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Planxty

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Biography

(1972 – 1983, 2004 – present)

Planxty was an Irish folk music band consisting of soon-to-be-legendary musicians Christy Moore (vocals, acoustic guitar, bodhrán), Dónal Lunny (bouzouki, guitars), Andy Irvine (mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, hurdy-gurdy, harmonica), and Liam O’Flynn (uilleann pipes, tin whistle). The band was formed in 1972, and quickly revolutionized and popularized Irish folk music, touring and recording to great acclaim. The band broke up twice; first in 1975 and again in 1983. The band re-united again in 2004. Their final performance (to date) was in 2005.

In 1972 Christy Moore released his second album Prosperous, which he recorded with his old schoolmates, Lunny, Irvine, and O’Flynn. After recording Prosperous, they formed Planxty. The group’s first major performance, opening for Donovan in Galway, was a great success. Neither the audience nor the band knowing what to expect, both were pleasantly surprised. Irvine, unable to see the audience through the lighting, was worried that the crowd was on the verge of rioting. It took him several minutes to realize what he was hearing was enthusiasm. (On the 2004 retrospective, The Christy Moore Box Set, a rough quality recording of the song “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” was included, complete with audience’s reaction.)

A formative influence on Planxty and in particular on Christy Moore was the singing of Irish Traveller John “Jacko” Reilly who hailed from Boyle, Co. Roscommon.

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