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The latest album from the The Chieftains is a collaboration with the American singer, Ray Cooder. The album was released in the US on Fantasy Records/Concord Music Group on March 9th. As ever with the Chieftains are able to muster an impressive array of guest artists, with guest appearances by Linda Ronstadt, actor Liam Neeson, Los Tigres del Norte, legendary 92-year-old Mexican ranchero singer Chavela Vargas, Van Dyke Parks, and Lila Downs, among many others. ‘San Patricio’ (the Spanish name for St. Patrick) tells the nearly forgotten story of the San Patricio battalion - a group of Irish immigrant conscripts who deserted the U.S. Army in 1846 to fight on the Mexican side against the invading Yankees in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

Although the members of the San Patricio Battalion were reviled as traitors and deserters in the U.S. Paddy Moloney said, “the men of the San Patricio Battalion are remembered by generations of Mexicans to this day as heroes who fought bravely against an unjust and thinly veiled war of aggression.” Historically, the picture may be less rosey as the San Patricios were a very well organised artillery unit who inflicted severe losses on the US forces, and despite their name they were not an entirely Irish battalion.
The album is available for purchase on line and is good value at under $10 for the MP3 download.

Permalink - Posted: March 31, 2010 at 12:34 pm