Review Archive

‘Live in Vienna’ The Dublin Legends - stirring stories, relentless humour, wild songs

(January 15, 2014)

Musicians may come and go. Some masters of their art grace our ears for many years, others for a briefer Dublin Legendsspan. Bands are much the same, through many vagaries bands remain and only the faces change. The statement ‘original line up’ becomes ‘latest line up, yet the music endures. The Dublin Legends may be a new (ish) name yet it springs from a half-century of Irish music delivered by The Dubliners and it was only the passing of original founding member Barney McKenna that prompted the birth of The Dublin Legends.

As I said earlier, the music endures and ‘Live in Vienna’ proves that beyond doubt. The stirring stories, racing tunes, relentless humour, wild songs and oft-irreverent twinkle-in-the-eye that was the Dubliners persists with The Dublin Legends. This delightful live recording presents some of the best-known traditional and modern Irish folk songs with some splendid tunes that will strike an instant chord in your heart although you cannot recall their name.

The opening notes of ‘The Irish Washerwoman’ and ‘The Ferryman’ reinforce the tread of familiar ground, while the breathless footsteps of ‘The Belfast Hornpipe/ The Flowers of Red Hill’ recall many a fine craic, while ‘Fáinne Geal an Lae’ (translated into English as The Dawning of the Day) leaves not a dry eye in the house. Whether reviving ancient tradition or reliving contemporary interpretation there’s pulsating life in every note. What’s to say about this music other than it endures and continues its vibrancy to withstand passing years or a lifetime of changes. If you cannot resist ‘I’ll Tell My Ma’, ‘The Town I Loved So Well’, Dirty Old Town’, Molly Malone’ or ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and a dozen other ancient and modern classics, then this album is for you.

No matter that you’ve heard these songs and tunes a thousand times on a dozen different recordings, like a fine Bushmills with each opening the essence is worth tasting again.

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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