As on Another Country and The Old Plank Road , the venerable Irish acoustic band celebrates the shared sources of Celtic music and America's Appalachian folk-bluegrass canon with Raggle Taggle Gypsy; Jordan Is a Hard Road to Travel; Shady Grove; Lambs in the Greenfield; Hick's Farewell; Wild Mountain Thyme; The Lily of the West , and more.
As on Another Country
(1992) and The Old Plank Road
(2002), the venerable Irish acoustic band celebrates the shared sources of Celtic music and America's Appalachian folk/old-timey/bluegrass canon. That several of the guest players are veterans of all three sets lends a note of continuity to the palpable joy of discovery that fairly leaps from every track. Highlights are non-stop, but Allison Moorer's doom-laden vocal on "Hick's Farewell" raises goose-flesh, as does Emmylou Harris' "Lambs In The Greenfield," while Don Williams' treatment of an old Scottish ballad, "Wild Mountain Thyme," reveals a sturdy, unsentimental masculinity. The Chieftains are generous hosts throughout, often taking a back seat so their collaborators may shine. A poignant note: harpist and multi-instrumentalist Derek Bell, a longtime Chieftains member, died just after the Plank Road
sessions were completed. That these were destined to be among his final recordings makes them all the more worthy of treasuring. --Christina Roden