The Chieftains

The Chieftains 9: Boil the Breakfast Early

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The big change on their ninth album, in Chieftains terms anyway, was the departure of founding members Sean Potts and Martin Tubridy, to be replaced by flutist and tin whistler Matt Molloy, formerly of Planxty and the Bothy Band. It still sounds like a Chieftains record though, mixing up the reels, hornpipes, and more gentle airs, with an energy and deftness equaled by few. You also get a highland march with "March From Oscar and Malvina," an a cappella vocal by Kevin Conneff (more known as the bodhran player) on "When a Man's in Love," and the more rousing beats associated with Irish reels on "Up Against the Buachalawns." Conneff also returns with some additional vocals on the closer, the five-part medley "Chase Around the Windmill." Those who like the Chieftains but find that a little goes a long way might be better off with the (admittedly misleadingly titled) Columbia/Legacy release The Best of the Chieftains -- which compiles highlights from their three Columbia albums of the era -- rather than the individual albums themselves.

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