“The Dubliners” by The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1964Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

Away back at the start of the century, scholar Cecil Sharp had warned that the old folk forms were in grave danger of dying out, but the truth of the matter is that there were enough people, players and listeners, interested enough to keep the music alive with various twists and turns down throughout the years. The famous American revival of the 50s had spread to England’s shores, and this had a knock-on effect in Ireland, an ancient homeland of the western form. A new generation set about the old tunes with a new vigour, as the pubs once again became alive with the craic of the auld folk ballads. Four lads from Dublin were at the very forefront of the Irish revival; they were a hard-working group and fame in their own back yard came instantly in ’62. The group’s charms wowed the Edinburgh Festival in 1963 which led to them being featured on a BBC programme called Hootenanny. Before too long, they got a major break when Transatlantic Records signed them up to an album deal before the year was through. The Dubliners first album was recorded live before an invited audience at London's Livingston Studios in late 1963. At this time they were: Ronnie Drew (29, vocals, guitar); Luke Kelly (23, vocals, banjo); Barney McKenna (23, banjo) and Ciarán Bourke (28, vocals, tin Whistle). Nathan Joseph, who had signed the group on a memorable Guinness-laden trip to the Wicklow hills penned the album’s liner notes which served as a suitably humorous introduction for the likeable Dubliners:

“Tom Leader aged 5, was talking to the roadsweeper. Four Irishmen emerged from a house nearby “They look like 4 nannygoats”, said the roadsweeper. “No”, said Tom, who had heard them sing. “Nannygoats have horns”… Ciarán Bourke, Barney McKenna, Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly have beards. Barney's is big, black and bushy and Barney is big, giving an overall impression of a benign Californian black bear. Barney plays the banjo with a dexterity unmatched by anyone else in Britain. Ronnie Drew's beard is still blacker than Barney's, but smaller and trimmer. It encircles his face in such a way that his eyes resemble a cat's peering out of a coal cellar, or a devil glaring out of hell. Ronnie plays guitar and sings in a voice like coke being crushed under a door. Ciarán’s beard is lighter in colour, and straggles a little. The hair is not so wiry either. Ciarán is the quiet member of the group. He plays the whistle and his voice has a softer texture than Luke's or Ronnie's. Luke has a smart, sharp ginger beard. The others accuse him of being an intellectual. He is more lone wolf than nannygoat. He sings in a voice to wake the dead and scare recording engineers, and plays the banjo. Together as the Dubliners, they are enough to warm the heart of any Irishman and to frighten the British immigration authorities. They are Dublin's darlings; impossible for an audience to resist and impossible to record. We recorded them.”

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:13] 6.9.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - The Wild Rover [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
A2 [02:08] 6.4.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - The Ragman’s Ball [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
A3 [02:14] 6.2.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - Preab San Ól [live ’63] (Riocard Bairéad) Folk
A4 [02:58] 5.4.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - The High Reel [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
A5 [02:15] 6.9.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - The Holy Ground [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
A6 [03:06] 8.3.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - Tramps And Hawkers [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
A7 [03:17] 5.8.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - Home Boys, Home [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
B1 [02:34] 6.8.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - Rocky Road To Dublin [live ’63] (Traditional, D.K. Gavan) Folk
B2 [02:12] 6.7.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - Banks Of The Roses [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
B3 [02:06] 6.4.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - I’ll Tell Me Ma [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
B4 [02:49] 5.7.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - Swallow’s Tail Reel [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
B5 [02:14] 7.0.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - Love Is Pleasing [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
B6 [01:47] 5.5.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - Jar Of Porter [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk
B7 [03:35] 6.5.png The Dubliners with Luke Kelly - The Nightingale [live ’63] (Traditional) Folk

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