Andy Irvine (musician)
|Birth name||Andrew Kennedy Irvine|
|Born||14 June 1942|
|Origin||St John's Wood, London, England|
|Genres||Folk, Traditional Irish|
|Instruments||Vocals, mandolin, mandola, harmonica, bouzouki, guitar-bodied bouzouki and hurdy gurdy|
|Associated acts||Sweeney's Men, Planxty, Patrick Street, Mozaik, LAPD|
Andrew Kennedy 'Andy' Irvine is an Irish folk musician, singer-songwriter, and a founding member of the popular bands Planxty and Patrick Street. He is an accomplished player of the mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, guitar-bodied bouzouki, harmonica and hurdy gurdy.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Woody Guthrie influences
- 3 Music career
- 3.1 1960s
- 3.2 1970s
- 3.3 1980s
- 3.4 1990s
- 3.5 2000s
- 3.6 2010s
- 4 Commitment to social justice
- 5 Selected discography
- 6 Summary of recordings
- 7 References
- 8 External links
His mother was an actress and, as a child, Irvine made a few minor appearances on stage and in films, such as A Tale of Five Cities with Gina Lollobrigida, Bonar Colleano and Barbara Kelly, in 1951 and Room At The Top with Laurence Harvey, in 1959. He also starred in a TV series:36–37 but gave up acting in his early twenties, after two years with 'The Rep',:41 the BBC's Repertory Company.
As a teenager, he studied classical guitar, initially with Julian Bream and later under one of Bream's pupils:36 but switched to folk music after discovering Woody Guthrie during the Skiffle boom of the 1950s.:39 Guthrie was to become an enduring influence on his music, on his choice of additional instruments (mandolin and harmonica) and general outlook on life.:38–40
Woody Guthrie influences
"He had two EPs and I thought: 'That's it!' (...) On the back of the jacket, I read that Donegan learned these wonderful songs from the recordings of Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston. This fired my youthful imagination and I wanted so badly to hear the originals. (...)
In 1957, [I got] this record called More Songs By Woody Guthrie And Cisco Houston:19 and it blew my mind. (...) Eventually, I bought Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads, the original 78s, in mint condition for $40 each. (...)
I used to sit all day, alone, and listen to Woody Guthrie and practise. I was playing with my thumb. I didn't know anything about a flatpick, but I could do the best imitation of Woody. (...) I wanted to play every instrument he played. That's why I took up the harmonica and mandolin. When I discovered Irish and British music, I figured out how to adapt my basic Woody Guthrie 'scratch' style on guitar to playing traditional songs on the mandolin.":20
About learning the harmonica, Irvine later explained:
"Ramblin' Jack Elliott (...) gave me the crucial information that Woody Guthrie used to play the harp upside down!! Apparently so did the southern blues players of that period. There is no dis/advantage in this but I'm glad I learned to play it upside down like Woody!"
In a 2000 interview,:14 Irvine added:
"I never met Woody, but I corresponded with him in hospital. (...) The kind of values that Woody represented are one of my great passions."
In 1962, when his two-year contract with the BBC's 'Rep' ended,:41 Irvine moved to Dublin and began the itinerant life of a musician and modern-day minstrel. He found musical influences in the likes of Ewan MacColl (notably the songs he wrote for his radio-ballads) and also spent many hours at the National Library, scouring old songbooks like the Child Ballads and Sam Henry's Songs of the People.:44
Gravitating around Paddy and Maureen O'Donoghue's pub:42–45 in Merrion Row, he met like-minded people such as Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew and also Johnny Moynihan, with whom he formed a musical partnership which, with the addition of 'Galway Joe' Dolan, turned into Sweeney's Men in 1966.:63–77 "They merged the familiar American folk style so popular in the early sixties with a distinctively home-grown Irish flavour; it was not Irish music but it was real and exciting, it had verve, imagination and style.":35
In 1996, Irvine wrote:
"A lot of early Sweeney influence came from the recordings of Old Timey American musicians from the twenties and thirties. Johnny and I tried to emulate 5-string banjos and mountainy fiddles on our open-tuned mandolins and bouzoukis. Later, after being strongly affected by Charles Parker's BBC Radio Ballads with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger–notably Singing The Fishing–we began to incorporate this style into Irish and Scottish songs. (...)
The bouzouki-mandolin interplay, which later became a strong feature of Planxty, was "invented" one evening in Johnny's family kitchen in Dalymount, Dublin, as we strove to find an accompaniment for Rattlin' Roarin' Willy."
In June 1967, Dolan departed for Israel and the six-day war (famously arriving on the seventh!),:72 and was replaced by Terry Woods (later of Steeleye Span and The Pogues). After recording several singles and an album, Irvine left the band in the spring of 1968 and headed off to Eastern Europe.:76–77 He later wrote several songs about his experiences there: Băneasă's Green Glade,:98–100 which was recorded in 1974 by Planxty; Autumn Gold,:29–30 which he recorded in 1976 with Paul Brady and Rainy Sundays,:72–76 which he recorded in 1980 on his debut solo album, Rainy Sundays... Windy Dreams.
During a series of journeys criss-crossing Southeastern and Central Europe (Istanbul, Bulgaria, Romania and Ljubljana),:79–80 he soaked up the local musical influences, mainly of Bulgarian traditional music,:80 which would re-emerge in later projects (notably with the recording of the album East Wind and with the creation of the two multicultural, similarly-named bands Mosaic and Mozaik; see below). These influences would also have a profound impact on the sound of contemporary Irish music, even including (via Bill Whelan) the original Riverdance score.:296–300:39–41
While in Ljubljana, he met Rens van der Zalm, a young, classically-trained violinist from the Netherlands who also played guitar, mandolin, piano, accordion and tin whistle; they would later join forces in several of Irvine's projects.:67–69
Duo with Dónal Lunny
By that time, Irvine had put together his own version of The Blacksmith, followed by a self-penned instrumental piece:81 in the Bulgarian rhythm of 5/8, which would later be given the title of Blacksmithereens. He met Dónal Lunny and played with him as a duo for a while, after an initial gig at a party for the Irish-Soviet Union Friendship conference organized by Seán Mac Réamoinn: :84
"Ten minutes before we went on, we arranged two pieces, one of which was Reynard The Fox and probably Dónal's (...) When First unto this Country. (...) We went on stage and he was the best musician I had played with up to that point, and the quickest. (...) I saw the speed at which Dónal picked up on the way I was doing something and that was the first insight I had into what a great musician he was.":84
Before too long, Irvine got his big break. Christy Moore, who had moved to England during the National Bank Strike of 1966,:54 had become an established musician in the British folk music scene and even recorded his first album there in 1969, Paddy on the Road, at the Sound Techniques studio in Chelsea.:58-59 After that, Moore decided to record his second album in Ireland and, among the musicians he asked to perform with him were: Irvine, Lunny, and uilleann piper Liam O'Flynn. The album, Prosperous,:86–91 was recorded by Bill Leader who had brought his mobile recording unit (a Revox tape machine and two microphones:35) to Ireland in the summer of 1971.:86 In the words of Colin Irwin: "Prosperous took the suggestions offered by Sweeney's Men and sprinted off with them. (...) Here, Liam O'Flynn's dexterous pipering merged blissfully with Andy Irvine's mandolin and Dónal Lunny's rhythmic bouzouki to form a complex, beautiful diversion for the voice of Christy Moore".:35–36 This was released as an album by Moore, but the four musicians soon thereafter formed Planxty in January 1972, to be managed by Des Kelly.:99
The group was an instant success, signing a six-record contract and touring throughout Europe. They played mostly traditional songs and tunes, but several were Irvine compositions, making him the lone composer of the band. Instrumentally the group was notable for the intricate bouzouki and mandolin counterpoint of Lunny and Irvine, along with O'Flynn's exceptional pipering; Irvine and Moore (who also played guitar) were the principal vocalists. After two albums (Planxty:130–145 and The Well Below The Valley,:169–181 both released in 1973), Lunny left the group and was replaced by Moynihan. After a third album together (Cold Blow And The Rainy Night,:191–202 released in 1974), Moore departed and was replaced by Strabane native Paul Brady but, three and a half years after its formation, Planxty broke up in the summer of 1975, substantially in debt.
