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Lindsey Horner – the Sidemen Blogs: Andy Irvine


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Undiscovered Country, the latest ArtistShare project from Lindsey Horner has an all-star cast that is equally as diverse as the music itself. We'll be putting the spotlight on each of these players in the months leading up to the album's release.

Andy Irvine has been hailed as “a tradition in himself." Musician, singer and songwriter, Andy has maintained both personal integrity and highly individual performing skills throughout his 40-year career. From Sweeney's Men in the mid sixties to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, to THE Irish super group, Patrick Street, in the 80s, Andy has been a world music pioneer and icon for traditional music and musicians.

Irvine occupies a unique place in the musical world, plying his trade as archetypal troubadour, with a solo show and traveling lifestyle that reflects his lifelong influence, Woody Guthrie. Few others can equal his repertoire, Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dance tunes, and a compelling canon of his own material that defies description.

In his two years with Sweeney's Men, the group ignited an interest in traditional Irish music that survives to this day. Their successful singles, “Old Maid in the Garret" and “The Waxie's Dargle" landed at the very top of the Irish Hit Parade.

Andy left the band in 1968, and made his first trip 'way out yonder', traveling by 'the sunburnt thumb' in Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia, earning his living as a street musician and absorbing the musical traditions of the Balkans. Returning to Ireland, Irvine united with Christy Moore, Donal Lunny and Liam O'Flynn to form Planxty, fanning the flames of Irish Traditional Music well into the next generation.

Planxty reunited in early 2004 for 10 reunion concerts in Ireland, which all sold out the same day the tickets went on sale. The concerts were recorded for CD and DVD releases, Planxty Live, 2004.

Andy continues to tour extensively, both solo, with Patrick Street and Mozaik, throughout Europe, Australia and America with occasional visits to more distant places like Brazil and Japan.

Although an integral part of the finest Irish bands of our time, Andy Irvine continues along the road he set for himself so long ago - a vibrant career as a solo artist in the old style, a teller of stories and maker of music.

In Lindsey's own words: “one of my musical heroes, the great Andy Irvine, has agreed to be a guest on this project. A true legend of Irish and World music (before the term “World Music" existed), Andy has inspired me since I was a lad. I played on a recording of his called Way Out Yonder back in 1999 and it remains one of the recordings of which I am most proud. Ireland and it's music has always been central to my development as a musician (and a person) and I am truly honored that Andy has agreed to be a part of this endeavor.”

Andy's legendary stylings will undoubtedly be a huge addition to an already exciting project. Stay tuned for more information about all of Lindsey's project members.

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