists and accessible enough for casual fans to fill the void until that time comes.

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Disc 1

  1. Lots of Drops of Brandy
  2. O'Sullivan's March (Theme from Rob Roy)
  3. An Poc Ar Buile/The Dingle Set
  4. Carolan's Concerto
  5. The Wind That Shakes the Barley/The Reel with the Beryle
  6. Sea Image
  7. Boil the Breakfast Early
  8. The Women of Ireland (Love Theme from Barry Lyndon)/The Morning Dew
  9. Full of Joy
  10. The Green Fields of America
  11. Santiago de Cuba
  12. The Donegal Set
  13. Jabadaw
  14. The Bells of Dublin/Christmas Eve
  15. The French March
  16. The Stone
  17. The Munster Cloak/Tabhair Dom Do Lamh (Give Me Your Hand)
  18. Chasing the Fox

Disc 2

  1. I Know My Name  -  Corrs
  2. Shenandoah  - Van Morrison
  3. Country Blues  - Buddy Miller
  4. Ladies Pantalettes/Belles of Blackville/First House of Connaught  - Béla Fleck
  5. The Foggy Dew  - Sinéad O'Connor
  6. Red Is the Rose  - Nanci Griffith
  7. The Squid Jiggin' Ground/Larry O'Gaff  -  Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  8. Lambs in the Greenfields  - Emmylou Harris
  9. Guadalupe  -  Lobos
  10. Mo Ghile Mear (Our Hero)  -  Sting
  11. Cotton-Eyed Joe
  12. Molly Bán (Bawn)
  13. Long Journey Home  -  Anúna
  14. Love Is Teasin'  - Marianne Faithfull
  15. The Rebel Jesus  - Jackson Browne
  16. Il Est Né/Ca Berger  - Kate McGarrigle
  17. Jimmy Mó Mhíle Stór

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chieftains   Primary Artist
Jerry Douglas   Guitar (Resonator)
Alison Krauss   Viola,Vocals
Ricky Skaggs   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Derek Bell   Piano,Harp,Harpsichord,Keyboards,Oboe,Medieval Harp,Irish Harp,Tiompan
Matt Molloy   Flute
Nanci Griffith   Vocals
Emmylou Harris   Vocals
Edgar Meyer   Bass
Jackson Browne   Piano,Vocals
Ry Cooder   Electric Guitar,Mandola,Mandocello
Elvis Costello   Vocals
Marianne Faithfull   Vocals
Linda Ronstadt   Vocals
Sting   Vocals
James Galway   Flute,tin whistle
Seán Keane   Fiddle,tin whistle
Julie Miller   Vocals
Daíthí Sproule   Guitar
Pancho Amat   Tres
Barry Bales   Upright Bass
James Blennerhassett   Double Bass
Liam Bradley   Drums
Noel Bridgeman   Percussion
Steve Buckingham   Mountain Dulcimer
Jean Butler   Dancer
Robbie Casserly   Drums
Kevin Conneff   Gong,Vocals,Bodhran
Ciarán Curran   Bouzouki
Clive Cuthbertson   Bass
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Dave Early   Drums
Noel Eccles   Drums
Keith Edwards   Drums
Jimmie Fadden   Harmonica,Drums
Martin Fay   Fiddle,Percussion,Trombone
Béla Fleck   Banjo
Shannon Forrest   Percussion,Drums
Bill Joe Foster   Banjo
Paddy Glackin   Fiddle
Jeff Hanna   Guitar,Vocals
Randy Harper   Keyboards
Jimmy Ibbotson   Guitar
Tommy Igoe   Drums
Keith Little   Guitar
Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez   Double Bass
Paddy Moloney   Accordion,uillean pipes,tin whistle
Anna McGarrigle   Vocals
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh   Fiddle
Buddy Miller   Vocals
Dominic Miller   Guitar
Van Morrison   Vocals
Billy Nichols   Vocals
Tim O'Brien   Mandolin
Máirtín O'Connor   Accordion
Sinéad O'Connor   Vocals
Sean Potts   Trombone,tin whistle
Tim Sargent   Lap Steel Guitar,pedabro
Jason Sellars   Bass
Ciarán Tourish   Fiddle
Fiachra Trench   Piano,Conductor,Hammond Organ
Michael Tubridy   Flute,Concertina,tin whistle
Jeff White   Acoustic Guitar
Glenn Worf   Upright Bass
Janet Harbison   Leader
John Morris Rankin   Piano
Joe Csibi   Bass
Carlos Núñez   Recorder,Human Whistle,Gaita,Bombard
Terry Tulley   Scottish Pipes
Kate McGarrigle   Vocals
Ashley MacIsaac   Fiddle,Dancer
Cookie Rankin   Vocals
Heather Rankin   Vocals
Jimmy Rankin   Guitar
Raylene Rankin   Vocals
David Flemming   Double Bass
Richard Egües   Flute
Seamus Begley   Accordion,Vocals
Randy Kohrs   Guitar (Resonator)
Michael McGlynn   Leader,Choir Director
Ruairi Somers   Bagpipes
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Claw Hammer Banjo
Roberto García   Percussion
Sharon Riley   Choir, Chorus
Caroline Corr   Vocals,Bodhran
Andrea Corr   Vocals,tin whistle
Sharon Corr   Fiddle,Vocals
Jim Corr   Guitar
Eoin O'Riabhaigh   Concertina
Dermot Byrne Blues Combo   Accordion
Shannon Forest   Percussion,Drums
James Blenner   Double Bass
Laurence Courtney   Banjo,Vocals
Daithí O Sé   Vocals

Technical Credits

Jackson Browne   Composer
Elvis Costello   Composer
National Philharmonic Orchestra   Contributor
Kevin Conneff   Arranger
Paddy Moloney   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Van Morrison   Arranger
Fiachra Trench   Orchestration
Michael Tubridy   Arranger
Mark Wilder   Mastering
Robert K. Oermann   Liner Notes
Corrs   Contributor
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Michael McGlynn   Choir Arrangement
Irish Film Orchestra   Contributor
Traditional   Composer
Chinese Ensemble of Yunnan Song & Dance Troupe   Contributor
Diana Clemente   Packaging Manager
Radio Telefis Éiran Orchestra   Contributor

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