Water From the Well
When yer wantin• traditional Irish music, t•en you•ll be wantin• the Chieftains, sure. This 17-song (actually, some of the songs are •sets,• essentially medleys of short songs run together) seems intended as a musical tour of the Irish island, with a tray insert showing various locations at which the group played with other traditional musicians on the record, or at least from whence the songs or sets originated. While the group•s vocalist may be the weak link from a musical perspective, he doesn•t crop up so often as to detract from the overall delight of the record, and in fact many — if not most — would say this is music meant to be sung by untrained voices, anyhow. And the lyric to •Jack of All Trades,• a lyrical tour of the streets of Dublin, is hilarious enough (•In Barrick Street I lost me wife, and I•m glad I ne•er did find her•) to make you glad to not miss the words. A wonderful return to their roots for these progenitors of Irish music.