‘Irish Heartbeat’, a collaboration album with Van Morrison, was Van’s first attempt to reconcile his Celtic roots with his blues and soul music. It was also The Chieftains’ first full blown collaboration album. Although there were worries about working with a major rock star, the recording was a success, introducing elements of Van’s unique soul and jazz style singing to traditional songs and music. This was the beginning of an ongoing successful musical relationalship between Van and The Chieftains.
‘Irish Heartbeat’ was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1989, and there followed a tour of Europe and the UK