Friday 16 October 2009

Mick Hanly - As I Went Over Blackwater (1982)

320 kbps

Mick Hanly - As I Went Over Blackwater (Green Linnet - SIF 3007 - 1982)

The second solo album from Mick Hanly, once again excellently produced by Dónal Lunny, and featuring a number of very well-known musicians from the traditional music scene of the 1970s and 1980s, including Andy Irvine (hurdy-gurdy & voice), Seán Hanly (bodhrán), Matt Molloy (flute), Noel Hill (concertina), Paddy Glackin (fiddle), Declan Sinnot (electric guitar), and Dónal Lunny (bouzouki, synthesizer & voice). It is, if possible, even better than Hanly's first album, and his voice is absolutely magnificent. Several songs are taken from the Penguin Book of Folk Ballads, while the melodies are Hanly's own, as is the well-known 'Jessica's Polka'. The jewel of the album, however, is Hanly's epic version of 'The Dewey Dens of Yarrow'. He recorded a version of this with Mícheál Ó Domhnaill on 'Celtic Folkweave', later made famous by the Bothy Band, but this shorter version makes little sense, and as a story is entirely meaningless. Hanly took a number of versions of this song from Child, and collated them to create a meaningful narrative, put to his own music. With Matt Molloy's lovely flute accompaniment, this is a hauntingly beautiful song, as is Hanly's version of 'As I Went Over Blackwater', learnt from his grandmother, whom, he says, 'still launches into this and other assorted fragments the minute the sherry bottle is taken from the press to make the Christmas cake'. On this track Declan Sinnot's slide guitar points the way towards Hanly's evolution into a successful American folk and country artist, and the move away from traditional Irish music altogether that came shortly after this album.

1. Jack Heggarty
2. The Guerriere and the Constitution
3. Every Circumstance
4. The Dewey Dens of Yarrow
5. Miss Bailey/Jessica's [Polka]
6. I Wish My Love Was a Red, Red Rose
7. Off to California/The Plains of Boyle [Hornpipes]
8. The Scourge of the Nation
9. As I Went Over Blackwater