Los Angeles – August 31, 2022 – President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, Liam Neeson, Imelda May, Bono, Hozier, and more bring the work of seminal Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh to life on a new record, Almost Everything… , due September 23rd via Claddagh Records/UMe.
Originally released on Claddagh Records in 1964, the double album also features the only recording of the revered Irish poet reading his most celebrated poems. Now remastered and reimagined this new two-part album includes the original recordings and Kavanagh’s poetry read by some of Ireland’s most famous figures including Jessie Buckley, Aidan Gillen, Lisa McGee, Lisa Hannigan, Evanna Lynch, Sharon Corr, Kathleen Watkins, Christy Moore, Rachael Blackmore and Aisling Bea set to a truly wonderful music composition.
Pre-order Almost Everything…:https://PatrickKavanagh.lnk.to/AlmostEverything
For many of us, Patrick Kavanagh joined our life’s journey as we sat at hard desks in cold classrooms struggling to make sense of so much. Kavanagh made poetry real. He opened our minds to life, soil and soul.
In the 1960s, At the age of 19, Garech Browne set up Claddagh Records to record and preserve Irish cultural heritage, fearing that it would be subsumed by the fast-emerging pop culture. The first albums on the new label were music, including The King Of The Pipers by Leo Rowsome and The Liffey Banks by Tommy Potts. There was also a new group who wanted to call themselves The Quare Fellas but took advice and became The Chieftains.
And then Browne wanted to record an album of the spoken word.
By this time, Patrick Kavanagh was an established poet and writer, having won critical acclaim, primarily for The Great Hunger (1942). Browne had encountered the poet in various hostelries off Grafton Street and in 1963 he broached the idea of an album with Kavanagh. Many meetings followed, all informal, Browne recalled: “The small matter of money resulted in protracted negotiations and general haggling, not, I imagine, unlike the jostling Kavanagh was used to on a fair day in his native Monaghan.”
Browne was offering £50 but the poet wasn’t budging. It would have to be £100 or nothing. A contract was eventually signed in the Halcyon Hotel on South Anne Street where half-board was costing the poet just over £3 a week. Under his signature Kavanagh wrote: “One hour approx. of verse and prose of my own.”
It was then decided, in 2021, to remaster the Kavanagh tapes and to invite a number of people to read the poet’s works.
And here it is, the original Kavanagh album with all the evocative earthiness of the poet’s voice together with a wonderful selection from some of Ireland’s best-loved and most recognizable names from the worlds of music, film, arts and literature.
Almost Everything… is a two-part album. The first features 15 celebrities reading Patrick Kavanagh’s poetry against the backdrop of a truly stunning musical composition. The second is a remaster of the iconic 1964 album from Claddagh Records Almost Everything which is the only ever recording of Patrick Kavanagh reading his own poetry.
Side One opens with the poet singing “If You Ever Go to Dublin Town” and features prose, while Side Two has Kavanagh reading a wonderful selection of his poems, 19 in total. The recordings took place on October 16, 1963. The sleeve notes include fellow poet John Montague’s description of Kavanagh as “a writer who already has his place among the Irish immortals, both as a personality and a poet.”
The physical formats of this album include a booklet containing all the poetry one will hear on the album.
The vinyl format of this release contains two truly unique vinyl sleeves. The first hosts a printed collage of sketches of all the celebrated readers around Patrick Kavanagh, with Kavanagh himself visible through the cut-out square on the cover itself. The second vinyl sleeve is an exact replica of the original 1963 release.
Track List: Patrick Kavanagh Almost Everything…
CD1 (Read by Guests)
- On Raglan Road (read by Bono)
2. Stony Grey Soil (read by Michael D. Higgins)
3. Memory of My Father (read by Liam Neeson)
4. Canal Bank Walk (read by Imelda May)
5. Peace (read by Hozier)
6. Inniskeen Road: July Evening (read by Lisa McGee)
7. In Memory of my Mother (read by Kathleen Watkins)
8. The Hospital (read by Lisa Hannigan)
9. Pegasus (read by Rachael Blackmore)
10. October (read by Christy Moore)
11. Shancoduff (read by Aisling Bea)
12. Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin (read by Evanna Lynch)
13. Extract from ‘The Great Hunger’ (read by Aidan GIllen)
14. A Christmas Childhood (read by Sharon Corr)
15. Epic (read by Jessie Buckley)
CD2 (read by Patrick Kavanagh)
- Autobiographical Prose
2. The Same Again
4. Narcissus and the Women
6. God in Woman
7. Kerr’s Ass
9. The Hospital
10. On the Death of Jim Larkin
11. Extract from ‘The Great Hunger’
12. Living in the Country: Part One
13. Dear Folks
14. Miss Universe
15. About Reason, Maybe
16. To Hell With Commonsense
18. Come Dance With Kitty Stobling
20. Having Confessed