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The Album:

dingle moon,
california stars

Here's a new collection of our ballads and pub songs that is very much unique to our own style and selection of Irish and yes, other music. There are songs from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, and the United States. They all, in one way or another, seem to fit with the musical fabric that we've created over the past years. These songs represent some of the best and certainly the most diverse songwriting talent around Irish music today, and underscore the influences of Irish music on American music, and the inevitable and enjoyable reverse of that.

The band for this around-the-world journey includes Brian, Brendan and Henry the Fiddler, with Greg Panos and Richard Gillies. But we're joined by some very special guests, including the Donncha Lynch Band from Cork, Ireland, Brian's longtime singing partner Leslie Aguillard, Ken Goodwin, the musical director of Sing-Sing in LODO Denver, and Ron Byrne.

Our special thanks to Ron Byrne of Naked Ear Recording Studios for his terrific work on the production of this CD.

 

All the very best.

Brian Clancy
Denver, Colorado
September, 2007

You can purchase this Album at right, review the lyrics and liner notes below or listen to the album online.

Buy the Dingle Moon, California Stars Album in CD format Now!

This Album is now available in CD format  above or for instant download in MP3 format below.

Buy the Dingle Moon, California Stars Album in MP3 download format Now!

Intro - California Stars Track 01 - 0:32

An a cappella introduction to the Dingle Moon, California Stars album. The full song appears later on Track 18. We hope you enjoy listening to this CD as much as we did making it!

The Old Dungarvan Oak Track 02 -2:20 Frank Hennessy

This is a wonderful love song originally from Wales. The name of the town is updated, but the story is the same: to get through life together, a couple need more than just love…they need a good sense of humor.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitars
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán

In the City of Chicago Track 03 -2:41 Barry Moore

Barry Moore is the the brother of Ireland's most famous modern balladeer, Christy Moore, and both have recorded the song. Barry explores the loneliness and isolation that accompanied many Irish to America's heartland. It's a theme that rings quite true, yet very few songs of its type are popular in the U. S. It's directed at an Irish audience rather than an Irish-American one.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitar
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Greg Panos, bass

St. Brendan’s Voyage Track 04 -4:41, Christy Moore

Here's a guided tour of the Dingle Peninsula even as the Irish government moves to re-establish the town's original Irish name. Christy Moore's autobiography offered some interesting comments about the origin of the song. Brian and Brendan visited the pub where the events took place in Brandon, County Kerry. The Donncha Lynch Band are special guests on this song, with Caitlín Begley Lynch providing some sean-nós singing with Brendan on the chorus. The song is as much about the popularity of Christy Moore as it is a fictional encounter with Saint Brendan around 500 AD.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitars
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Donncha Lynch, Irish accordion
Ronán Lynch, fiddle
Caitlín Begley Lynch, harmony vocal
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán

Barn Dances Track 05 -3:27, Traditional,
arr. by Donncha and Ronán Lynch.

Brian asked the Lynch Family from Cork to join him in the studio following a Colorado Irish Festival to which they had traveled from Ireland. This is a medley of three reels that Donncha simply referred to as "barn dances" that they play for local Céilidh dances in Ireland. Brian joined in with acoustic guitar to add some clearly American flat-picking elements to the mix. In both of these songs with the Lynch Family, it was a fun experience, much like sitting around the kitchen--somewhere in the world--enjoying an evening of music and singing.

Donncha Lynch, Irish accordion
Ronán Lynch, fiddle
Caitlín Begley Lynch, spoons
Brian Clancy, lead and rhythm guitars
Richard Gillies, bodhrán

The Scotsman’s Kilt Track 06 -2:45 Mike Cross

This is a popular song for the band in live performance. While it may be based on a joke, Mike Cross did an outstanding job of putting it to music and keeping the comedic rhythm of the story intact, if not improving upon it. Wherever we go, and particularly around St. Patrick's Day, you see lots of fellows sporting kilts and clinging to the idea that being "regimental" is the only way to properly wear a kilt. In short, the only things they have on under the garment is, well, their socks and shoes. It's a blue-ribbon pub song.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitars
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán

