Andy Irvine is the founder member of three of the most important bands in the history of the folk revivals of the last fifty years: Sweeney’s Men, Planxty and Patrick Street. He is also the brains behind the pan-European, trans-Atlantic band Mozaik. From the very beginning of his career his playing style was distinctive; rather than bashing away with the chords behind the song or slavishly following the tune, he would weave a thread of music under the narrative of the song, always adding to it subtly, never detracting from it. Coupled with Donal Lunny in Planxty and Mozaik, he is one-half of a powerful, musical driving house which continues to stamp its mark on some truly great music.
The influence of Sweeney’s Men and Planxty in particular upon generations of young musicians across the world has been immense and in Patrick Street and Mozaik the work (and the fun) goes on.
As a solo musician Andy has made a succession of albums of his own material, of songs by others and of traditional material which, like his bandwork, are masterpieces of craftsmanship and integrity. His debt and homage to Woody Guthrie has marked his work from the earliest days, whilehis understanding and love for Eastern European music has enriched his playing and writing.
His latest album (at time of writing) ANDY IRVINE 70th Birthday Concert at Vicar St 2012 is “the pure drop” recorded live at Vicar Street, Dublin.
Two songs, to my mind, celebrate and define Andy’s work and life: Never Tire Of The Road and O’Donoghue’s”– listen to them and you will know a little of the essence of the man, his biographical writings on his own website will tell you the rest.