World & Latin

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Mexico By Way Of Ireland

09 MAR 10 DAVID VIENNA

If you think the only connection between Mexico and Ireland is green Coronas on St. Patrick's Day, check out legendary artists The Chieftains and Ry Cooder's historic tale of how the two countries bonded with blood and honor on the battlefield over a century ago on the new Hear Music release San Patricio.

With six Grammys each, The Chieftains and Ry Cooder expertly explore other cultures through music -- from The Chieftains' foray into American bluegrass on Down The Old Plank Road to Cooder's amazing Cuban collection Buena Vista Social Club. The artists' previous critically acclaimed pairings, The Long Black Veil (1995) and Santiago (1997), both won Grammys. San Patricio, their third collaboration, continues the musical alchemy, blending The Chieftains' Irish folk sound with traditional melodies and instruments from various regions in Mexico. (View a behind-the-scenes video here.)

The album tells the story of a group of Irish immigrants forced to fight in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War in 1846. Seeing the conflict as unjust, they deserted to fight for the Mexican side, against their recently adopted home country. Reviled as traitors in America, generations of Mexicans remember the "San Patricio" battalion as heroes who gave up everything for a cause they saw as just.

San Patricio features guest appearances by Linda Ronstadt, Liam Neeson, Van Dyke Parks, Lila Downs, Los Tigres Del Norte, Carlos Nuñez and others. It's also available in a Deluxe Edition, which comes with a DVD of four videos. The Chieftains and Ry Cooder are playing a few dates around the country as well.

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    El Chivo

    The Chieftains featuring Ry Cooder, from S ...