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March 1, 2018 / rockroots

Michael O’Brien/Chris King – Éire Nua


Michael O’Brien was born in Waterford and raised in Tipperary before emigrating to the USA. Chris King was likewise an Irish immigrant from Tipperary, and the two struck up a partnership in the Irish folk music scene of New York, forming Trinity II in 1972. They enjoyed heavy sponsorship from Guinness and their repertoire featured many traditional Irish ballads. For this 1975 record the duo opted to record under their own names rather than under the band name. This could possibly have been something to do with their Guinness deal, as songs like Merry Ploughboy reference joining the IRA and might not have been deemed politically correct for an international brand in the highly-charged political atmosphere of the 1970s. To further the point, the LP is named (‘New Ireland’) after the document proposing a federal united Ireland which was the official policy of Provisional Sinn Fein between 1972 and 1982, and is accompanied by a simple but powerful cover image suggesting liberation. The songs are sparsely arranged and highlight O’Brien’s sonorous voice with its slight American lilt.

Of note, the recording sessions also featured Pierce Turner and Larry Kirwan as backing musicians, around the time this other Irish-American duo were trying to get their first proper album released. We get to hear Turner’s recognisable keyboard work on tracks like Rosín Dubh (Mise Eire) and their interpretation of W.B. Yeats’ The Quest Of Wandering Angus, and it acts as a sampler of where that duo’s musical evolution was at in 1975.

Michael O’Brien/Chris King – Éire Nua (192kbps):

  1. Men Behind The Wire
  2. Black Velvet Band
  3. Wild Colonial Boy
  4. Nancy Whiskey
  5. Merry Ploughboy
  6. Rosín Dubh (Mise Eire)
  7. The Fiddler Of Dooney/The Quest Of Wandering Angus
  8. Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye
  9. Greensleeves Through The Ages
  10. Come By The Hills

See also:

Irish Rock Discography: Turner & Kirwan of Wexford

One Comment

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  1. JR / Jun 29 2018 07:30

    I doubt they will ever be forgotten until the children’s children’s children of those who had the privilege and experience of being in the same room with them, are all gone, and maybe not even then.

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