‘On the Lonesome Plain’ - Dónal Clancy - a master at work(January 26, 2017)
Some musicians need no introduction. Dónal Clancy is one of those musicians. Widely recognised as virtuoso guitarist and accomplished singer of Irish songs, he has a singularly unique musical pedigree – family-wise with The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and work-wise with such as Eileen Ivers, The Chieftains, Solas and Danú. Now comes his latest album – ‘On the Lonesome Plain’ a collection of seven songs and six instrumentals that include interpretations of traditional songs, some splendid arrangements of Turlough O’Carolan tunes, and original compositions.
The attraction of this album lies in its treatment of songs and tunes that although universally known, are here given an added edge and brought to life with a crispness that belies their heritage. The assortment includes a moving take on ‘The Lowlands of Holland’, the dour ‘Drill, Ye Tarriers’, and the sorrowful ‘Open the Door Softly’ with additional words by Archie Fisher. Also included are two stunning renditions of tunes from blind, Irish harper, composer and singer, Turlough O’Carolan renowned for his melodic composition – ‘The Honorable Thomas Burke’ and ‘Miss McDermott’, and finally there are two of Dónal’s own compositions ‘A Strike for Victory’ commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising and the emotive ‘Máirseáil na Conrach’.
This album is a master at work and well worth adding to your collection.
Review: Charlie Elland