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Album Review

Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, Liam O'Flynn, and Dónal Lunny formed Planxty, a slang version of the Irish word "Slainte" meaning "good health," in 1973 after collaborating on the Christy Moore record Prosperous. Their self-titled debut arrived that same year to the delight of traditional Celtic music fans across the globe. Their tight, organic, and authentic renderings of tunes like "Raggle Taggle Gypsy," "The Blacksmith," and "Merrily Kissed the Quaker" set them apart from many of their more experimental contemporaries. "Sweet Thames Flow Softly," a Ewan MacColl-penned song about a London Romeo and Juliet, features a beautiful vocal take by Moore, and deft bouzouki work from Irvine, whose original composition "The West Coast of Clare" would begin the artist's long career of timeless ballad writing. Versions of "The Jolly Beggar Reel" and "Arthur McBride," the latter an anti-recruitment song from Donegal, are energetic and well-played, glowing with the warm compression of the early-'70s British folk scene. Many groups at that time, the Boys of the Lough, the Chieftains, Sweeny's Men — featuring Andy Irvine — struggled to find an audience outside of the pub, while the members of Planxty managed to work their way into halls and theaters. Planxty is a remarkable first record from one of the genres most influential acts.


Formed: 1970 in Prosperous, County Kildare, Irela

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '00s

Along with groups like the Bothy Band, Planxty helped to usher in a new era for modern Celtic music. While their sound remained rooted to traditional music, the band's virtuosic musicianship and high-energy delivery reflected modern influences, while their unique vocal harmonies and instrumental counterpoint were unprecedented in Irish music. The founding members of Planxty -- Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny, Liam O'Flynn, and Andy Irvine -- initially came together to provide instrumental accompaniment...
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Planxty, Planxty
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