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This review is from: Irish Heartbeat (Audio CD)
The cover does this ground breaking album no justice - a seemingly disparate group of vagrants congregating without purpose. Press the play button and...sheer apotheosis.The Chieftains have played effectively as a backing band to a variety of artistes, but surely Van is their ultimate foil. He brings to the tradition a searing heart-felt soulfulness that transcends genre. Listening to "Carrickfergus",for example, is to experience the trailing off of a Celtic sunset with a genuinely pagan pain. Conversely , the upbeat numbers are riddled with veins of fresh-aired optimism. Utterly indispensable. Forget the novelty of "Unplugged", these guys have been passing the accoustic test for decades and the disc represents the zenith of their troubadour alchemy.