Duo with Paul Brady
Irvine continued to tour with Brady, including a series of concerts in the USA in 1977 (Irvine's first ever visit there) highlighted by a very successful gig at the Town Hall in New York. Irvine was also invited by Alec Finn to join De Dannan after Dolores Keane had left, but he soon had to relinquish this new venture because of scheduling conflicts.:243 Nonetheless, Irvine performed with De Dannan at 'The 3rd Irish Folk Festival' in Germany on April 30, 1976, playing Martinmas Time/Danny O'Brien's Hornpipe, Maíre Rua/Hardiman The Fiddler, The Emigrant's Farewell, The Boys of Ballysodare and The Plains of Kildare.
In August 1976, Irvine and Brady recorded an album together at the Rockfield Studios, Andy Irvine and Paul Brady,:243–247 produced by Lunny who also plays on most tracks, and with Kevin Burke on fiddle.
Irvine opens the album with his breathtaking arrangement of Plains Of Kildare::22–23 an instrumental intro in 6/8 time (jig) leads into the song, which is in 3/4 time for the first six verses until an elegant transition takes us into the instrumental middle eight played in the Bulgarian rachenitsa rhythm of 7/8 time (2-2-3) which aptly suggests the gallop of racing horses, then back in 3/4 (as the horses slow down!) for the final verse prior to the finale, again in 6/8. On Lough Erne Shore, sung by Brady, Irvine provides an ingenious accompaniment on hurdy gurdy that implies the instrument's drones are capable of playing chords. Years later, Irvine explained: "I recorded three different drones on the hurdy gurdy and we cross faded them on the mix to fit the chords. It's very subtle and you may not hear it but I thought it gave it a great feeling."
The album continues with Fred Finn's Reel/Sailing Into Walpole's Marsh, reels played by Brady (guitar), Irvine (bouzouki), Burke (fiddle) and Lunny (bodhrán). Bonny Woodhall:24–25 is Irvine's interpretation of Bonny Woodha' (H476 in Sam Henry's Songs of the People:84), which he also set to new music. Then come Arthur McBride and The Jolly Soldier/The Blarney Pilgrim, sung by Brady. Autumn Gold by Irvine, Mary And The Soldier by Brady, Streets Of Derry by Irvine, Martinmas Time by Irvine and The Little Stack Of Wheat by Brady.
Duo with Mick Hanly
Irvine also toured extensively in Europe with Mick Hanly, including at 'The 4th Irish Folk Festival' in Germany on April 30, 1977. They started their set with Irvine performing a full version of Johnny Cope: first the song,:24–25 followed by the 6-part hornpipe of the same name, which Irvine played complete on bouzouki. Hanly then sang A Kiss In The Morning Early and Irvine followed with Bonny Woodhall, accompanying himself on Fylde 'Octavius' bouzouki (with the bottom two courses strung in octave); this recording of Bonny Woodhall would later appear as a bonus track on the CD version of Rainy Sundays... Windy Dreams. Their set ends with Hanly singing John Barleycorn and The Verdant Braes of Skreen.
The following year, Irvine and Hanly were joined on stage by Liam O'Flynn at 'The 5th Irish Folk Festival' in Germany on April 28, 1978, playing I Buried My Wife And Danced On Top Of Her, a jig learnt from the great uilleann piper Willie Clancy; Molly Bawn, sung by Irvine; Brian O'Lynn/Sean Bun; I Courted A Wee Girl; The Longford Weaver sung by Irvine accompanying himself on hurdy gurdy and harmonica; and Masters Return/Kittie's Wedding.
A couple of years later, in 1980, Hanly released his second solo album As I Went Over Blackwater, featuring Irvine on four tracks: Jack Haggerty (harmonicas), The Guerriere and The Consitution (harmony vocals and a superb hurdy gurdy accompaniment, suggesting an aural impression of tall ships in motion), Every Circumstance (mandolin) and Miss Bailey/Jessica's Polka (harmonica).
Paul Brady's Welcome Here Kind Stranger
On Friday 21 July 1978, Brady launched his album Welcome Here Kind Stranger with a concert in the auditorium of Liberty Hall in Dublin. He decided to record the concert on his own domestic Akai reel-to-reel tape machine with Brian Masterson in attendance, who had engineered the album and was doing the sound that night.
Performing along with him were: Lunny, O'Flynn, Paddy Glackin, Matt Molloy, Noel Hill and Irvine, who played on nine of the ten numbers performed that night: Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore (harmonica, mandolin); I Am A Youth That's Inclined To Ramble (hurdy gurdy); The Creel/Out The Door And Over The Wall (mandolin, bouzouki); The Jolly Soldier/The Blarney Pilgrim (harmonica, bouzouki); Mary And The Soldier (mandolin, harmonica); Jackson And Jane (hurdy gurdy); Don't Come Again (mandolin); The Lakes Of Pontchartrain (bouzouki); The Crooked Road To Dublin (Portuguese guitarra with only 8 tuners [4 removed], re-strung with 4 courses and tuned like a mandola). After the concert, Brady took the tapes home, put them somewhere so safe that he only found them again in November 2000, still in good enough condition to be transferred onto CD!
Planxty After The Break
By the autumn of 1978,:256 Christy Moore was ready to reform the original Planxty line-up, complete with Lunny, who brought along flutist Matt Molloy from The Bothy Band, and rehearsals began on Tuesday, 19 September 1978.:259 Planxty recorded three further albums (After The Break,:262–268 released in 1979, The Woman I Loved So Well,:275–281 released in 1980 and Words & Music,:301–304 released in 1983).
