Op het eerste gezicht een wat vreemde combinatie, traditionele Ierse en Mexicaanse muziek instrumenten samen in een project.
Op het nieuwe album van The Chieftains samen met Ry Cooder zal ongetwijfeld blijken dat dat wel zeker mogenlijk is.
The Chieftains en Ry Cooder vertellen het verhaal van een Iers/Amerikaans legerbataljon die in de 1840,s vochten in de Mexicaanse/ Amerikaanse oorlog.
'San Patricio,' geproduceert door The Chieftains en Ry Cooder, brengen het verhaal tot leven met behulp van een internationale all-star cast. Een originele Cooder song en verder met medewerking van Ierse ,Mexikaanse en Amerikaanse artiesten als Linda Ronstadt, akteur Liam Neeson, Van Dyke Parks, Los Tigres del Norte, legendarische 92jaar oude Mexican ranchero zangeres Chavela Vargas, Lila Downs,en vele anderen.Hier een previeuw van het album (Behind the scenes)
In the 1840s, when thousands of impoverished Irish immigrants fled the Irish Potato Famine to start a new life in America, hundreds found themselves in the U.S. Army fighting another country's war of "manifest destiny" - the Mexican-American War. Says Chieftains frontman Paddy Moloney, "Many of them were kind of turfed into the American army without a choice in the first place. They got off the boat at Ellis Island and then, 'Here's a gun and go down there and shoot the Mexicans.' That didn't go down well with Catholics, as they were shootin' other Catholics."
The new soldiers quickly became disillusioned when they were subjected to harsh treatment and religious bigotry by their Army officers. Led by a renegade named John Riley, nearly 200 of them deserted, heeding Mexican entreaties to join their Catholic brothers in fighting off the invading Yankees. They formed the San Patricio Battalion, marching and fighting for Mexico under a green banner.
Though they fought bravely in several battles, it ended badly: most were eventually killed or captured by the U.S. Those retaken were court-martialed; some were hanged, while dozens of others were brutally branded on their cheek with a "D" for "deserter."
"For so long the story had so much shame wrapped around it," Moloney says. "It wasn't in the history books" in the U.S. or Ireland. Nevertheless, Mexico has always regarded the San Patricios as heroes. Not until 1997, 150 years later, did the Irish and Mexican governments hold a joint ceremony in Mexico City to celebrate their contribution.
Release 9 maart 2010