«Album of the century!»
Well…my first solo album since 1999. Recorded in Dublin, Norway, Australia,
Hungary and Brittany between February 2009 and April 2010.
Thanks to all my friends who helped me record it.
Especially Dónal Lunny who worked so hard in the production of it,
let alone playing on every track bar one.
I hope it won’t be my last album of the century!!
Otherwise the roll-call of musicians speaks for itself. Giants of traditional music, folk, rock and beyond, each one a key player in the Andy Irvine back-history: Liam O’Flynn, Máirtín O’Connor, Annbjørg Lien, Lillebjørn Nilsen, Nikola Parov, Jacky Molard, Bruce Molsky, Rens van der Zalm, Rick Epping, Graham Henderson, Paul Moore, Liam Bradley, Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton.
All of a sudden I find myself in Paris. I live in a small apartment in busy Saint-Michel. The Latin Quarter. My narrow street is packed with people. Tourists from all over the world. Tiny restaurants on each side. The bouncers can shake hands across the cobblestones. But in our little backyard there is an unsuspected tranquility. Only to be broken when the lady living on the third floor hangs her head outside her window to communicate with her ground floor neighbour. I am the second floor tenant. Rue de Xavier Privas has its name from a poet and balladeer. Un chansonnier. Just like me. And just by accident.
I have strummed the ukulele most of my adult life. I have cherished The Beatles repertoire and gone trough George Formby’s great songs. And the ukulele still tickles me. My vintage C.F. Martin tenor ukulele now is brought to new life with Italian Aquila strings! (And a great repair job by Strand Guitars, Norway)
But why is it? I know our great mate George Harrison, his God bless his name, felt the same. And even the late Cheltenham’s Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones loved the instrument. Maybe it is the close circuit to our brain? It’s simplicity? It’s lack of bass strings?
I love the ukulele!