Having trained as a classical guitarist, the young Andy Irvine fell in with bad company - a pair of Irish folk musicians. Winters were spent travelling the by-ways if Ireland with the band Sweeney's Men while his summers took him to Eastern Europe. Everywhere he went he collected music and musical instruments. When fellow Sweeney, Johny Moynihan, turned up one day with a bazouki there was no looking back. Andy's open-tuned mandolin and bazouki style was perfected in the band Planxty with rythm-king Donal Lunny. Andy had for years longed to pay homage to East European folk music and here, with piper Davey Spillane and producer/arranger Bill Whelan, he realises a worthy dream. Some of Ireland's finest jazz and folk musicians were pressed into service while a Bulgarian flavour is added by the string playing of Nikola Parov. But it is the wonderful vocals of Hungary's Marta Sebestyen that steals the show. The end result is a joyous selection of folk and dance tunes - the sort of dance music that compels the most conservative of Irish step dancers to throw their hands in the air. It's not surprising the one of Bill Whelan's next projects was to compose the music for Riverdance.
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