Farewell to the Rhondda Track 07 -3:03 Frank Hennessy

A happier bunch of displaced workers we've never found in song. It's a very upbeat tale that marks the truthful events surrounding the closing of coal mines in the Rhonnda Valley of Wales, told by Frank Hennessy, who still does a weekly radio show in Wales. The nicely-crafted tune that introduces the audience to some of the extended names for towns so typical of the region and exudes the courage and stamina of the mine workers in the face of economic hardship and lack of government interest in their plight, which will lead them out of their native Welsh lands and off to London.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitars
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Ken Goodwin, piano
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Greg Panos, bass

My Cavan Girl Track 08 -3:45, Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore is an American who won the Cavan songwriting contest one year with this tune while he was living in Ireland. We think it is one of the most beautiful Irish love songs, and play it often for weddings. Ken Goodwin's piano adds much to the character of the tune and gives it a distinct sound that you don't normally hear in our mix...we think it's a great way to present the tune, even if we can't bring a piano to every performance.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitars
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán

Red-Haired Mary Track 09 -3:16, Sean McCarthy

This song was done by the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem many years ago. It's a very different kind of love ballad, with fisticuffs and bodily harm thrown into the verses. There really is a Murphy's in Dingle, and it has a shed out back. Brian and Brendan visited the pub on a Sunday morning and can attest that the fellow in the song is just lucky didn't have a confrontation with the woman who runs the pub. She's all business and the lad wouldn't have stood a chance if she had found him in the shed.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitars
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán

Cold Frosty Morn/Growling Old Man and Grumbling Old Woman
Track 10 -3:49, Traditional

This duo has been a staple fiddle tune arrangement of Henry the Fiddler's for many years. Cold, Frosty Morn appears as a fiddle tune collected in Lauderdale County, Mississippi from Stephen Tucker by the Library of Congress in 1939--as a jig--which would be unusual. We think the origin is actually Irish. Growling Old Man and Grumbling Old Woman is atrributed to New England, French-Canada and even Prince Edward Island, and Henry does a masterful job of representing the animated exchange between this disgrunted couple. It's a fun set of fiddle tunes for your enjoyment.

Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Brian Clancy, guitars
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán

The Galway Girl Track 11 -2:48, Steve Earle

This is a decidely American song wth an Irish theme. We began playing this song as a request from our Irish friends from Galway, and, indeed, it is very popular in Ireland, having appeared along with Steve on a Sharon Shannon album. We somewhat follow that version as we have fun with the tune, Brian and Henry taking the signature lead together instrumentally. It's just another example of how some great Irish songs don't have to really be Irish to "qualify".

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitars
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán

Las Vegas (In the Hills of Donegal) Track 12 -3:27, Pat Gallagher

Well, we're starting to move West on our musical journey. This is a very enjoyable tune done by Pat and his band, Goats Don't Shave, on the album Rusty Razor. It's not just that the subject begs Las Vegas, but the overall feel of the song is more American, even if the band is actually from Donegal. Brian gets to add some Fender Telecaster guitar work to this song and Henry offers some ornate fills on the fiddle throughout.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal, electric guitar
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal, acoustic guitar
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán
Ron Byrne, drums

Nancy Spain Track 13 - 4:26 Barney Rush

Christy Moore says that it has become the most well-known of all his songs. It's a haunting tale of love lost, and we're left somewhat in the dark as to the details of the relationship. But Nancy Spain is a terrific ballad that audiences always enjoy when they're able to listen; we try to play it during those brief and seldom quiet times, and always relish the opportunity.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitar
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Greg Panos, bass

I’ve Waited As Long As I Can (Say You Love Me)
Track 14 - 5:00 Hylo Brown

We recorded this song thinking it was the work of Dessie O'Halloran, only to find that the song really originated in the U.S. Brendan sings lead on the song to reproduce Dessie's part on a Sharon Shannon album. The song takes on a cajun/bluegrass flair that we wouldn't mind playing all day, and we go back for more on this cut. We actually met and played with Dessie's nephew, John O'Halloran at the Crane in Galway city. During that session we learned just how much the Irish players really enjoy playing bluegrass music. Leslie has a bit of Cajun background, and enjoyed joining in on this song.

