Andy Irvine is an Irish singer who is known for his bouzouki and harmonica playing. He also plays mandolin and hurdy-gurdy and has been an integral part of three important traditional Irish bands -- Sweeney's Men, Planxty, and Patrick Street.
Irvine was born in London in 1942 to an Irish mother and a Scottish father. He began his musical career studying classical guitar, but moved away from that style after hearing skiffle, Woody Guthrie, and the Clancy Brothers. In 1960 he moved to Dublin where he met Joe Dolan. The two formed a duo and played throughout Europe.
In 1966, Irvine and Dolan met Johnny Moynihan and the three formed Sweeney's Men. Dolan soon left and was replaced by Terry Woods. With Irvine on mandolin and harmonica, Moynihan on bouzouki and whistle, and Woods on guitar, banjo and concertina, Sweeney's Men recored a self-titled album which was released in 1968.
After taking a year to travel through the Balkans, Irvine returned to Dublin where he met Christy Moore, Liam O'Flynn, and Donal Lunny. These four men became the core of Planxty, a band that would play and record together on and off into the early 1980s.
Teaming up with Paul Brady in 1976, Irvine recorded one of the finest traditional Irish albums ever, Andy Irvine and Paul Brady.
After spending the next decade in Budapest, Irvine joined with Kevin Burke, Jackie Daly, and Arty McGlynn to form Patrick Street in 1986. This band is still active -- though McGlynn has been replaced by Ged Foley -- and their most recent recording was 1999's Live from Patrick Street. Patrick Street is scheduled to tour in November and December 2002.
Irvine's most recent solo recording, Way Out Yonder, was released in 2001. It was an ambitious project containing folk music from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Australia, and Bulgaria.
Irvine currently resides in Dublin.
liner notes from Sweeney's Men
liner notes from Way Out Yonder