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Andy Irvine
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Andy IrvinewithRens van der Zalm
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About Andy Irvine

Andrew Kennedy Irvine (born 14 June 1942) is an Irish folk musician, singer-songwriter, and a founding member of Sweeney's Men, Planxty, Patrick Street, Mozaik, LAPD and Usher's Island. He also featured in duos, with Dónal Lunny, Paul Brady, Mick Hanly, Dick Gaughan, Rens van der Zalm, and Luke Plumb. Irvine plays the mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, harmonica, and hurdy-gurdy. He has been influential in folk music for over five decades, during which he recorded a large repertoire of songs and tunes he assembled from books, old recordings and folk-song collectors rooted in the Irish, English, Scottish, Eastern European, Australian and American old-time and folk traditions. Imbued with a sense of social justice, Irvine often selects or writes songs that are based on historical events and presented from the victim's perspective. Some of these songs chronicle the abject living and working conditions imposed on groups of people: immigrants, brutalised migrant workers, and exploited textile workers and coalminers. Other songs recall the archetypal experiences of single individuals: the woman seduced by an unfaithful man or disowned by her father; the destitute young man ostracised or murdered on the order of his sweetheart's rich father; the down-on-his-luck farmer or the unemployed worker; the young man inveigled by the army's recruiting sergeant, and political scapegoats. His repertoire includes humorous songs, but also bittersweet ones of unrequited love, or of lovers cruelly separated or dramatically reunited. He also sings about famous racehorses, men or women masquerading in various disguises, a fantastical fox preying on young maidens, and the violent lives of outlaws. As a child actor, Irvine honed his performing talent from an early age and learned the classical guitar. He switched to folk music after discovering Woody Guthrie, also adopting the latter's other instruments: harmonica and mandolin. While extending Guthrie's guitar picking technique to the mandolin, he further developed his playing of this instrument—and, later, of the mandola and the bouzouki—into a decorative, harmonic style, and embraced the modes and rhythms of Bulgarian folk music. Along with Johnny Moynihan and Dónal Lunny, Irvine is one of the pioneers who adapted the Greek bouzouki—with a new tuning—into an Irish instrument. He contributed to advancing the design of his instruments in co-operation with English luthier Stefan Sobell, and he sometimes plays a hurdy-gurdy made for him in 1972 by Peter Abnett, another English luthier.Although touring mainly as a soloist, Irvine has also enjoyed great success in pursuing collaborations through many projects that have influenced contemporary folk music. He continues to tour and perform extensively in Ireland, Great Britain, Europe, North and South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. In October 2018, he received the first Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed at RTÉ Radio 1's inaugural Folk Music Awards.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Andy Irvine (musician) , which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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