Bear’s Sonic Journals: Chiefs Live

Following the relaunch of Claddagh Records last year, thanks to the signing of a worldwide licensing agreement with Universal Music Ireland and the landmark release Chronicles: 60 years of The Chieftainscomes another singular version: Bear’s Sonic Journals: The Foxhunt, The Chieftains Live in San Francisco 1973 & 1976.

This unique project of The Owsley Stanley Foundation and Claddagh Records is the latest from legendary Chieftains member, Paddy Moloney. It will be released worldwide on friday 2n/a September 2022 on 1LP, 2CD and digital platforms.

Bear’s Sonic Journals: The Foxhunt, The Chieftains Live in San Francisco 1973 & 1976 was recorded live by legendary soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanleyat the pension on the 1st October 1973, where The Chieftains appeared at the personal invitation of Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.

Owsley Stanley, known as Bear to his friends, was a multi-talented iconic figure of the 1960s. The highest quality LSD to help fuel the psychedelic revolution of the 1960s, he was a self-taught innovator, scientist, artist and patron of the arts with a wide diverse interests. As such, he had a profound and well-documented influence on other artists, musicians, and sound engineers, among others.

Bear began recording while he was the Grateful Dead’s soundman so he could develop his technique, evaluate his equipment, and refine his mic arrangements. He called these recordings his ‘Sonic Journals’ and they helped improve his approach to the live concert sound.

Bear’s Sonic Journals: The Foxhunt, The Chieftains Live in San Francisco 1973 & 1976 is one such “Sonic Journal”, lovingly maintained by the Owsley Stanley Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Owsley’s archive of over 1,300 live concert soundboard recordings from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including recordings by Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Fleetwood Mac, Janis Joplin and over 80 other artists in almost every musical idiom.

Hawk Seeds of The Owsley Stanley Foundation said: “Jerry Garcia, lead guitarist for The Grateful Dead, played banjo in the frenzied bluegrass band Old & In The Way, and after Jerry appeared with The Chieftains on Tom “Big Daddy” Donahue’s radio show on KSAN, he wanted them to open for him.. On the KSAN show, Jerry explained the influence of traditional Irish music on American country and bluegrass music, saying that “the nature of the songs is like what the fathers of country and western music, American music, grew up singing”.

“Perhaps Jerry also resonated with his own heritage when he invited The Chieftains to open for Old & In The Way – after all, his grandfather William Clifford was Irish American. Either way, when Jerry brought these two bands together on stage, he was bringing together two musical traditions separated by an ocean and centuries of migration: bluegrass and its Irish ancestor.

You can actually hear exactly what Jerry had in mind listening to this recording of The Chieftains at the Boarding House, recorded that night by Owsley “Bear” Stanley.

The project features the art of famous young Irishmen painter Conor Campbelland contains many liner notes from members of the Owsley Stanley Foundation and legendary bluegrass musician, Ricky Skaggs; “This live album is a true piece of music history and a groundbreaking innovation in live music recording.”

The 2CD also includes bonus material from the last interview Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains ever gave before his passing in 2021 and a history of Irish roots in Bluegrass music by Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead.

Track List – 2CDs

Bear’s Sonic Journals: The Foxhunt, The Chieftains Live in San Francisco 1973 & 1976

First record: The Boarding House, October 1, 1973

  1. Sleepy Maggie
  2. Group presentations
  3. Morgane Magan
  4. Carrickfergus (Do Bhi Bean Uasal)
  5. The morning dew
  6. Lord Inchiquin
  7. An Fhallaingín Mhuimhneach (The Coat of Munster)
  8. fox hunting
  9. Mná na hÉireann (Women of Ireland)
  10. Carolan’s Concerto
  11. Kerry Slides
  12. Opening Medley: Strike the Gay Harp / The March of the King of Laois / The Lady of the Island / The Sailor on the Rock
  13. Lord Inchiquin
  14. An Fhallaingín Mhuimhneach (The Coat of Munster)
  15. Kerry Slides
  16. Samhradh, Samhradh (summer time, summer time)
  17. fox hunting
  18. George Brabazon

Disc 2: Great American Music Hall, May 5, 1976

  1. Golden Gate Medley: Seán Chuilfhionn /Clare Reel/ Róisín Dubh/John O’Connor/Golden Gate Slides/Steam Packet Selections (reels)/Pretty Girls Reel
  2. timpani reel
  3. Marbhna Luimnigh (Lament of Limerick)
  4. O’Keefe’s Slide / Around the House and the Spirit of the Dresser
  5. Ceol Bhriotánach (Breton music) (4 pieces)
  6. Humors of Carolan: Planxty Maguire/Charles O’Conor/Carolan’s Farewell to Music/SíBeag, Sí Mhór (Small Fairy Mound, Big Fairy Mound)/Bumper Squire Jones/Planxty Johnston
  7. Introduction to the Battle of Aughrim
  8. Battle of Aughrim
  9. The morning dew
  10. Mná na hÉireann (Women of Ireland)
  11. Kerry Slides
  12. Tabhair dom do Lámh (Give me your hand)
  13. Ríl Mhór Bhaile an Chalaidh (Great Reel of Baile an Chalaidh)

Track List – 1LP

Bear’s Sonic Journals: The Foxhunt, The Chieftains Live in San Francisco 1973

The pension, October 1, 1973

side one

  1. Group presentations
  2. Morgane Magan
  3. Carrickfergus (Do Bhi Bean Uasal)
  4. The morning dew
  5. Lord Inchiquin

Side Two

  1. fox hunting
  2. Mná na hÉireann (Women of Ireland)
  3. Carolan’s Concerto
  4. Kerry Slides

Pre-order via Amazon | Claddagh Records

About Claddagh Records:

Claddagh Records was established in 1959 by the Hon. Garech Browne (19) and his friend Ivor Browne, both students of Leo Rowsome, one of Ireland’s top uilleann pipers. Their efforts to interest established international record labels in recording a full-length disc of Rowsome’s music met with little enthusiasm. And so the two young men set out to create a record label which would record traditional Irish music, poetry and spoken word. The following year, Claddagh Records was born when Leo Rowsome’s Rí na bPíobairí (King of Pipers) was released. The Chieftains recorded their first album on the label in 1964. Other artists who recorded on the label included Tommie Potts, Willie Clancy, Seamus Ennis, Liam O’Flynn and Sean O’Riada. Spoken word albums with Patrick Kavanagh, Samuel Beckett, Austin Clarke, John Montague, Thomas Kinsella and Seamus Heaney have also been released on Claddagh.