BEAR’S SONIC JOURNALS: THE FOXHUNT, THE CHIEFTAINS LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO 1973 & 1976

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

This unreleased project from the Owsley Stanley Foundation and Claddagh Records is the latest from legendary Chieftains member Paddy Moloney. It will be released worldwide on September 16 on 1LP, 2CD and digital platforms via Claddagh Records/UMe. Pre-order here.

Bear’s Sonic Journals: The Foxhunt, The Chieftains Live in San Francisco 1973 & 1976 was recorded live by legendary soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanley, at Boarding House on October 1, 1973, where The Chieftains appeared at the personal invitation of The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia. 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 60s, he was a self-taught innovator, scientist, artist and patron of the arts with a wide-variety of 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 of those “Sonic Journals”, which are lovingly maintained by the Owsley Stanley Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of archives Owsley’s collection of over 1,300 live soundboard concert recordings from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including recordings by Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Fleetwood Mac, Janis Joplin and more than 80 other artists in almost all musical languages.

Semin’s Falcon The Owsley Stanley Foundation says: “Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist of The Grateful Dead, played banjo in the frenzied bluegrass band Old & In The Way, and after Jerry appeared with The Chieftains on Tom’s ‘Big Daddy’ radio show Donahue 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 “the nature of the songs feels 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 when listening to this recording of The Chieftains at the Boarding House, recorded that night by Owsley “Bear” Stanley.

The project features the art of the young and famous Irish painter Conor Campbell and contains numerous 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 contains 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.

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.

BEAR’S SONIC JOURNALS: THE FOXHUNT, THE CHIEFTAINS LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO 1973 & 1976
2CD TRACK LIST

First record: The Boarding House, October 1, 1973
1. Sleepy Maggie
2. Group introductions
3. Morgan Magan
4. Carrickfergus (Do Bhi Bean Uasal)
5. 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 Concerto
11. Kerry Slides
12. Opening Mix: Strike the Gay Harp/The March of the King of Laois/The Lady on 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. Georges 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/Round the House and Mind 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. 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)

1LP TRACKSLISTING
The pension, October 1, 1973

side one
1. Sleepy Maggie
2. Group introductions
3. Morgan Magan
4. Carrickfergus (Do Bhi Bean Uasal)
5. Morning Dew
6. Lord Inchiquin

side two
1. An Fhallaingín Mhuimhneach (The Coat of Munster)
2. Fox hunting
3. Mná na hÉireann (Women of Ireland)
4. Carolan Concerto
5. Kerry Slides