It began as so many formidable projects do, with a modest idea: get four recognized masters to join forces for a tour, bill it as "The Legends of Irish Music," and make a recording. Built around the core group of fiddler Kevin Burke (ex-Bothy Band, now leader of Open House), Jackie Daly (ex-DeDannan) and singer/guitarist Andy Irvine (ex-Planxty, and currently with the EastWind Trio), Patrick Street has indeed evolved into "legendary" status! On their fifth album, Corner Boys, they welcome new recruit Ged Foley (formerly of the Battlefield Band, and now in The House Band), whose inventive guitar licks pprovide ideal underpinning for Andy Irvine's intricate songs and Kevin Burke and Jackie Daly's seamless duets on fiddle and accordion. Corner Boys adds yet more luster to a group whose tightly executed arrangements and unparalleled musicianship know no equal.
Daly brings his wide repertoire of Kerry music to the fore with a dazzling slide set (which includes a surprise polka to keep you on your toes!), and Burke lays into his reel solos with a gentle ferocity. Irvine's bouzouki playing has long been a standard by which others are judged, and he is in great form here, both instrumentally and vocally. This is especially true on his medley of songs about the hunting of the hare (with the delightful bonus of Foley's Northumbrian pipes). All in all, it's another hit from the Irish group that first popularized "Music For a Found Harmonium." This all-star quartet just keeps getting more diverse and eclectic over time, and Corner Boys shows them at the peak of their form.
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In February 1986, famed Irish musicians Kevin Burke, Andy Irvine and Jackie Daly teamed together for the first time to tour the Unites States. The kernel for the tour was a rare opportunity for musicians who had long admired one another's work to finally get a chance to share the same stage. Billed as "The Legends of Irish Music," in deference to their illustrious musical lineage (Burke was the fiddler for The Bothy Band, Irvine sang and played bouzouki with Planxty, and Daly was De Dannan's accordionist), they drew huge crowds and glowing reviews across the country.
Bolstered by their success, Kevin, Andy and Jackie decided to turn their impromptu association into a permanent group, and adopted the name Patrick Street. From 1987-1993, Patrick Street released four highly acclaimed albums and toured the U.S. five times. In October/November 1994, Patrick Street toured New England as a joint project with the renowned French-Canadian band, La Bottine Souriante. For this tour they played with House Band guitarist Ged Foley, who was such a positive addition that he was asked to continue with the band.
In 1995, Patrick Street (Kevin, Andy, Jackie and Ged) recorded a new album, Corner Boys, for Green Linnet Records, an earthy spirited album that highlights their virtuosity with a minimum of studio effects or layered arrangements. The album was released in conjunction with a warmly received May 1996 national U.S. tour. Buoyed by the strong reception to their new lineup, Patrick Street is taking to the road again in October 1997.
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