Loreena McKennitt's the Visit at 30 and Jade Warrior at 50: The Echoes Interviews
It was 30 years ago that Loreena McKennitt released her breakthrough album, The Visit. Today we talk to this influential artist who turned Celtic music into world fusion while telling epic tales of “The Lady of Shallott” and “All Souls Night.” The album took the burgeoning Celtic craze of the 80s and launched it into a global fusion behind her eastern inflected arrangements, soaring soprano voice and ancient tales from Celtic realms. Now it’s been released in as The Visit – Definitive Edition with four CDs and a Blu-ray disc. McKennitt looks back on a signature work on Echoes.
Some weekend listeners will also hear about the 50th Anniversary of the greatest unsung band of Progressive Rock, Jade Warrior. Releasing their eponymous debut in 1971, they went on to create a quartet of the most brilliant world fusion albums.
Before Peter Gabriel moved from drum machines to Senegalese drummers, and when Andreas Vollenweider was still doing music for poetry readings, Jade Warrior was orchestrating a world fusion built up from a host of exotic instruments, searing electric guitar and a frightening amount of overdubs. Initially a power trio with arty pretensions, guitarist Tony Duhig and flutist/percussionist Jon Field reinvented themselves in 1974 with the first of a quartet of albums for Island records: Floating World, Waves, Kites and Way of The Sun. Back in 1985 we talked to Jade Warrior for the radio series, Totally Wired and it remains one of our favorite and most memorable interviews. Tony Duhig died five years later in 1990 and despite a few attempts by Field to keep the name going, Jade Warrior effectively stopped, gone and nearly forgotten. That is just wrong. Find out why in our sound portrait today on Echoes.
The Core Jade Warrior Albums
Last Autumn’s Dream
Way of the Sun