Rainy Sundays... Windy Dreams
At the end of 1979, Irvine recorded his first solo album: Rainy Sundays... Windy Dreams, produced by Dónal Lunny and released on Tara Records in 1980.:274 Personnel included Irvine, Lunny, O'Flynn, Brady (guitar and piano), Frankie Gavin (fiddle), Rick Epping (accordion, harmonica, jaw harp), John Wadham (bongo and congas), Paul Barrett (Fender Rhodes and Polymoog), Keith Donald (soprano sax) and Lucienne Purcell (vocals). As was to be expected, this first solo album showcased songs and tunes from two of his main influences: side one (on the 33rpm, vinyl LP) featured pieces inspired by the Irish tradition while side two luxuriated in Balkan music played by some of the most adventurous Irish musicians of the time.
The album opens with a trilogy of songs (The Emigrants), made of: The Green Fields Of Amerikay (which Irvine learnt from Len Graham), Farewell To Old Ireland:56–58 (Irvine's adaptation of The Emigrant's Farewell, H743:200 from Sam Henry's collection) and Edward Connors:60–62 (which Irvine learnt from Eddie Butcher of Magilligan in County Londonderry.) Then comes The Longford Weaver:62–64 (H745:47 in Sam Henry's, where it is also known as Long Cookstown or Nancy Whiskey) and the Irish set concludes with Farewell To Balleymoney:66–67 (H615:343 in Sam Henry's).
The Balkan set begins with Romanian Song (Blood and Gold),:68–69 based on a Romanian song collected by Béla Bartók, re-written by Irvine and Jane Cassidy and set to the music of a Bulgarian dance tune in the 'paidushka' rhythm of 5/16; the song then segues into Paidushko Horo, an extensive collection of musical phrases borrowed from Bulgarian dance tunes in that rhythm and performed at breakneck speed. On to King Bore And The Sandman,:70–72 Irvine's energetic lament about his times in Bucharest and "dedicated to the man, in the public house, we are always trying to avoid" and, finally, to the self-penned Rainy Sundays,:72–76 reminiscing about a young lady called Vida and "a one-sided romance in Ljubljana years ago.":72
The High Kings of Tara
In 1980, Tara Records released The High Kings of Tara, a compilation album showcasing tracks previously released by some of its artists: Shaun Davey, Oisín, Jolyon Jackson, Paddy Glackin, Paddy Keenan, Stockton's Wing and Christy Moore.
This album also included previously unreleased tracks by Planxty, Irvine and Moore. Of these, Irvine's The Bonny Light Horseman and a set of reels by Planxty, Lord McDonald/The Chattering Magpie, were subsequently added to the CD version of After The Break. The other tracks were a set of jigs by Planxty with Matt Molloy on board (First Slip/Hardyman The Fiddler A&B/The Yellow Wattle) and General Monroe, a majestic, traditional song re-arranged by Irvine (bouzouki, harmonica) in duet with Lunny (guitar), about Henry Munro who was chosen to lead the insurgents of County Down in the 1798 rebellion and who, defeated at the battle of Ballynahinch on 13 June 1798, was hanged in front of his house three days later.:53–55
Parallel Lines with Dick Gaughan
In 1981, Irvine and Dick Gaughan recorded Parallel Lines, released on the German FolkFreak label in 1982. Personnel included Irvine, Gaughan, Nollaig Casey (fiddle), Martin Buschmann (saxophone), Judith Jaenicke (flute) and Bob Lenox (Fender Rhodes piano). Tracks were: The Creggan White Hare:79–81 by Irvine, The Lads O' The Fair/ Leith Docks by Gaughan, At Twenty-One:82–83 by Irvine, My Back Pages/Afterthoughts by Gaughan, The Dodger's Song:91–92 by Irvine, Captain Thunderbolt:87–90 by Irvine, Captain Colston:85–86 by Irvine, Floo'ers O' The Forest by Gaughan.
Planxty again broke up at the end of April 1983,:306:21 and Irvine resumed his solo career, playing occasionally with Arty McGlynn and Nollaig Casey and also travelling to Hungary, where he played and fraternized with local musicians: "First I met Kolinda with the beautiful voice of Ágnes Zsigimondi and then I ran into Muzsikás, who would become my firm friends."
In the winter of 1984,:11 Irvine gathered a collection of musicians from throughout Europe and formed 'Mosaic', with a final line-up including Irvine himself, Dónal Lunny along with his former Moving Hearts associate, uilleann piper Declan Masterson, Danish bassist and singer Lissa Ladefoged, Dutch guitarist and singer Hans Theesink, and Hungarian singer Márta Sebestyén from Muzsikás.
Their first public gig was in Budapest on 12 July 1985,:11 followed by a further two gigs in Hungary and an appearance at the Dranouter festival in Belgium in early August, prior to their English tour. Their seventh gig was billed at the Southport Arts Center, which Chris Hardwick of Folk Roots reviewed with the following introduction: "Every once in a while the folk scene throws up a new permutation in which exceptionally gifted individuals come together to produce something so innovative and exhilarating that it goes way beyond the sum of the parts".:42–43
Their set included: Stan Rogers's Northwest Passage, an unspecified Macedonian dance tune ("one of Andy's 90 mph specials":43), a solo Hungarian love song from Sebestyén, a brooding cover of Eric Von Schmidt's Caribbean lament Joshua Gone Barbados from Theesink, the Irish three (Irvine, Lunny and Masterson) on a set of reels including The Spike Island Lasses, and Irvine singing Andy Mitchell's Indiana. However, the band lasted only that one summer. A couple of years later,:15 Irvine stated that he would have liked to try the experiment again by concentrating on the Irish and East European sound without bringing in the blues influence.
Also in 1985, Irvine joined up with fiddler Kevin Burke and guitarist Mícheál Ó Domhnaill (who had been gigging together around America for some time) and toured as a trio in the USA. When Ó Domhnaill wasn't available for some of the dates, guitarist/vocalist Gerry O'Beirne stepped in.:34–35 "This tour was such fun and so successful that we decided to expand the outfit into a four-piece by adding Jackie Daly", Irvine wrote.
Originally billed on a 1986 American tour as "The Legends of Irish Music", they soon chose to call themselves Patrick Street.:34 The line-up for the band underwent several changes, but always included Irvine, Burke, and Daly, with the guitar role eventually passing from O'Beirne to Arty McGlynn, then to Ged Foley and back to McGlynn once again. Agreed to as a part-time band, they have nevertheless recorded eight studio albums together, plus one live album (Live from Patrick Street) and two compilations (The Best of Patrick Street and Compendium: The Best of Patrick Street). After Jackie Daly retired from Patrick Street, John Carty joined on fiddle, flute and tenor banjo in time to record On The Fly, released in 2007.
On their first album, Patrick Street, released in 1986, Irvine sings four songs: the traditional Patrick Street set to new music by the band, Gerry O'Beirne's The Holy Ground, Andy Mitchell's Indiana (which is introduced by Irvine's own instrumental composition, The Dream) and Colum Sands' The Man with the Cap.
No. 2, Patrick Street, released in 1988, again features four songs sung by Irvine: Tom Joad (his adaptation of Woody Guthrie's two-part The Ballad of Tom Joad), Facing the Chair, his composition about Sacco and Vanzetti and two traditional songs, Braes of Moneymore and William Taylor.
