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Linin' Track

from Beyond the Bog Road by Eileen Ivers

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    Includes 16 page liner notes booklet with background info for each track and explanations of the influences of the Celtic tradtion on Americana and roots music.

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In the mid to late 1800s in America, it wasvery difficult for the Irish to make a living. They held on to their hope and faith and tried to find work through much prejudice. Many Irish worked as laborers in the canals and mines. Along with many Chinese immigrants, Irish and African-Americans also worked on the railroads.One common job was to constantly re-line the track. Tracks would shift slightly after a certain amount of traffic. Aligning track was a difficult task because of the great weight of the track and the timing needed to move it. The rhythm of a song was used to synchronize the manual laborers while maintaining the morale of the workers. Because of the rhythmic motions the workers made as they rocked their tools to and fro to straighten the track, they became known as the “Gandy Dancers”. The name “gandy” may have come from the workers using tools from the Gandy Tool Company of Chicago.

The workers from different backgrounds would hammer out intertwining, complimentary rhythms as they labored…perhaps an inherent rhythm of an Irish jig to an Irish worker could morph into an innate groove of an African-American work song. Here are two songs from two different traditions with complimentary rhythms, the Irish 6/8 jig “Paddy on the Railway” and an African American 4/4 work song popularized by the great bluesman Lead Belly, “Linin’ Track”. The songs sung in this occupation have also been recognized as a major influence on blues music.


from Beyond the Bog Road, released March 4, 2016
{Trad. Arr.: Ivers, 4:59}


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Eileen Ivers New York, New York

Eileen Ivers will change the way you think of the violin.
Grammy awarded,
Emmy nominated,
“a sensation"- Billboard
"Jimi Hendrix of the violin"-NY Times.
Pushes trad fiddle boundaries from folk music staple to intensely driving world stage experience
…performer,composer,producer,songwriter,bandleader,educator,multi-instrumentalist,pioneer,connects her American,Irish trad,jazz, blues,and world roots
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