Pat Clancy of the Clancy Brothers went home to Ireland three years ago to run the family farm in Tipperary. Tom Clancy went to California to work in films. That left Liam, the youngest brother of the heralded trio, to sing on his own.His appearance Saturday night at Lisner auditorium with Tommy Makem, comfirmed what many suspected all along: Alone or in a group, Liam Clancy is a vibrant and enchanting folksinger and perhaps the most resourceful popular artist to represent Ireland in the past 10 years.
In a three-hour concert of 23 songs, mixed with poetry, whimsy, and editorial comment, Clancy and Makem charmed the overflow house with love ballads, drama-songs and sea chanties. They roused the audience with handclappers and sing-alongs. Powerfully, Liam Clancy's anti-war song - "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" - expressed the futility of guns and bombs as movingly as any essay on pacifism by Sean O'Casey.
Clancy and Makem, together now for about two years, offered material that was sparklingly fresh. In giving their audience much more than an Irish night out, the pair included songs from Maine, Holland, North Carolina, Scotland, Australia and, bless the angles, a Dublin saloon. Clancy and Makem are veteran entertainers who have been around, and by their music they mean to take us with them. Much like tramping through the green fields of gael, it is a joyous trip worth taling.