Their third album, Irish Times, released in 1989, includes three songs sung by Irvine: Brackagh Hill, a traditional song of emigration he set to new music; A Forgotten Hero, his composition about Michael Davitt and the traditional The Humours of the King of Ballyhooley.
Playing style described in The Irish Bouzouki
"[He] plays the bouzouki in a very melodic style, using a lot of sustain. He creates this by hitting the strings individually, allowing them to ring rather than using heavy chording. His style involves using intricate counter-melody which greatly fills out the sound, especially when used in a duet or group situation using two bouzoukis or bouzouki and mandolin. Good examples of this can be found on Planxty albums or [his] solo album, Rainy Sundays... Windy Dreams. [He] is constantly experimenting, trying to find new sounds. He searches for new chords or chord formations, plays a guitar-shaped bouzouki and uses a wound or covered second (A) string which results in a much mellower, sweeter tone."
The tutor also provided simple scores and lyrics for two of Irvine's songs: Brackagh Hill (which he recorded with Patrick Street on the album Irish Times released the same year) and Bridget,:93–96 a song written by Jane Cassidy which he never released elsewhere. The cassette accompanying this tutor provided both songs, with Irvine accompanying himself on bouzouki.:38–41
In December 1990 and January 1991, Irvine recorded his second solo album, Rude Awakening, produced by Bill Whelan with a line-up that included Whelan (keyboards), Rens van der Zalm (fiddle, mandolin, guitar), Carl Geraghty (soprano saxophone), Arty McGlynn (guitar), Davy Spillane (whistle) and Fionnuala Sherry (fiddle).
This album features Irvine's tribute song to Woody Guthrie (Never Tire Of The Road) alongside mainly self-penned material celebrating some of his other heroes: WW2 Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, Union organizer James Connolly (a traditional song for which Irvine wrote new music), Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata (Viva Zapata!), Michael Dwyer (Michael Dwyer's Escape), Antarctic explorers Douglas Mawson and Aeneas Mackintosh (Rude Awakening) and American novelist Sinclair Lewis (The Whole Damn Thing). The only other traditional song is Allan McLean, for which Irvine wrote new music also. The sleeve notes of Love To Be With You, a poignant song of longing, show a faded, black & white photo of Vida, the heroine of Rainy Sundays,:72–76 his song from ten years earlier. The album was released in 1991 on Green Linnet Records.
Then, Irvine played some Balkan tunes to Whelan and mentioned his aspiration to record them. So, shortly thereafter, he was rehearsing again with Davy Spillane (uilleann pipes and low whistle) to record East Wind, a collection of Bulgarian and Macedonian tunes played Irish-style and produced by Whelan, who also contributed keyboards and piano.
The extensive line-up included Nikola Parov on Bulgarian instruments (gadulka, kaval, gaida) & Greek bouzouki, Máirtín O'Connor (accordion), Noel Eccles & Paul Moran (percussion), Tony Molloy (bass), Carl Geraghty & Kenneth Edge (saxophones), John Sheahan (fiddle), Anthony Drennan (guitar), Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin (piano), Márta Sebestyén (vocals) and Rita Connolly (backing vocals).
The album opens with Chetvorno Horo, a Bulgarian dance tune in 7/16 time (3-2-2) played by the whole band, with exquisite chord progressions underpinning melodic phrases played in unison by Irvine (bouzouki) and O'Connor (accordion). Then comes Mechkin Kamen (The Bear's Rock), a slow Macedonian song beautifully delivered by Sebestyén, with backing vocals by Connolly. Dance of Suleiman is a fast Macedonian dance tune in the kopanitsa rhythm of 11/16 (2-2-3-2-2) and based on Sulejmanovo Oro, a 1978 recording by Dutch ethnomusicologist Wouter Swets and his folk group Čalgija. Illyrian Dawn is a beautiful Bulgarian slow air, with Spillane on low whistle first, then on uilleann pipes, accompanied by Whelan on keyboards.
Pride of Macedonia is a collection of melodies in 11/8 time, followed by Antice in 7/8 time, another Macedonian tune recorded by Swets and Čalgija in 1978. Two Steps To The Bar is the witty title of the next track, a fast dance tune in the 'paidushka' rhythm of 5/16 (2-3). Sebestyén sings again on the next piece, Kadana, a slow song that girls in the Rhodope mountains of Bulgaria would sing about the problems and prohibitions of love affairs in their communities. The album closes with Hard On The Heels, a re-working of Smeceno Horo (meaning "broken dance") which Irvine first recorded with Planxty on After The Break. It is introduced slowly by Ó Súilleabháinin (piano), then various combinations of instruments from the whole band proceed with playing the entire piece, which begins in 15/16 time (8/16 + 7/16) and 11/16, then continues in two different 9/16 rhythms.:37–38
In an interview with Folk Roots in August 1992,:29–33 Irvine stated: "We finished it eighteen months ago but (...) John Cook at Tara wanted to try the avenue of big companies." The album was eventually released on the Tara label itself in mid-1992.:42
Subsequently, Irvine and Parov were joined by Rens van der Zalm and toured together in Europe as the 'East Wind Trio'.:69
Patrick Street - All in Good Time and Corner Boys
Irvine contributed six pieces to Patrick Street's fourth album, All In Good Time, released in 1992. First, he wrote the verses of A Prince Among Men (Only a Miner) around the chorus of a song recorded in the 1950s by Aunt Molly Jackson. The Lintheads is another of Irvine's trilogies: The Pride of the Springfield Road, an optimistic song learned from Maurice Leyden of Belfast, is about the cotton spinning mill located on that road; it is followed by Lawrence Common, Irvine's instrumental composition inspired while walking on the Common in Lawrence, MA, "a piece of park land forever associated with the struggle and victory of the striking cotton mill workers in 1912"; the trilogy closes with Goodbye Monday Blues, written by Si Kahn from North Carolina. The Girls Along the Road is another song Irvine learned from Maurice Leyden, who collected it from Willy Nicholl in Cullybackey, County Antrim. Finally, Carrowclare is Irvine's beautiful rendition of a traditional song written in about 1870 by James McCurry and printed as entry H169:298 in Sam Henry's collection.
Patrick Street's fifth album, Corner Boys, was released in 1996 and includes seven pieces provided by Irvine. Sweet Lisbweemore is a lively, traditional song re-arranged by the band. Morlough Shore is another poignant song Irvine learned from Eddy Butcher of Magilligan, County Londonderry. Pity the Poor Hare is the title of a suite assembled by Irvine, beginning with On Yonder Hill, a song he arranged from the singing of the late Geordie Hanna from Derrytresk, County Tyrone; it is followed by Merrily Tripping O'er The Plain, a lively jig composed by Irvine and leading into The Kilgrain Hare, his adaptation of entry H12:31 in Sam Henry's collection; the whole suite was named after its closing piece, a slow air also composed by Irvine. Finally, he also contributed Down By Greer's Grove, a self-penned, hilarious 'drinking song' "based on a fragment recorded in the '50s by Robert Cinnamond of Glenavy, County Antrim, who was a fairly old man by the time the folk song collectors got to him".
