Night out for folk fans

COMING TOGETHER: Andy Irvine, pictured, will partner with Tasmanian Luke Plumb for a night of folk music in Bathurst on January 19. Photo: BELA CROP

COMING TOGETHER: Andy Irvine, pictured, will partner with Tasmanian Luke Plumb for a night of folk music in Bathurst on January 19. Photo: BELA CROP

Two giants of the folk scene, on their first ever combined tour, are set to play in Bathurst on Thursday, January 19.

Andy Irvine has been a leading figure in Irish folk music since the 1960s, forming the groundbreaking band Sweeney’s Men before hitting the road through eastern Europe to absorb the mysteries of Balkan music.

He returned to Ireland, co-founding the legendary Planxty with, among others, Christy Moore.

This pivotal group combined the beauty of traditional Irish song and dance music with the sinuous intricacy of stringed instruments, echoing the Balkan music that had captivated Andy.

They set Ireland, and then the rest of the world, on fire.

After more than a decade with Planxty, Andy has pursued a busy career both as a soloist and in combinations.

Among those is Mozaik, a veritable supergroup which adds Balkan and American old-time music to the Irish material.

Mozaik has visited Bathurst twice since 2000, playing to large and enthralled audiences.

Andy has increasingly added self-penned songs to his repertoire, often historically and socially informed.

He is truly following in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger in that regard, though his prodigious instrumental talents put him in a category of his own.

For this Australian tour he is joined by young Tasmanian multi-instrumentalist Luke Plumb.

Luke rose to prominence in the Australian folk scene in the 1990s, but then spent a decade as mandolinist in Scottish “acid-croft” band Shooglenifty, touring the world to the delight of young dance club audiences.

Luke composed many fine tunes for the band during this time, and now back in Australia, continues to play, compose, teach and arrange and produce recordings.

He amazed people a few years ago by deconstructing and analysing the intricate accompaniments on the first Planxty records, so it was increasingly likely that he would join forces with Andy.

What promises to be an unforgettable performance is on at 7.30pm at the Bathurst City Community Club on January 19.

Tickets are available at Books Plus, Landers Music in Orange and from the venue itself, but are selling fast.

His prodigious instrumental talents put him in a category of his own.