Sat March 3, 2012

Weekend Audition: Music from Near and Far

Some required weekend listening from Denver's Tennis and the New Chieftains...

Husband and wife duo Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore compose the band Tennis. The name deriving from a time when Moore teased Riley about playing the ‘rich man’s’ game in college. Their first two releases reflect their experiences sailing and exploring the North Atlantic coast, where they began chronicling their adventures in song.

Riley was quoted as saying that "the band started from press, flat out" and from that, the buzz about the band’s early releases in 2010, for which they are very grateful. There are some differences between their first efforts and their latest work. The songs were written to connect on a greater level than their earlier work, and though initially anti-producer, Tennis decided to hire Patrick Carney to produce Young and Old, which also helped to take the band to a higher level. It worked. They are soaring and the sky is the limit.

The promotional language on the website for the new Chieftains album, Voice of Ages declares it “An imaginative collaboration featuring a dazzling collection of like-minded musical visionaries and kindred spirits.” I heartily agree.

Paddy Moloney and the Chieftains have never shied away from collaborations in different musical genre, they have worked with YoYo Ma, Emmylou Harris and Mick Jagger to name a few. The work seems to really embrace the poetry of Ireland and is fitting for a album celebrating this band’s 50th anniversary.

Moloney says, "I can think of nothing more exciting than to spend another 50 years collaborating with the best voices of the future” and with Voice of Ages they have. The Chieftains team up with artists such as The Civil Wars, The Decemberists, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bon Iver, and Imelda May amongst others. All giving soulful renditions of traditional songs such as "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies" and "Down in the Willow Garden", to Bob Dylan’s "When the Ship Comes In" all woven together with the Chieftains traditional beauty. It is a wonderful work.

Here are the Chieftains blending their old world wonder with Earl Scruggs and the all-American sound of Bluegrass, "Sally Goodin'"