Rain On The Roof
Recorded in June, July and August 1996, Irvine's third solo album, Rain On The Roof, is the closest the listener could get to the experience of attending one of his gigs. It was also the first released on his own label, "Andy Irvine", under product number "AK-1" (presumably: "Andrew Kennedy-1").
"Most of the recordings on this CD were done as if live. (...) I sat in front of microphones with my bouzouki or mandolin in my lap, my harmonica in its holder round my neck, and my drone volume pedal on the floor, under my foot, and played and sang all in one go."
Other instruments were added (on four of the eleven tracks) by Rens van der Zalm (fiddle and mandolin), Stephen Cooney (didgeredoo, Palongo drum), Declan Masterson (low whistle) and Irvine himself, who played a second mandolin on two of the tracks.
The album opens with Prince Among Men, a song about the hazards and dangers of working underground in a mine. Băneasă's Green Glade is a re-worked version of his earlier song, followed this time around by Rumen Sirakov's Daichevo, Irvine's solo adaptation of Didinata, a dance tune in 9/8 time (3-2-2-2) composed by Bulgarian tambura player Rumen Sirakov. Rain On The Roof/The Blue Mountains Of New South Wales is a self-penned set of jigs and My Heart's Tonight In Ireland is Irvine's nostalgic recollection of the times he spent touring in County Clare with Sweeney's Men. Forgotten Hero is a passionate song reminiscing about the life and struggle of Michael Davitt, the founder of the Irish National Land League.
Then comes a set of Bulgarian dance tunes: Pamela's Rŭtchenitsa in 7/16 time, Gruncharsko Horo in 9/16 time and Baker's Dozen, an apt and witty title for a dance tune in 13/16 time. He Fades Away is a poignant song written by Alistair Hulett, about the compensation due to the young men who died from exposure to blue asbestos in the Wittenoom mine in Western Australia in the 1940s. Come With Me Over The Mountain is Irvine's adaptation of H61a:459 from Sam Henry's collection (Songs of the People), followed by another self-penned jig: A Smile In The Dark. The Monument (Lest We Forget) is Irvine's revisiting of the Ludlow Massacre in the coalfields of Southern Colorado on April 20, 1914. With Take No Prisoners/Old Brunswick, we find Irvine combining rhythms and musical phrases from the Irish and Greek traditions. The album closes with Never Tire Of The Road, Irvine's tribute to his lifelong hero, Woody Guthrie.
Patrick Street - Made in Cork and Live from Patrick Street
Patrick Street's sixth album, Made In Cork, was released in 1997. Irvine contributed four songs. He learned Her mantle So Green from a recording of Jim O'Neill from Markethill, County Armagh and it is also listed as entry H76:314 in Sam Henry's collection. Rainbow 'Mid The Willow is a song collected by Alan Lomax in the Ozark Mountains, set by Irvine to a tune adapted from a Hungarian Csángó song previously recorded by Muzsikás. Spanking Maggie from the Ross is a song about the sport of trotting, learned from Arthur Coulter. When Adam Was in Paradise is another song Irvine learned from Eddie Butcher.
Live From Patrick Street, released in 1999, was Patrick Street's seventh album, to which Irvine contributed five songs: Braes of Moneymore, My Son in Amerikay, Wild Rover No More, Stewball and the Monaghan Grey Mare and The Holy Ground.
Way Out Yonder
In 2000, Irvine released his fourth solo album, Way Out Yonder, recorded between July and December 1999 and co-produced with Steve Cooney.
Irvine was joined by Rens van der Zalm (guitar, fiddle, mandolin, Bulgarian tambura and bass guitar), Lindsey Horner (double bass), Máire Breatnach (viola), Cormac Breatnach (low whistle), Steve Cooney (Spanish guitar, percussion and kalimba), Declan Masterson (uilleann pipes and low whistle), Liam O'Flynn (uilleann pipes and tin whistle), Nikola Parov (gadulka), plus Lynn Kavanagh, Mandy Murphy and Phil Callery (backing vocals).
This album featured the following tracks: Gladiators, Moreton Bay, They'll Never Believe it's True/Froggy's Jig, The Girl I Left Behind, Way Out Yonder, The Highwayman, When the Boys Are on Parade, On a Distant Shore and Born in Carrickfergus.
Mozaik - Live from The Powerhouse
On March 1, 2002 the seaside town of Rye, Victoria in Australia witnessed the formation and six-day marathon rehearsals of multicultural group 'Mozaik' (not to be confused with his earlier, similarly-named group 'Mosaic'), featuring Irvine, Dónal Lunny, Bruce Molsky, Nikola Parov, and Rens van der Zalm. The Australian tour that followed culminated in two gigs recorded at the Brisbane Powerhouse on 30/31 March and released on the album Live From The Powerhouse in 2004, under license to Compass Records.
The album opens with My Heart's Tonight in Ireland, the band's re-working of the song that Irvine recorded solo on his album Rain on the Roof in 1996; the song then segues into Robinson County/The Trip to Durrow, two tunes in 4/4 time where Molsky and van der Zalm on fiddles combine American old-timey style and Irish traditional music. Suleiman's Kopanitsa is an adaptation of Dance of Suleiman, recorded by Irvine on the album East Wind (see above) where Davy Spillane's uilleann pipes played the main melodies with sustains, vibrato and occasional grace notes. This time round, though, all the melodic phrases are re-worked for string instruments emphasizing the 11/16 kopanitsa rhythm (2-2-3-2-2) with exquisitely-crafted counter-harmonies from Irvine (mandola), van der Zalm (mandolin) and Lunny (bouzouki), augmented by Parov (gadulka and kaval) and Molsky (fiddle).
The Rocky Road to Dublin is the American old-timey version first recorded in the 1920s by Allen Sisson and Indian Ate the Woodchuck comes from the American old-timey fiddler Ed Haley. Romanian Hora is a fiddle tune learnt from Jackie Molard and played by van der Zalm, followed by Molsky adding Black Jack Grove and its Blueridge mountains feel. Sandansko Oro is a slow Macedonian tune in 22/16 time and is followed by Menchin Kamen in slow 18/16 time (also from the album EastWind), sung here by Irvine.
Pony Boy is a lovely fiddle duet played by Molsky and van der Zalm to set the stage for Never Tire of the Road, Irvine's tribute to his long-standing hero Woody Guthrie. In this rendition, Irvine adds Guthrie's chorus: "All of you fascists bound to lose". A Blacksmith Courted Me is the band's arrangement on Irvine's version of The Blacksmith (with Molsky on 5-string banjo) followed, as usual, by Blacksmithereens, a tune in 5/8 time that Irvine wrote following his first impressions of Balkan music in 1968.
Molsky starts Field Holler Medley by singing an American field call, followed by a couple of old West Virginia tunes: Piney Woods and Lost Indian. The band then launch into their arrangement of Smeceno Horo ("broken dance"), which Irvine first recorded with Planxty on After The Break and then again with Davy Spillane and Bill Whelan on the album EastWind. It is in mixed Bulgarian rhythms, beginning in 15/16 time (8/16 + 7/16) and 11/16, then continuing in two different 9/16 rhythms.:37-38
Patrick Street - Street Life
Patrick Street's eighth album, Street Life, was released in 2002. Irvine contributed three songs: Barna Hill, Down in Manteway/Lost Indian and Green Grows the Laurel.
