“Together Again” by The Dubliners - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1979Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

After 5 years with the group, guitarist-vocalist Jim McCann left the Dubliners in March, 1979, to pursue his solo career. Founding member Ronnie Drew, who had left mid-74 to alleviate the strain on his family life, returned to the fold, a move which was celebrated in the album's very title; these four - Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna and John Sheahan - having played together for several years since the mid-60s. Recording sessions took place in Dublin in the springtime of '79, well produced by singer-songwriter Pete St. John, who contributes four of his own compositions. The first of these, “The Mero”, is sung by Ronnie, who better to handle this 'un? As St John explained: “The Mero was an old cinema at Mary street in downtown Dublin in the 1940’s - 1950’s. The characters like Jonny 40 coats and Bang Bang were street people of that era, a more gentle and simple time. And while we queued up in the street for the cheap afternoon seats (called Woodeners), we would jokingly jeer and taunt ‘The Characters’ who happened to pass by. Many of the people in the song are now gone and forgotten but not by me! They were a vital part of my childhood in the ‘Rare Oul Times in Dublin’! The song is a little social diary of the times but even today the memories of ‘The Mero’ days are still with me big time.” The album's highlight, “Danny Farrell”, is another penned by St John and sung by Drew. You can't help but feel for Danny the pavement peasant; he's a born-loser but Ronnie recognises there's a man within: “I still know Danny Farrell, saw him just there yesterday, Drinking methylated spirits, with some winos on the quay, Now he's fourty going on eighty, with his eyes of hope bereft, And he told me this for certain, theres not many of us left”. Elsewhere, there are fine versions of two Ewan MacColl songs (“Song Of The Iron Road” and “The Lag Song” - both sung by Luke), and you can't go far wrong with the awesome “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”, sung by Ronnie, written a few years earlier by Eric Bogle. It was great to have the auld group back as the seventies ended; they were on solid form too.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:48] 7.7.png The Dubliners - The Mero (Pete St. John) Folk
A2 [05:38] 6.0.png The Dubliners - The Rare Ould Times (Pete St. John) Folk
A3 [02:16] 6.0.png The Dubliners - Spey In Spate / The Steam Packet (Traditional) Folk
A4 [03:24] 8.2.png The Dubliners - Danny Farrell (Pete St. John) Folk
A5 [01:48] 6.7.png The Dubliners - Song Of The Iron Road (Ewan McColl) Folk
A6 [03:38] 7.0.png The Dubliners - The Old Man (Ian Campbell) Folk
B1 [02:03] 6.9.png The Dubliners - Johnny McGory (Pete St. John) Folk
B2 [04:37] 6.4.png The Dubliners - The Lag Song (Ewan McColl) Folk
B3 [02:08] 5.6.png The Dubliners - Sheahan’s M1 Gig (John Sheahan) Folk
B4 [06:11] 7.3.png The Dubliners - And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (Eric Bogle) Folk
B5 [02:14] 6.4.png The Dubliners - Maid Behind The Bar / Toss The Feathers (Traditional) Folk
B6 [01:48] 6.3.png The Dubliners - The Parting Glass [album version ’79] (Traditional) Folk

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