Andy Irvine has enjoyed a long and successful career as a traditional Irish musician. He has travelled the world as a solo artist and as a member of legendary Irish groups such as Planxty and Patrick Street and more recently Mozaik. Throughout his extensive career he has maintained and developed the qualities in his music, which endear him to his audience and fellow musicians alike. After his introduction to the world of touring with Sweeney’s Men in 1965, he continued to travel the world, leaving the band in 1968 to pursue his wanderlust. He travelled through Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia, studying the music traditions and styles of these nations. It was these journeys, which led him to adopt the bouzouki in his performance. This new instrument allowed him to develop his own style while learning that of the Balkan countries he visited.
On his return to Ireland, Andy formed Planxty with fellow musicians Christy Moore, Donal Lunny and Liam O’ Flynn. Planxty went on to achieve huge success and legendary status, reigniting traditional music as a popular genre. While Planxty took a break in 1967, Andy took the time to record another piece of work with Paul Brady. The two recorded a classic album together, simply entitled “Andy Irvine & Paul Brady”. Planxty regrouped from 1979 – 1983. When the group permanently disbanded, Andy began his solo career. He recorded his first album “Rainy Sundays…. windy dreams” shortly after. His second album was “Parallel Lines” a duo album with the great Scots troubadour, Dick Gaughan.
Taking a break from working solo, Andy formed a band with Donal Lunny and some European friends called Mozaik. They completed one European summer tour before Andy returned to his solo and collaborative work. These collaborations led to the formation of Irelands first traditional “super group” Patrick Street. The group consisted of Kevin Burke (Bothy Band), Jackie Daly (De Dannan) and guitar maestro Arty McGlynn. The group toured from 1987–1990, releasing three albums in the process. They would regroup in 1993 to release a further five albums, although in between Andy recorded two solo albums. One of these albums consisted of entirely Balkan music, which Andy had learned on his earlier travels. In 2002, Andy finally formed his “dream band”, Mozaik, with Donal Lunny, Dutch guitarist Rens van der Zalm, Hungarian bagpiper Nikola Parov and American fiddler Bruce Molsky. The group have completed tours of Australia, Europe and America and have released two highly acclaimed albums
Andy continues to tour the world with Mozaik as well as Patrick Street. He has also completed a brief series of reunion concerts with Planxty and Paul Brady in the last few years. His constant touring is testament to the fact that he is still as passionate about his music as when he began. As a musician and a living icon, Andy Irvine will remain in the Irish music scene for a long time to come.
Andy Irvine – Quotes:
Andy is like an old friend. I’ve known his unique voice for so long – from Sweeney’s Men to Planxty, from his duo with Paul Brady to his solo performances. His singing is pure emotion. His playing is both delicate and energetic. Andy invented the interlaces of bouzouki, mandolin and mandola in Irish music. He’s often been mimicked, but never equalled.
Andy Irvine is Woody Guthrie’s representative on earth. Hot Press
Andy Irvine has been one of Ireland’s most creative talents for over 20 years.
The concert was an unqualified success, Irvine delivering a wonderfully diverse set that included traditional and contemporary Irish songs, American songs and Bulgarian dance tunes. Toronto Star
Andy Irvine’s live solo performance was informative, witty, intense, full of a love for the music, which he transmitted to the audience with an honesty that only the truly committed can attain. Auckland Festival
His forte, his genius is playing his mandolin, mandola and bouzouki. I have never heard such clarity of sound, such perfect and precise rhythmic variations or such brilliant melodic figures from this family of instruments. San Francisco Examiner
Irvine turned in a dazzling display of one-man-bandsmanship. The Scotsman
Andy Irvine’s solo stage show is a musical travelogue through time and space. His right hand dexterity on bouzouki was nothing short of amazing. Frets Magazine
Woody would have been proud. Denver Post
Irvine’s voice and accompaniment combine in a spell-weaving fashion, his story songs so fully animated that it’s easy to understand how some cultures get along just fine without cable TV. Los Angeles Times
Andy Irvine is a tradition in himself Irish Press
The Noam Chomsky of Irish Balladry chisels out a new motherlode of sung literature….
A bloody masterpiece Irish Times
“Andy Irvine remains the quintessential folk singer with a set of flesh and blood songs that touch the heart and give the mind food for thought. What makes an evening with Irvine so special is that every note he picks and every line he sings comes from the heart. Everything he touches is performed with honesty and conviction and his playing is never less than breathtaking. By any measure Irvine is one of the towering talents on the International folk scene. Sydney Morning Herald
His artistry is quite simply unique and his voice is as liltingly evocative as ever, the songs as pointed and poignant, beautiful and sad. Never tire of the road, Andy! Independent
Andy Irvine is Ireland’s Woody Guthrie, with a philosopher’s ear and a prophet’s passionate voice. He is also a stunning singer and instrumentalist who weaves melody and texture, harmony and rhythm, into a rich tapestry of present and past. Si Kahn
Andy Irvine is someone whose singing I have always loved. He always takes you to the place he’s in. He creates a world … Andy singing a song like Bonny Woodhall or West Coast of Clare, or a song like The Jolly Beggar, songs of another era, but tapped into beautifully by Andy and his treatment of them. Donal Lunny
I love that record. I absolutely love that record. [Andy Irvine/Paul Brady, Mulligan Album, 1976] Paul Brady
I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of working and touring with Andy on numerous occasions. He’s a great musician. Dolores Keane
Andy is one of the most creative and talented people it has ever been my privilege to work with. Great company, superb singer, genius of a musician, truly original songwriter and an inspiration to all of us – what more could anyone ask? Dick Gaughan
Doors open at 7.30pm