Album Review

Liam Clancy's debut solo album

Liam Clancy

Liam Clancy

Vanguard

Release Date: November 3rd, 1965

Words by: Peter Stone Brown
November 4th, 1965

10.0

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This was Liam Clancy’s solo debut and it received a fair amount of airplay on folk shows at the time. I didn’t get the album back then, though it certainly was on my want list with a classic Vanguard cover. Among the songs that received airplay were “The Royal Canal” and “The Patriot Game”. Twenty years later, when I suddenly had a great desire to hear “The Royal Canal”, I couldn't find it in the stores that should have had it and had to special order a copy. It turned out to be well worth the effort.

Liam Clancy's debut solo album “He was just the best ballad singer I’d ever heard in my life.” Bob Dylan on Liam Clancy

While the album has a jaunty a cappella version of “Rocky Road To Dublin” with Luke Kelly joining in, it’s on the ballads -- such as “Black Water Side,” “The Convict of Clonmel,” “Anac Cuan” along with the previously mentioned songs -- that Clancy excels. His singing brings out the poetry found in the lyrics of these songs. Not long after I got this album, Bob Dylan appeared in a documentary on the Clancy Brothers and said of Liam: “He was just the best ballad singer I’d ever heard in my life.” This album, one of only four solo albums, makes it hard to disagree with that statement.

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