Planxty ("The Third Coming")
The Planxty Reunion (dubbed "The Third Coming") unfolded in late 2003 and into early 2004. Initial rehearsals at the Royal Spa Hotel in Lisdoonvarna were followed by a gig there on Saturday, 11 October, 2003. Planxty then played a series of concerts in Dublin and Clare in January and February 2004, which were recorded on the CD Planxty Live 2004 and its associated DVD. Another round of concerts took place in late 2004 and early 2005 in Galway, Belfast, Dublin and London.:309–326
In May 2005, Irvine wrote in his website 'Journal': "Also premiered As I roved Out with my own accompaniment. It's always been a Planxty number till now with Dónal playing Baritone Guitar and me just singing it." A solo recording of this version of As I Roved Out:6–7 appeared on Peter Ratzenbeck's album Resonances in 2007.
Mozaik - Changing Trains
In January and April 2005, 'Mozaik' rehearsed new material for Changing Trains, their first studio album recorded in Budapest during November of the same year. This album was initially released by the band in Australia in 2006 and, after additional re-mixing by Lunny at Longbeard Studios in Dublin, was re-released in the autumn of 2007 under license to Compass Records.
The album opens with O'Donoghue's, written and sung by Irvine reminiscing about his early days in Dublin, when he first started frequenting this pub in August 1962. In eleven verses, he vividly recalls these happy times, naming many of the people who were part of his transition from actor to musician, leading to his touring days with Sweeney's Men and up to his departure "for the Pirin Mountains" in the spring of 1968. Then comes the band's arrangement of Sail Away Ladies/Walking in the Parlor, two old-timey tunes, the first recorded by Uncle Bunt Stephens, a Tennessee fiddler, in 1925 and the second by Dr D. Dix Hollis in Alabama, the same year. The Wind Blows over the Danube is a slow and mournful song, written and sung by Irvine, about a love affair in Hungary.
Reuben's Transatlantic Express, sung by Molsky, is Mozaik's extraordinary arrangement of Reuben's Train, with the inclusion of beautiful short segments of Romanian traditional tunes played between verses. The whole piece is performed at an accelerating pace and ends with a Romanian tune repeated in increasingly higher keys, thus further accentuating the aural effect of a runaway train gaining speed. The Humours of Parov was composed by Lunny in honour of band mate Nikola Parov, to celebrate the distinction between the Bulgarian 'daychovo' (or 'daichevo') rhythm in 9/8 time [2-2-2-3] and the Irish slip jig, which is also in 9/8 time [3-3-3]. Lunny also included a hybrid rhythm he called 'slippy-daichevo' [3-2-2-2], which turns the daichevo rhythm around by playing the long beat first, in order to prepare for the slip jig that follows.
The Ballad of Reynardine/Johnny Cúig is a two-part piece arranged by Irvine. First, The Ballad of Reynardine is the old Irish ballad from County Tyrone which Irvine has set to the vigorous pace of his beloved 'paidushka' rhythm of 5/8; second, Johnny Cúig is Irvine's re-interpretation of Johnny Cope (the hornpipe he recorded with Planxty on Cold Blow and the Rainy Night) from which he selected some of the parts and reset them to 5/8 also, 'cúig' meaning 'five' in Irish. For Mary Rogers/Siún Ní Dhuibhir, Lunny wrote the first part in memory of his mother, as this was her maiden name; he also sings Siún Ní Dhuibhir, an Irish name which translates as 'Joan O'Dwyer'. Train on the Island/Big Hoedown, begins with Molsky singing a beautifully plaintive song of separation ("Me and my gal, we fell out, it might be for the best") originating from Virginia, followed by a lively hoedown, an old-fashioned country dance from West Virginia.
The Pigfarm Suite comprises two pieces: first, a slow tune in 9/8 time that the Bulgarian tradition calls an "old-man's dance"; second, a new version of Irvine's Paidushko Horo (see the album Rainy Sundays... Windy Dreams from 1980), performed this time with an authentic Bulgarian traditional feel and arrangement. Finally, Nights in Carrowclare (known as The Maid of Carrowclare, H169:298–299 in Sam Henry's collection), which Irvine learnt from Eddie Butcher, is a heartbreaking slow song of emigration to America in which the lad leaves his girl behind. As ever, Irvine's decorative accompaniment on mandolin provides beautiful harmonies to this song.
Patrick Street - On the Fly
Patrick Street's ninth album, On the Fly, was released in 2007. Irvine provided three songs: Sergeant Small, The Rich Irish Lady and Erin Go Bragh.
Marianne Green's Dear Irish Boy
Irvine produced Marianne Green's first album, released in 2009 (Dear Irish Boy); he also played his usual range of instruments on all the tracks.
In 2010, Irvine released his fifth solo album: Abocurragh, recorded in Dublin, Norway, Australia, Hungary and Brittany between February 2009/April 2010 and produced by Dónal Lunny who also plays on all the tracks, except the last one.
They are joined by Liam O'Flynn (uilleann pipes, tin whistle), Nikola Parov (kaval, nyckelharpa), Máirtín O'Connor (accordion), Bruce Molsky (fiddle), Rens van der Zalm (fiddle), Rick Epping (harmonica), Paul Moore (double bass), Graham Henderson (keyboards), Liam Bradley (percussion), Jacky Molard (violas, violins and string arrangement), Annebjørg Lien (hardanger fiddles), Lillebjørn Nilsen (guitar), plus Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton (backing vocals).
With the first two tracks, Irvine, Lunny and O'Flynn re-kindle the distinctive Planxty sound, beginning with Three Huntsmen, a song about a sinister murder that Irvine learnt from Johnny Moynihan in the early sixties. It first appeared on Sweeney's Men's eponymous album under the name Johnston and set to a different tune from this recording, written by Irvine and reminiscent of a slowed-down version of The Walls of Liscaroll. This song also appears as entry H185:128 in Sam Henry's Songs of the People but with a happy ending omitted here. Willy of Winsbury is Irvine's re-recording of Willy O'Winsbury, also from Sweeney's Men's first album, where he sang it accompanying himself on guitar. This time round, he re-arranged the accompaniment for mandola, played alongside a much fuller sound contributed by Lunny (guitar and keyboards) and O'Flynn (uilleann pipes and low whistle). This song is #100 from the Child Ballads and is also printed as entry H221 in Sam Henry's collection (under the names The Rich Ship Owner's Daughter and John Barbour, among others).:490
Emptyhanded is a modern song by George Papavgeris, about convicts and early immigrants in Australia defaulting on their bank loans and losing their land.
The album continues with The Close Shave/East at Glendart, James Magee, The Girl From Cushendun/The Love Of My Life, The Spirit of Mother Jones, Victory at Lawrence, The Demon Lover. As if it were a concert, the album closes with two encores: Banks of Newfoundland and Oslo/Norwegian Mazurka.