Brendan Clancy, lead vocal, acoustic guitar
Brian Clancy, harmony vocal, acoustic and electric guitars
Leslie Aguillard, harmony vocal
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán
Ron Byrne, drums

Dublin in the Rare Auld Times, Track 15 - 5:05 Pete St. John

This tune comes from one of Ireland's most prolific and accomplished songwriters. It's a lament for the good old days, and the changing face of Dublin, indeed, all of Ireland in its economic boom. There's some very nice instrumental work by Ken Goodwin and Henry the Fiddler to bring out the power of the lyrics and set the mood of the ballad while Leslie Aguillard offers some very nice harmony vocals.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitar
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Leslie Aguillard, harmony vocals
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Ken Goodwin, piano
Greg Panos, bass

Ramblin’ Rover, Track 16 - 3:27 Andy Stewart

Stewart, as the lyrics imply, is a Scotsman and the jig ballad is a very lively number. Coming from Scotland himself,
Richard is fond of the tune and offers sprited bodhrán playing alongside Brian and Brendan's guitars.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitar
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal and guitar
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán

There’s a Guy Works Down the Chipshop Swears He's Elvis
Track 17 - 3:20 Kirsty MacColl

Not only is it the longest title, but it's a song meant for a woman to sing...and we asked Leslie Aguillard to sing the lead chorus on this comical tune with a serious point to make. Kirsty was the daughter of Ewan MacColl, her life cut short by a boating accident in Mexico. We expand the band to include Ken Goodwin playing the piano breaks, Ron Byrne on drums and Brian doubles up on the Fender Telecaster.

Leslie Aguillard, lead and harmony vocals
Brian Clancy, lead vocal and electric guitar
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal and acoustic guitar
Ken Goodwin, piano
Greg Panos, bass
Ron Byrne, drums

California Stars, Track 18 - 4:08
words: Woody Guthrie music: Jay Bennett/Jeff Tweedy

Woody Guthrie wrote the lyrics, and many years later Wilco, an American band composed the music at the behest of Woody's daughter, and it appeared in their collaboration with Englishman Billy Bragg, Mermain Avenue. We really like the song, and Brendan offers up the lead acoustic guitar and vocals as Brian and Leslie join the whole band on this tune. The same stars and moon shine above California and Dingle, and songs, it seems, get around the world just as easily.

Brendan Clancy, lead vocal and acoustic guitar
Brian Clancy, harmony vocal, acoustic and electric guitars
Leslie Aguillard, harmony vocals
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Ken Goodwin, piano
Greg Panos, bass

Rain Street, Track 19 - 2:50 Shane McGowan

We were introduced to this song many years ago when Brian first started playing at Clancy's Irish Pub in Breckenridge. It was the barman's favorite song and Steve wanted us to learn it. It's hilarious, a bit controversial, rated R, and in the end, one really great song by the great Shane McGowan of Pogues fame. Just about everyone's in the band is on this one, and Greg Panos' bass really shines alongside Brendan's lead guitar work.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and rhythm guitar
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal and lead guitar
Ken Goodwin, piano
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle
Greg Panos, bass
Ron Byrne, drums

The Wild Mountain Thyme, Track 20 - 3:42
Traditional (Robert Tannahill)

This song is reported to have originated in Scotland in the mid-1700s based on Robert Tannahill's "The Braes of Balquidder." It's a real
favorite of both Richard and Brian, and Henry the Fiddler adds the unique sound of the musical saw on the tune, as we often do in public
performance. The ballad takes us back around the world again--close to where it all started.

Brian Clancy, lead vocal and guitar
Brendan Clancy, harmony vocal
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle and musical saw
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán

 

All songs copyright as noted. Dingle Moon, California Stars (c)2007 Irish Row records, P. O. Box 200549, Denver, CO 80220. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws. Sound Engineering by Ron Byrne, Naked Ear Recording Studios, Aurora, CO. Artistic Design by Larry Mitro, The Type-Smith of Colorado, Denver, CO.

The Irish Row Band:

Brian Clancy, lead vocal, guitar, electric guitar
Brendan Clancy, lead vocal, harmony vocal, guitar, lead guitar
Henry the Fiddler, fiddle, musical saw
Leslie Aguillard, lead vocal, harmony vocal
Greg Panos, bass
Richard Gillies, bodhrán
Ken Goodwin, piano
Ron Byrne, drums

Donnncha Lynch Band from Cork, Ireland

Donncha Lynch, Irish accordion
Ronán Lynch, fiddle
Caitlín Begley Lynch, harmony vocal, spoons