Back in about 1997, there was a show on PBS called Gael Force, which included a lot of different Irish musicians, and was hosted by Emmy Lou Harris. Somewhere along the way afterward, I picked up a copy of that show on video, and it is the exact show that aired on PBS. I noticed today that the show can be bought on Amazon.com for about $10, and includes several acts, and second performances, from several of the performers, which I have not seen. I am contemplating buying the show in its entirety, especially at the price advertised.
The show included the Chieftains: It has two sets with them, and they play along with several of the other musicians. Their first set is a reel and features a couple of young step dancers. Toward the end, they do a song with the drummer singing Changing Your Demeanor, one of their more popular numbers.
DeDannan with a number of their past singers – this was the show where I first saw Tommy Fleming, though I think I had heard of him, I just wasn’t familiar with his music. The set I have shown below was not on the video I have, but is most likely on the expanded version available on Amazon.
Frankie Gavin and the lads.
Frankie Gavin – Fiddle Alec Finn – Bouzouki Derek Hickey – Accordion Colm Murphy – Bodhran
The lads also did a round with Maura McConnell, where she sang Maggie. And then the song Hard Times with Mary Black, Maura O’Connell, Eleanor Shanley and Tommy Fleming.
An anthem, dedicated for people that are going thru hard times. De Danann with Mary Black, Tommy Flemming, Maura O’Connell and Eleanor Shanley Stephen Foster…
Leahy is a young Canadian family of brothers and sisters who do a tune, backed by the Chieftans.
A wonderful family band from Canada, watch to the end, you’ll love the dancing.
Leahy & The Chieftains – B minor Medley Extrait du Spectacle de musique Celtique Gaelforce “The Spirit of Ireland”
Then Carlos Nunez, a young Spaniard from Galicia, the Celtic part of northwest Spain. I did not clip a photo from him.
Clannad, the Brennan family from Donegal which includes Maire Ni Bhrannain, and where Enya (Einte) first got her start, did several numbers. Here is one of them:
Another clip from Gaelforce.
Christy Moore did a couple of songs, one of the Riverdance Troupes did a couple of numbers from the show. Altan, with Mairead Ni Mhaonagh, the Afro-Celt Sound System, one of my fave non-traditional Celtic groups, Sinead O’Connor sing Thank You For Hearing Me (I looked for this particular performance on YouTube, but other than several renditions of the song, this particular one was not there, Sharon Shannon, a wonderful accordionist who has a most fascinating fiddle player with her who stole the show for me, and a young man new to me, Ashley MacIsaac, round out the version I have. Finally, though not the last song on the video, here is one of my faves, by one of my favourite female singers, Mary Black and Song For Ireland.
I love Mary Black. She did this song on the Gaelforce video from PBS.
Looking at Frankie Gavin’s face in this, you almost have to think he is madly in love with her, though I think both of them have families of their own.
Anyway, I definitely recommend this recording to anyone who loves Irish music.