The Chieftains have collaborated with everyone from Ziggy Marley to Madonna, but this 50th-anniversary album is the Celtic traditionalists’ first-ever foray into indie rock. The Decemberists‘ Colin Meloy spins a springy version of Bob Dylan‘s “When the Ship Comes In,” Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon croons a ghostly murder ballad, and alt-country bands like Punch Brothers reel ‘n’ jig it up nicely. Indie rock’s cult of schlubby singing doesn’t always merge with the Chieftains’ crystalline professionalism. So it takes a real pro – Miranda Lambert’s roots band Pistol Annies – to truly shake our shamrock; their sumptuously lilting take on “Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies” is sweet and strong like a noon Guinness on a Kerryman’s gums.
Listen to “Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies”: