The Chieftains feat. Ry Cooder
San Patricio pays tribute to the little-known Batallón de San Patricio—or St. Patrick’s Battalion—a small unit of largely Roman Catholic soldiers that included disaffected European immigrants to the United States and runaway slaves who fought on the side of Mexico during the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. Considered traitors by Americans who fought on the U.S. side, the San Patricios, as they were called, also included a large number of Irishmen who were escaping the terrible economic hardships of Ireland at the time. Irish supergroup The Chieftains teams up on San Patricio with widely celebrated American musician Ry Cooder and a first-rate lineup of musical celebrities of Hispanic descent—Linda Ronstadt, Mexican-American singer Lila Downs, Los Cenzontles, Spanish piper Carlos Nuñez and Los Camperos de Valles. Chieftains co-founder Paddy Moloney (on uilleann pipes) and guitarist Cooder join Mexican norteño band Los Tigres del Norte on the glorious “Canción Mixteca,” one of the highlights of the album. Irish-born actor Liam Neeson guest-narrates “March to Battle (Across the Rio Grande),” a strident piece featuring The Chieftains in full musical force alongside Banda de Gaita de Batallón.