Friday, 20 January 2012 ushered in the inaugural gig, at Dublin's Vicar Street, of a quartet named 'LAPD' for the initials of its members' first names: Liam O'Flynn, Andy Irvine, Paddy Glackin, and Dónal Lunny.
- Kitty's Rambles/Humours of Ennistymon - (jigs)
- My Heart's tonight in Ireland/West Clare Reel - (song/reel)
- Jenny's Wedding/Virginia/Garrett Barry's - (reels)
- Braes of Moneymore - (song)
- The Green Island/Bantry Hornpipe - (hornpipes)
- Suleiman's Kopanitsa - (Bulgarian dance tune)
- The Dream/Indiana - (song)
- Paddy Canny's (The Starting Gate) - (reels)
- The Jolly Beggar/The Wise Maid - (song/reel)
- Arthur MacBride - (song)
- Young Tom Ennis/Nora Crean - (jigs)
- Siún Ni Dhuibhir - (song)
- A Rainy Day/The Shaskeen - (reels)
- As I Roved Out - (song)
- O'Donoghue's - (song)
- Two Flings - (flings)
- The Blacksmith/Blacksmithereens - (song)
- Speed the Plough/Colonel Fraser - (reels)
- West Coast of Clare - (song)
- The Gold Ring - (jig)
70th birthday concerts
On 16 and 17 June 2012, Irvine's 70th birthday was celebrated at Dublin's Vicar Street venue in a pair of concerts in which he was joined onstage by Paul Brady and various combinations of members of Sweeney's Men, Planxty, Mozaik and LAPD, plus brothers George and Manoli Galiatsos who came unexpectedly all the way from Athens for the concerts.
Playing Woody Guthrie again
A week later, Irvine was invited to participate with Billy Bragg in the Woody 100 Legacy Show scheduled at Dublin's Vicar Street on 17 September 2012, to celebrate Woody Guthrie's Centenary. In his web journal, Irvine wrote at the time: "I recently located my old Gibson L0 guitar. It was in the shed where it has been languishing for some years. I used to be able to do a pretty good impression of Woody's 'Church lick' guitar playing. Hope I can get it all back! (...) I'd better get practising!..."
On 13 November, 2013, Irvine released his first duo album with Rens van der Zalm: Parachilna, an album of Irish and Australian songs recorded live in July 2012 while camping in the wild in South Australia and New South Wales. It was co-produced by Irvine (vocals, bouzouki, mandola and harmonica) and van der Zalm (backing vocals, guitar, mandolin, fiddle and viola), and recorded by Cian Burke. Listening to this album, one would think it was recorded in any of the world's best studios, not in disused buildings using a laptop and some Pro Tools. Most of the time, there are only two instruments playing–three when Irvine also plays harmonica–and the resulting sound is pristine, enabling the listener to identify the part played by each of these two outstanding musicians, and to marvel at the harmonious music they are able to achieve together.
The album opens with I wish I was in Belfast Town, a new adaptation of You Rambling Boys Of Pleasure, which Irvine learnt from Joe Holmes and Len Graham before recording it with Planxty on the album After the Break. Come to the Bower is a song Luke Kelly used to sing in O'Donoghue's Pub during the 1960s and Irvine tells us he believes it was written as an exhortation to Irish emigrants to return home and support the 1867 Fenian rising. Billy Far Out is an amusing song about the vagaries of travelling in an unreliable car and was written by Irvine after similar experiences during one of his Australian tours; its tune and accompaniment are based on a 1931 recording of A Lazy Farmer Boy by Buster Carter & Preston Young. Irvine previously recorded Sergeant Small with Patrick Street for the album On The Fly; it tells the story of an Australian unemployed man who rides freight trains in his search for work during the Great Depression in the 1930s but gets trapped by Sergeant Small, a policeman masquerading as a hobo.
Kate Burke found The Dandenong in the archives of the National Library of Australia. Collected in 1954 by John Meredith from a Mrs Mary Byrnes, an old lady of Irish descent, the song tells the story of the loss of the Dandenong and most of its passengers during a voyage from Melbourne to Newcastle, NSW in 1876. Braes of Moneymore is another poignant song of emigration, which Irvine recorded on the album 2, Patrick Street and which he'd learnt from an old 78 rpm recording, made in 1952 by Sean O'Boyle and Peter Kennedy, of Terry Devlin, a shoemaker local to Moneymore in County Londonderry. Outlaw Frank Gardiner is a song about the famous bushranger; Irvine wrote new music for it in the Bulgarian rhythm of 7/8. He Fades Away was written by the late Scottish singer-songwriter Alistair Hulett, about the miners from southern Europe who were imported in the 1950s to work the Blue Asbestos mines in Wittenoom, Western Australia. Farewell to Kellswater is song H695 from Sam Henry's collection,:442-443 about an Irish girl's rich father sending an unwanted young suitor to America; Irvine first recorded this with Planxty on the album The Woman I Loved So Well.
The album closes with Irvine's self-penned song about Douglas Mawson's epic and tragic Antarctic expedition of 1911. This song was originally released on Irvine's second solo album, Rude Awakening.
For the last few years Irvine has been residing in Letterbreen, County Fermanagh and also has a base in Dublin. He continues to tour in Ireland, UK, Europe, USA, South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Irvine is a card-carrying member of the Industrial Workers of the World (the 'Wobblies'), with a lifelong commitment to social justice; for example, by championing the life, social activism and energetic organizing leadership of Mary Harris Jones ('Mother Jones') about whom he wrote a song, "The Spirit of Mother Jones," which he recorded and released on his 2010 album Abocurragh. On 1 August 2012, Irvine performed in Shandon, County Cork, for the inaugural Mother Jones Festival which celebrated the 175th Anniversary of the birth of Mary Harris nearby; he performed at the Festival again on 1 August 2013.
Like other artists contracted to perform at Féile Iorrais (a community festival in Erris) in August 2007, Irvine was disgusted to learn that Royal Dutch Shell were partly sponsoring the events. Shell's plans for the Corrib gas project have caused serious division and hurt in County Mayo. Irvine donated part of his fee to the Shell to Sea campaign.
Summary of recordings
Chronology of Andy Irvine's album recordings
Table 1. below lists 55 of Irvine's album recordings, by release date. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, however, since he has appeared on an even greater number of albums, either to supply one or more of his well-known songs such as The Blacksmith or My Heart's Tonight In Ireland, for example, or simply to sit in and contribute vocal and/or instrumental support to other artists.
|Table 1. Chronology of Andy Irvine's album recordings|
The songs and tunes of Andy Irvine
Table 2. below identifies the songs and tunes that Irvine originated and recorded on some of the albums listed in the previous table; "originated" meaning that he either composed or adapted the selected pieces for his own singing and/or lead playing.
Therefore, songs like The Good Ship Kangaroo, The Pursuit of Farmer Michael Hayes and Little Musgrave, for example, are excluded because they were sung by Christy Moore, even though Irvine had a big hand in putting the music together and in playing it with Planxty. Songs recorded by Patrick Street with Gerry O'Beirne or Ged Foley on lead vocals are similarly excluded from the list, although O'Beirne's The Holy Ground is included because Irvine sang it during the recording and in performance.
