Re: Precious Heroes
Andy and the Australian mandolin maestro Luke Plumb (Shooglenifty) have teamed up to record a bold new duo album, “Precious Heroes”.
In 2016 Andy asked Luke to produce his latest album. Andy spent a couple of weeks in Melbourne in August of the year recording the songs with Luke on mandolin, bouzouki & guitar. The album features renowned international musicians, John McCusker (Battlefield Band, Kate Rusby) on fiddle, Mike McGoldrick (Capercaillie, Mark Knopfler, Usher’s Island) on flute & whistle, James Mackintosh (Shooglenifty) on percussion and backing vocals from Australian singers, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton. Andy’s old mate, Rens van der Zalm (Wolverlei, Mozaik) was added later on guitar and fiddle.
The songs range from traditional ballads - “Erin’s Green Shore”, “Dunlavin Green” and “Farewell to Ballymoney” to the classic Australian ballad - “The Death of Ben Hall” to Andy’s latest compositions about “Frank Ryan” who went to fight against fascism in Spain, Nixie Boran who fought for the rights of the coalminers in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny in the 1930s and his own version of the “Niamh and Oisín” story.
The continuously magical collaboration of all the players and singers shines throughout. Luke contributes two fine instrumentals, showing off his brilliant mandolin playing and combines with Andy and Rens on the instrumental “Trip to Tír na nÓg” which is a tune Andy wrote back in 1973 for Planxty but it was never recorded.
“We were moved to make an album which recognised the great, largely unknown, men and women who shaped working class and cultural roots. Through hardship, sadness, adversity and tragedy, triumphant stories remain. We share the history and continue to share the hope. This album is dedicated to those Precious Heroes."