Tony Christie - Is This the Way to Amarillo?
No! This time he's winding his way to Dublin, Limerick, Tullamore, and Carrickfergus. 44 Years after the release of his million-selling hit "Amarillo", Tony Christie rounds off his long career with a nostalgic trip to his family's Irish roots - and has produced an Irish folk album of the very highest musical and audio quality. For this project he was able to acquire the services of the band "Ranagri", who have worked with such international luminaries as Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder and Ennio Morricone.
Twelve of the most beautiful Irish folk classics including for instance "Wild Mountain Thyme" and "Carrickfergus", were recorded by Christie and the band in the Grammy-nominated Stockfisch Studio in Northeim, where producer Gunter Pauler has earned an international reputation for the unusually high sound-quality of his work.
This album is not an idiosyncratic whim dreamed up over a few 'jars' at the local pub, but brings to light an aspect of Tony Christie the artist (real name: Anthony Fitzgerald) which many won't have expected. The songs have profited immensely from the contemporary arrangements, making the 'golden oldies' shine with a new brilliance.
Various successful albums tipped the vote away from naming the production "Simply in Love with Irish Music" or alternatively "Made In Northeim". Quite deservedly, this album has been called "The Great Irish Songbook" - the current album of the "Great Irish Singer" Tony Christie. With this album, Tony Christie traces his family roots, which are very definitely in Ireland (not Amarillo). Like many of his generation, his great-grandfather went over to England looking for work. The legacy he left behind was a button accordion on the living-room cupboard and the songs of Ireland in the hearts of his family.
How this album came about is a story which could only happen to musicians: the year is 1990. A young Irish musician (Donal Rogers) is looking for a good drummer, and following a recommendation he goes to a Tony Christie concert. After the concert he ends up at the house of drummer Sean Fitzgerald, who happens to be the son of Tony Christie. Inevitably the alcohol flows and many stories are told. The power of their common Irish heritage swells up and they sing Irish folk songs til the early hours of the next morning.
A leap to the year 2014: the folk group Ranagri - with that very Donal Rogers - are recording an album in the renowned Stockfisch studios in Northeim. Many stories are told, among others the ones Donal and Sean told each other 24 years earlier. Suddenly an idea was born - why not make an album of these songs with Tony Christie and Ranagri? The next morning Sean Fitzgerald rang his father, Tony Christie, and the idea became reality.
This is really Tony Christie's masterful musical homage to his heritage and his ancestors. For his fans and all other interested parties this album is a very gratifying and uplifting journey to the mysteries of the Irish-Celtic music culture - modern and in excellent sound quality.
Ranagri (pronounced Ran-ag-rye) is a venture from four musicians who have come together to create some exciting new sounds. Consisting of flutes, ethnic flutes, electric harp, bodhran, guitar, bouzouki and vocals, Ranagri fuse worldwide folk music with quality contemporary songwriting, enhanced by virtuosic instrumentals, vibrant rhythms and haunting melodies, all interlaced with vivid storytelling.
Heavy Weight High Quality 180g Vinyl LP
Direct Metal Master Cut Vinyl
Made in Germany
PreMastering: Hans-Jorg Maucksch at Pauler Acoustics
DMM Disc Cutting: Hendrik Pauler
Tony Christie, vocals
Donal Rogers, guitar, banjo, shaker, drum, monochord, tambourine, vocals
Jean Kelly, harp, electric harp
Eliza Marshall, flute, bass flute, whistle, low whistle, bansuri, harmonium, vocals
Tad Sargent, bodhran, bouzouki, vocals
Manfred Leuchter, accordion
Jens Kommnick, pipes
Lucile Chaubard, violoncello
Justin Stefan Ciuche, viola
Lutz Moller, harpsichord, keyboard
Mary MacMaster, backing vocals
Eilidh Shaw, backing vocals
Mairearad Green, backing vocals, accordion
Urs Fuchs, bass
Hans-Jorg Maucksch, bass
1. Cliffs Of Dooneen
2. On Raglan Road
3. The Banks Of The Lee
4. Spancil Hill
5. Star Of The County Down
6. When You Were Sweet Sixteen
7. Lord Franklin
8. She Moved Through The Fair
10. The Black Velvet Band
11. Wild Mountain Thyme
12. The Parting Glass