All the Balkan material is considered his own choice and is therefore included in the list below, even when sung by others.
|Table 2. The songs and tunes of Andy Irvine|
- O'Toole, Leagues (2006). The Humours of Planxty. Ireland: Hodder Headline. ISBN 03-4083-796-9.
- A Tale of Five Cities entry in IMDb (Internet Movie Database). Retrieved on August 27, 2013
- Andy Irvine's autobiography - Part 1. Retrieved on July 29, 2013
- Room at the Top entry in IMDb (Internet Movie Database). Retrieved on August 27, 2013
- The Radio Drama Company, BBC Homepage. Retrieved on October 9, 2013.
- Andy irvine - Celtic Roots... Dustbowl Inspiration, in Frets Issue #73, March 1985.
- More Songs By Woody Guthrie And Cisco Houston, Melodisc Records Ltd MLP12-106, 1955.
- "I saw this yellow 12" LP in the window of Melodisc Records in Earlham Street off Shaftesbury Avenue." Rocket Launcher, an interview with Irvine in Folk Roots No.340, October 2011.
- About Andy - Instruments. Retrieved on July 26, 2013
- Way Out There, in Folk Roots No.208, October 2000.
- Huntington, Gale; Herrmann, Lani; Dr Moulden, John, eds. (2010). Sam Henry's Songs of the People. Athens, GA and London: The University of Georgia Press. ISBN 08-2033-625-4.
- Review: Andy Irvine and Friends [A performance by LAPD.] Retrieved on July 24, 2013
- Sweeney's Men article by Colin Harper, 2001. Retrieved on July 24, 2013
- Irwin, Colin (2003). In Search of the Craíc. London: André Deutsch. ISBN 02-3300-004-6.
- Sleeve notes from Sweeney's Men CD, Castle Communications Plc, ESM CD 435, 1996.
- Irvine, Andy (1988). Aiming For The Heart. Germany: Heupferd Musik Verlag GmbH. ISBN 39-2344-501-6.
- Cold Blow and the Rainy Night, Polydor 2442 130, 1974.
- Andy Irvine and Paul Brady, Mulligan LUN 008, 1976.
- Rainy Sundays... Windy Dreams LP, Tara Records TARA 3002, 1980.
- Heading East, in Folk Roots No.153, March 1996.
- Transnational..., in Folk Roots No.295/296, Jan/Feb 2008.
- L. O'Flynn, A. Irvine, P. Glackin, D. Lunny (Interview) (December 9, 2012). Miriam O'Callaghan Meets - LAPD (Podcast). Dublin: RTÉ Radio 1. Retrieved on October 11, 2013.
- Moore, Christy (2000). One Voice. London: Lir/Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 03-4076-839-8.
- Andy Irvine and Paul Brady (Interview) (April 20, 2012). Miriam O'Callaghan Meets - Paul Brady and Andy Irvine (Podcast). Dublin: RTÉ Radio 1. Retrieved on October 11, 2013.
- Andy Irvine's autobiography - Part 7. Retrieved on July 30, 2013
- The 3rd Irish Folk Festival In Concert, InterCord INT 181.008, 1976.
- Lough Erne Shore, from Andy Irvine and Paul Brady, 1976. Retrieved on August 25, 2013
- Planxty (Songbook). London: Mews Music. 1973.
- Rainy Sundays... Windy Dreams CD, Wundertüte TÜT 72.141, 1989.
- The 4th Irish Folk Festival On The Road, InterCord INT 180.038, 1977.
- The 5th Irish Folk Festival, InterCord INT 180.046, 1978.
- As I Went Over Blackwater, Mulligan LUN 040, 1980.
- Welcome Here Kind Stranger, Mulligan LUN 024, 1978.
- A photo of this instrument is shown on page 4 of Ó Callanain, Niall; Walsh, Tommy (1989). The Irish Bouzouki. Ireland: Waltons. ISBN 07-8661-595-8.
- The Missing Liberty Tapes, Abirgreen/Compass Records, 2002.
- The High Kings Of Tara, Tara Records TARA 3003, 1980.
- After The Break CD, Tara Records Ltd, TARACD 3001, 1992.
- Dick Gaughan & Andy Irvine - Parallel Lines, FolkFreak (FF4007), 1982.
- Andy Irvine's autobiography - Part 9. Retrieved on August 25, 2013
- Mosaic, in Folk Roots No.29, November 1985.
- Live Reviews, in Folk Roots No.28, October 1985.
- Andy Irvine, in Folk Roots No.46, April 1987.
- Street Cred, in Folk Roots No.66, December 1988.
- Andy Irvine's autobiography - Part 10. Retrieved on August 25, 2013
- Ó Callanain, Niall; Walsh, Tommy (1989). The Irish Bouzouki. Ireland: Waltons. ISBN 07-8661-595-8.
- Andy Irvine's autobiography - Part 11. Retrieved on July 28, 2013
- Review of East Wind (Allmusic). Retrieved on April 24, 2012
- Sleeve notes from Live from the Powerhouse, 2003.
- Čalgija - Music from the Balkans and Anatolia, Stoof/Munich & Fonos/Het Nederlands Muziekarchief MU 7429, 1978.
- Eastern Promise, in Folk Roots No.110, August 1992.
- Reviews, in Folk Roots No.108, June 1992.
- The Story of Belfast by Mary Lowry, circa 1913. From the 'Library Ireland' website. Retrieved on November 6, 2013
- Sleeve notes from All In Good Time, 1992.
- Sleeve notes from Corner Boys, 1996.
- Sleeve notes from Rain On The Roof, 1996.
- Rumen Sirakov - Tambura, Gega New Records, 2000.
- Sleeve notes from Way Out Yonder, 2000.
- Andy Irvine's Mozaik. Retrieved on July 24, 2013
- Andy Irvine's journal - May 2005. Retrieved on July 28, 2013
- Review of the launch of Abocurragh by BBC News Northern Ireland, 18 September 2010. Retrieved on September 8, 2013.
- Sleeve notes from Abocurragh, 2010.
- Information sheet for LAPD. Retrieved on July 24, 2013
- Review of LAPD in Irish Times, March 2013. Retrieved on September 27, 2013.
- Andy's 70th Birthday Concerts - June 2012. Retrieved on September 5, 2013
- The Woody 100 Legacy Show - June 2012. Retrieved on July 26, 2013
- Parachilna, by Andy Irvine & Rens van der Zalm. Retrieved on November 7, 2013
- Sleeve notes from Parachilna, 2013.
- Sleeve notes from Rude Awakening, 1991.
- Review of Abocurragh in The Guardian. Retrieved on July 27, 2013
- Cork City Council website for 'Mother Jones'. Retrieved on July 27, 2013
- Andy Irvine's Discography. Retrieved on August 4, 2013.
- Re-released on Sweeney's Men CD, Castle Communications Plc, ESM CD 435, 1996.