The Chieftains’ latest album, Further Down The Old Plank Road (Victor/BMG), continues the groundbreaking collaboration between The Chieftains and some of country and bluegrass music’s most original and influential artists. It celebrates the Irish roots of American country and folk idioms.
The album features Nickel Creek, Rosanne Cash, EmmyLou Harris, Ricky Scaggs, John Hiatt, John Prine, Don Williams, Jerry Douglas, Patty Loveless and many more. Further Down The Old Plank Road continues the historic musical and cultural collaboration with sixteen new tracks from an extraordinary array of artists, all backed by the Chieftains and produced by the group’s founder Paddy Moloney, along with Jeff White and Steve Buckingham. The album also contains some of the final performances from multi-instrumentalist Derek Bell, a long-standing Chieftains member who passed away late last year.
Selections on Further Down The Old Plank Road include vocal performances by Carlene Carter on “Bandit Of Love/The Cheating Waltz,” Rosanne Cash on “The Lily Of The West,” Joe Ely on “The Moonshiner/I’m A Rambler,” Emmylou Harris on “Lambs In The Greenfield,” John Hiatt on “Jordan Is A Hard Road To Travel,” Patty Loveless on “Three Little Babes,” Allison Moorer on “Hick’s Farewell,” Nickel Creek and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on, respectively, “The Raggle Taggle Gypsy” and “The Squid Jiggin’ Ground,” Tim O’Brien on “Shady Grove,” John Prine on “The Girl I Left Behind,” Ricky Skaggs on “Talk About Suffering/Man of the House’” and Don Williams on “Wild Mountain Thyme.”
Further Down The Old Plank Road also highlights instrumental performances by guitar great Jerry Douglas on a “Rosc Catha Na Mumbain/Arkansas Traveller/The Wild Irishman,” the legendary Doc Watson on “The Fisherman’s Hornpipe/The Devil’s Dream” as well as Chet Atkins, Béla Fleck and others on “Chief O’Neill’s Hornpipe.”
The previous collaboration with American musicians, Down The Old Plank Road, brought the Chieftains to Nashville, Tennessee, for recording sessions that featured guest appearances by Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Béla Fleck and a host of others. Interest in the project among Nashville artists was so intense that recordings extended far beyond the originally planned schedule and would eventually encompass an encyclopedic array of top performers in country, folk and American roots realms.
Together with the release of Further Down The Old Plank Road , PBS Television will broadcast Down The Old Plank Road, a concert special filmed at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and featuring many of the artists heard on the album. Check local listing for time and date.
With a career that spans forty-one years and forty-one albums, The Chieftains (Paddy Moloney, Kevin Conneff, Seán Keane and Matt Molloy) have become Ireland’s premier musical ambassadors and also the most influential and enduring force in establishing the global appeal of Celtic music.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.