Andy Irvine (musician)

Andy Irvine ( born June 14, 1942 in London) is an Irish folk musician, singer and songwriter.


Irvine grew up as an only child in an artistically active family. The father, a Scotsman from Glasgow, was a musician. The mother, Irin from Lisburn, County Antrim, ended her acting work after the birth of the Son. He himself had - because of family problems - early left the family and attend a boarding school. Even as a child he got a role as an actor. Later he played until his move to Dublin two years in a theater company of the BBC. He learned at the age of twelve years playing guitar at age 17 and got in touch with musicians from the folk scene, as Derroll Adams. Woody Guthrie was his role model. He fled his rather unpopular around to Ireland and moved to the Baggot Street in Dublin. He was acting without being able to make a living.

How many musicians of the time held Irvine with odd appearances on water and was in the pub the couple O'Donoghue a second home. Here he was influenced by musicians like Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew. He began intensive to be active as a musician. In 1965, he traveled through Ireland and Europe, where he worked with Joe Dolan ( from Galway, not the pop singer ) made ​​busking in Munich and Vienna. After his return to Ireland, he founded the group Sweeney 's Men, which he himself belonged only briefly. He undertook a long journey through Eastern Europe, especially the Balkans, and was strongly influenced by the local folk music. This influence continues to be found in many of his projects again.

After this trip, Andy Irvine Donal Lunny first learned, later Christy Moore and Liam O'Flynn know. They founded the group Planxty, who brought it to a high international reputation. Until that time, Irvine had developed into a virtuoso bouzouki and mandolin player.

In the early 1970s Planxty broke up temporarily, and Irvine played for the Irish group De Dannan. In 1975 he married and went with Mick Hanley on tour in Europe. However, he was back to Planxty, who had come together in a slightly different lineup, with the flutist Matt Molloy, again. He published in 1979 his first solo album, Rainy Sundays, Windy Dreams and launched several successful projects, after Planxty disbanded in the early 1980s. The best-known bands that came about so, are Mosaic and Patrick Street, which still exist today.

Since 1980 exists between the two musicians Andy Irvine and Peter Ratzenbeck a close friendship, they also play repeatedly joint concerts.

2004/2005 was Planxty in the original line for some concerts together again. Andy Irvine has lived since 2009 in Donnybrook, a district in the south of Dublin, and continues to make concert tours, mainly with the band Patrick Street and Mosaic, but also solo. His last tour of Germany took place in autumn 2012.


Andy Irvine is considered introvert. Often lost in thought, he plays on the stage in a style that is quite unique. The instrument control is exceptional. He usually plays mandolin and bouzouki, whose influence was strongly influenced on the Irish music through him. Irvine plays hardly any chord oriented but accompanies herself and others with intricate harmonies that make up his unique style. He is in this game at all comparable with the virtuoso guitar playing of Dick Gaughan, whose joint release Parallel Lines is a milestone of acoustic folk music.


Irvine has written numerous songs that have a high degree of popularity and have become classics, such as The West Coast Of Clare. However, he interpreted just as traditional and contemporary songs. A characteristic feature is the combination of Irish music with melodies and rhythms from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hungary and Turkey.


  • Numerous compilations