I told you a few weeks ago about the fantastic documentary, Welcome Home: The Music of Ireland, that broadcast on PBS stations as part of the March fundraising drive. Hosted by Clannad’s Moya Brennan, the program is a collection of archival footage and fresh interviews conducted by Brennan with some of the biggest names in Irish musical culture.

“I wanted to just have a conversation that was natural, and I assured the producers that I would be able to get more footage that way,” says Brennan when asked what it was like to be on the other side of the camera doing the interviews instead of answering the questions.

“Many people we interviewed don’t normally chat with anyone and would only talk here because it was me doing the interviewing, which was very gratifying.”

As part of the broadcast, a companion CD was recorded that features Brennan interacting with many of the artists on the program. The CD is now available online, which requires you to visit Barnes and Noble (sounds primitive in this day and age, doesn’t it?)

I assure you it is worth the trip just to hear Liam Clancy sing for the last time. His ability to tug at the heartstrings on “The Parting Glass” was intact right up until the end of his life.

For Brennan fans, the disc is a treasure trove! Her gentle yet ethereal humming behind Clancy gives the track a lullaby quality, while the shimmering electronics behind Brennan and former Celtic Woman member Orla Fallon as they interweave their haunting voices give the collection a definitive contemporary feel that hints to the future of Irish music.

A rocking duet of “You’re the One” pairs Brennan with the slurring Shane McGowan for an oddly sweet ditty punctuated by gorgeous uilleann pipes.

The documentary will be followed up by a second part later this year that looks at modern Irish music from the nineties to present day. Welcome Home opens new audience to Irish music in general and to the magic of Brennan in particular.

She will be meeting those new fans as she tours the States beginning this week with stops that include New York (The Winery on April 6), Boston (Arlington’s Regent Theater on March 28), and Long Island (Boulton Center on April 10).

New dates are being added daily, so make sure you log onto moyabrennan.com for the up to the minute news on this tour.