- The Last of the Irish Rover
- The Star of the County Down
- Orange and the Green
- My Boy Willie
- Donald Where's Your Trousers?
- Tied Up With a Black Velvet Band
- Turra Market
- The Lovely Isle of Innisfree
- Lily the Pink
- Whiskey on a Sunday (The Puppet Song)
- The Jigs: Sweet Biddy Daly/Tatter Jack Walsh/The Rakes of Kildare/The ...
- The Gypsy Rover
- Good Luck to the Barleymow
- The Unicorn
- Muirsheen Durkin
- The Caltan Weaver
- Rolling Home to Ireland
- Wasn't That a Party?
There's an eight-page booklet of liner notes in this anthology, but nowhere in the notes or on the case does it say precisely when these 18 tracks were recorded. That's never a good sign when you're deciding which one or two anthologies of an artist's work to start with. It does emerge in passing in the liners that these are "new recordings of their classic favorites" made after the Irish Rovers formed their own Rover Records label in the late 1980s. The original versions would be preferable to these, though it's still competent and well-recorded, if predictable and relatively slick, traditional Irish music, usually with a rousing bent. It's not strictly traditional, of course; there's a re-recording of Shel Silverstein's "The Unicorn" (which they took to the Top Ten in 1968), a cover of the Scaffold's arrangement of "Lily the Pink," and Tom Paxton's "Wasn't That a Party?" (which has a very slight pop
ock feel with the slide guitar and less avowedly Irish rhythm).
Performance CreditsIrish Rovers Primary Artist
Michael Creber Piano
Rodger Mitchell Drums
Wilcil McDowell Accordion,Keyboards
George Millar Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Joe Millar Bass,Vocals,Human Whistle,Button Accordion
Jim Ferguson Vocals
Technical CreditsScaffold Arranger,Adaptation
Joseph F. Laredo Liner Notes
Wilcil McDowell Arranger,Adaptation
George Millar Arranger,Producer,Adaptation
Joe Millar Arranger,Adaptation
Bill Pitzonka Art Direction
Rick Salt Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Though the Rovers' fame as Irish folk-artists has been eclipsed in the past few decades by The Chieftans, among others, their legacy as an immensely popular act throughout the '60s has allowed them to retain a strong following to this day. Having originally formed in Canada (to which they'd emigrated from various parts of Ireland), they quickly found their way into the folk clubs of the early-1960s USA, where they added Irish roots to the then-booming folk-revival scene. ¶ Most American listeners will know the Rovers only from their 1968 hit single of Shel Silverstein's "The Unicorn," or their early '80s recording of Tom Paxton's "Wasn't That a Party?" But their back catalog is filled with Irish ballads, drinking songs and family stories, accompanied by classic Irish guitar, whistle, accordion and multi-part singing. The Rovers typically avoided political statement (being a mixed band of Protestants and Catholics), though songs like "Orange and Green" do comment obliquely on The Troubles. ¶ This newly recorded release finds the Rovers still in strong voice, and as joyous as ever. Only Will Millar is missing from the original lineup (he left the group in 1995), and new members, John Reynolds, Wallace Hood and Sean O'Driscoll all make strong contributions. These tracks appear to have been recorded in the mid-90s (the liner notes to do not say, but with Millar's absence and Jim Ferguson's presence, and noting that Ferguson passed away in 1997, 1996 seems likely), and revisit many of the Rovers' best-loved songs. ¶ 3-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings.
The Irish Rovers will stir you, with their great instramentals, rowdy, and playfull songs.