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The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem In Person At Carnegie Hall

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Album Review

Irish folk music isn't for everyone, but if you're the slightest bit interested in the genre, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem are required listening. While both the Clancys and Makem have produced some fine solo albums, their best work remains their collaborative recordings. Particularly on live records like this one, their love for the music and culture of Ireland comes across loud and clear, delighting the audience and the listener. Thanks to an above-average collection of tunes and the lively performance of the musicians, In Person at Carnegie Hall is a great starting point for the uninitiated. It also serves as a good tolerance test for listeners who are uncertain whether Irish music is really for them; if you don't like what you hear on this album, chances are you won't care for anything else the genre has to offer. Of course, it's hard to imagine anyone not being drawn in by the opening one-two punch of "Johnson's Motorcar" and "The Juice of the Barley." And it just gets better from there. Not only are all the songs fun to listen to, but each one represents a particular type of Irish tune. There's the drinking song ("A Jug of Punch"), the protest song ("Patriot Game"), and the rollicking singalong ("Reilly's Daughter"). But the standout here is the 12-and-a-half-minute track "The Children's Medley," in which the musicians string together more than a dozen different songs and poems from their childhood. The result is beautiful pastiche of old-old-school Irish folk music that makes you appreciate the history and beauty of the form.

Customer Reviews

Thank you Columbia/Legacy!

Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem fans all over the world have always been waiting for something like this, a fully released unedited concert from the peak of their career. This release, along with the 1962 Carnegie Hall concert, is one of the finest releases I have ever listened to. Dynamite renditions of Brennan on the Moor, The Whistling Gypsy and the Irish Rover are prominent on this album. I, along with many others, hope for Columbia/Legacy to release more gems like this from their vault.

The Clancy Brothers with a Psychotic Sound Engineer

I love this album -- grew up with it actually, so when I saw the cover art on iTunes I had to buy it. The good news is that you can get this album on iTunes. The band was near their peak and were clearly enjoying the performance. The songs brought back a lot of childhood memories for me -- and yes, a tear or two.

The bad news is that this digital collection was mixed by a dynamic range fetishist. The dialogue tracks are nearly silent. Turn up the volume to hear it, and then you get blasted out of your seat by the the next music track -- or worse, by the audience, which is inexplicably loud. Whoever mixed this should be stopped before they ruin another album. "In Person at Carnegie Hall" would be a five-star album except for the sheer frustration of the listening experience.

If you plan on sitting in your soundproofed audiophile cave, this collection is for you. However, if you plan on listening in a car or anywhere else normal people listen to music, be prepared for frustration.


Formed: Cork, Ireland

Genre: World

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

The Clancy Brothers are a family of singing Irish expatriates who have been important figures in re-popularizing their native music in North America and are still among the most internationally renowned Irish folk bands. Some even credit the band as important figures in starting the folk revival of the '50s and '60s. The Clancys, Tom, Pat and Liam were born in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tiperrary, Ireland to a family of nine, all of whom were musically inclined. Tom and Pat emigrated to New York around...
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The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem In Person At Carnegie Hall, The Clancy Brothers
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