‘Masters Of Their Craft’ - compilation album from Various Artists(May 26, 2013)
‘Masters Of Their Craft’ pretty much sums up what you get with this compilation album from Various Artists on the Tara Music label. It’s is an anthology of 18 tracks from some iconic names and bands in Irish and roots music. In a lifespan of some 30 years Tara Music has recorded the work of music maestros such as Christy Moore, Moving Hearts, Rita Connolly, Clannad, Davy Spillane, Planxty, Shaun Davey and Liam O’Flynn - and this album showcases some of their best known work.
So what do you get? Well from the rousing might of ‘The Storm’ by Moving Hearts and the cautionary tale of ‘Ripples In The Rockpools’ delivered by Rita Connolly, through the rabid Bulgarian dance frenzy of ‘Smeceno Horo’ from Planxty along with their definitive version of ‘The Good Ship Kangaroo’ to the haunting ‘Daire's Dream’ by Davy Spillane. There’s a live recording of Christy Moore singing the wonderful ‘The Crack Was Ninety In The Isle Of Man’, Clannad delivering the immortal ‘Mhórag's Na Horo Gheallaidh’ and the echoing simplicity of ‘Beautiful Affair’ from Stockton’s Wing. I could go on but if you know Irish music and Tara Music then you’ll already know these 'masters'.
Will avid fans of Irish music have most of the tracks on ‘Masters Of Their Craft’ on the original albums? Undoubtedly. Then again, is it worth adding this group of gems to your collection? Possibly. And if you are new to the genre is it a good starting point? Probably. There’s also an added bonus of some comprehensive notes about the artists with details of the original albums.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll