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Baker's Dozen

Gold Dust Of Our Musical Worth: Ian Anderson's Favourite Albums
Barnaby Smith , June 6th, 2013 06:47

Ahead of a one-off show at the Royal Albert Hall, the Jethro Tull man picks out his thirteen finest albums


Planxty - After The Break
This wasn’t my introduction to folk music by any means, but it was my introduction to Irish folk music that wasn’t merely The Dubliners or The Chieftains. It was Irish music that had a bit of balls and a bit of a wayward quality that came I think from those guys knowing about rock music and, generally speaking, what was going on in the UK.

You could call them the first progressive folk band. They had a good way of bringing together bits of tradition, mostly Irish traditional music, with an awareness in terms of arrangements that could only come from a knowledge of other musical forms. And of course they feature what was a growing, new instrument, a non-indigenous instrument of Irish music: the bouzouki. Not the bowl-shaped Greek bouzouki but the flat-backed bouzouki that was being made by luthiers in Britain and Ireland as a more convenient, big boy’s mandolin. The bouzouki became an important part of Irish folk music and Planxty used it to great effect.