THE CLANCY BROTHERS
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in Person at Carnegie Hall: The Complete 1963 Concert 2CD - Columbia / Legacy / Sony BMG

A fairly traditional take on Celtic folk can be heard on The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in Person at Carnegie Hall. This luxe double CD release (in its original format, their biggest recording) catches The Clancy Brothers - who in various groupings continued making records well into the 1990s - at what is arguably their zenith. Dylan-vetted (in his recent book, Chronicles, Dylan called baby brother Liam the best singer hes ever heard), these Irish ex-pats began recording a half-century ago, riding on and influencing the folk-revival tide of the times. They spawned any number of acts that mined a similar vein of Irish tradition, but were never bested and seldom equaled. And if influence, coupled with the age of this record, means that the music and banter heard here will have possibly been made overly-familiar by followers, well, here is the un-ironized genuine article.

This is the first time the entire Carnegie Hall concert has been made available. The original release had to be short enough to fit onto a single LP, and both music and between song antics fell to the chopping block. But, the missing material was not destroyed, and the full concert is restored on this set. The Brothers spin out a delightful evening, delivering a combination of contemporary covers, traditionals, and broad Irish humor redolent of the period, all in an emphatically thick brogue that stops just short of going over the top.

By Michael Meade

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