The Chieftains: Voice of Ages

Album review
The Chieftains: Voice of Ages

The Chieftains

Voice of Ages

Label: Hear Music
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

God bless the Chieftains for a half century of stirring, even daring, music in a traditional Irish framework—no matter the collaborators, Paddy Maloney makes sure the end results are distinctly, evocatively resonant of the ould sod. Even the great Maloney can’t energize Bon Iver’s slumber-inducing preciousness (on “Down in the Willow Garden”) but a fusion of Irish melody and rockabilly rhythm on Imelda May’s “Carolina Rua” is positively bracing, and only slightly less energizing than the rousing jig “Pretty Little Girl,” courtesy the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The Punch Brothers join the fray twice, for an animated medley (“The Lark in the Clear Air/ Olam Punch”) led by Chieftain Kevin Conneff’s jubilant vocal, and a pastoral rumination, “The Frost Is All Over.” The Secret Sisters and Lisa Hannigan both account for lovely, ethereal ballads in classic Chieftains’ fashion. But the headlining act properly steals the show. On “The Chieftains Reunion,” original members Michael Tubridy (flute) and Sean Potts (tin whistle) engage in a soaring instrumental dialogue abundant in the life-affirming spirit the band has made its trademark—spirit captured cleanly across the channels in the bright mix of vocals and instruments fashioned by Maloney and co-producer T-Bone Burnett. 

More Info

  • primary artist, The Chieftains
  • CD

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