New and Notable Releases

Rating: NNN

THE CHIEFTAINS Down The Old Plank Road The Nashville Sessions (BMG) Rating: NNNA funny thing happened to the Chieftains on the way to Nashville to cash in on the O Brother craze — they met Ricky Scaggs, Béla Fleck, Earl Scruggs, Del McCoury, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett and Gillian Welch and wound up making a bluegrass record with uillean pipes and tin whistle accents instead. And considering how many people are now Celticed out, that could be a best-case scenario for the Chieftains. It sure beats a salute to River Dance.

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