CHRISTY MOORE – Magic Nights (Columbia 19075991082)

Magic NightsMagic Nights is the sequel to Christy Moore’s 2017 album, On The Road. Conventional wisdom says that a sequel is never as good as the original but, without making comparisons, that isn’t true here. As before, the twenty-six tracks here are neither a “normal” concert album nor a greatest hits collection. Sure there are some of Christy’s best known songs here: ‘Sonny’s Dream’, ‘A Pair Of Brown Eyes’, ‘Burning Times’, Spancilhill’, ‘The Two Conneeleys’, ‘The Reel In The Flickering Light’, ‘The Well Below The Valley’ and…breathe. We have to remember that all of these songs were significant enough to be performed live since the 1970s but, as Christy says in his notes, a song needs the room to be right.

I’ve heard Christy live several times and know him to be a mesmerising performer but recently I’ve come to wish that the rest of the audience were elsewhere. You’ll hear it here. Christy weaves an intimate atmosphere and you can get the feeling that he is singing just to you. His audiences are enthusiastic and know all the songs so well that they start to applaud before a song has actually finished. I actually appreciate that brief moment of silence after the last notes die away and for that reason I will not listen to this recording of ‘Spancilhill’ again.

That aside, I was hooked by this album from the first moments. I don’t believe I’ve heard ‘Magic Nights In The Lobby Bar’ live and this performance and its position as the opening track only enhances it. As you listen your reaction will be either, “oh, yes, I remember that song” or “I didn’t know Christy sang that”. I was convinced that Padraig Stevens’ jokey ‘The Tuam Beat’ was new but I was wrong – it’s from Lily if you want to check. Either way the result will be to send you scurrying back to an album you’d almost forgotten about and you’ll start to enjoy it all over again.

Needless to say there isn’t a bad song on Magic Nights although I’m surprised that there are few of Christy’s own compositions here – only ‘The Two Conneeleys’ and ‘Veronica’ bear his imprint. Perhaps he’s saving for a third compilation.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: https://www.christymoore.com/

‘Missing You’ – live with Declan Sinnott:

Christy Moore announces new live album

Christy Moore

Christy Moore’s new album, Magic Nights, will be released worldwide on 22nd November 2019. Featuring 26 songs across two discs, Magic Nights is a further collection of Christy songs amassed through more than 50 incredible years of recording and gigging.

Recorded in venues from Derry to Dublin, Birmingham to Belfast and Liverpool to Lisdoonvarna, the album features many newly recorded live favourites.

The first song to be taken from Magic Nights is ‘Hurt’, a take on Johnny Cash’s classic version of the Trent Reznor masterpiece. Following on from his multi-platinum 2017 album, On The Road, this is Magic Nights in Christy’s words:

“We are about to release a new album of songs for your consideration. It contains 26 new live recordings gathered under the title of “Magic Nights” The opening track is “Magic Nights In The Lobby Bar”. A version of John Spillane/Ger Wolf’s classic song recorded at The Opera House, Cork in 2014. We have recorded all our gigs in recent years. Producer Jimmy Higgins and Sound Engineer David Meade selected these takes from hundreds of gigs. It has been an enjoyable process. Listening back and discovering special moments, riffs that went unnoticed, choruses long forgotten.

Every gig develops its own atmosphere, every audience being a unique gathering of listeners.

In Belfast we dedicated ‘Burning Times’ to Lyra McKee, her young life so cruelly ended on The Creggan.

In Glasgow I responded to a call-out for ‘Spancil Hill and what followed was, for me, a very special version of young Michael Considine’s beautiful song.

When we played Dreamland in Athy I sang Johnny Cash’s version of ‘Hurt’. I was 18 when I heard him sing in that very same Dancehall. A night I have never forgotten. (Albert Reynolds was on the door!).

In Vicar St, Dublin a voice called out for ‘Johnny Jump Up’. The band had not played it before but I dived in and they followed. I cherish such spontaneous moments.

In recent months I have happened upon Sean Mone’s ‘Rosalita & Jack Cambell’, Pete St John’s ‘Inchicore Wake’, Rob Corcoran’s ‘Ringing That Bell’ and Albert Niland’s ‘Irish Pagan Ritual’ (aka ‘Sail on Jimmy’) Each one taking its place in the set and gathering momentum along the way.

It’s 50 years this year since I released my first album.

I have deep gratitude for the mystery of it all. At work I’m surrounded by a great team of comrades. Their talents and vital contributions keep the show on the road.

Each night at 8.05 we stand side stage, breathe in the air of expectancy, the intoxicating waft of perfume and after shave. The crew complete their final checks, the lights go down and out we go once more to face the music.

Thank you for listening, One and all. – Christy.

Artist’s website: https://www.christymoore.com/

‘Sail On Jimmy’ – live:

Christy Moore live album to be issued on vinyl

Christy Moore
Photograph courtesy of RTE

Christy Moore’s latest album, On The Road, was released on CD & digital last November. Now, a special vinyl version is released featuring 24 songs across three records.

On The Road is the collection of songs that Christy has made his own through more than 50 incredible years of live touring. Recorded in venues from London to Westport, and from Glasgow to Galway, the album features new song, ‘Lingo Politico’, as well as many perennial crowd favourites listed below.

This is the first time all of Christy’s biggest songs have been available on one vinyl album!

One of the most compelling and inspirational musicians live, Christy has a universal fan base and still continues to entertain. An Irish icon, On The Road reached number 1 and has now passed double platinum status in Ireland. It is his deep urge to connect with the listener and to transmit the meaning of the songs he sings that has endeared him to audiences of all ages.  Christy has released more than 25 solo albums, from Paddy on the Road in 1969 to Lily in 2016.

Artist’s website: https://www.christymoore.com/

‘Ordinary Man’ – live:

Read Dai Jeffries’ review of On The Road here.

CHRISTY MOORE – On The Road (Sony Music/Frontline)

On The RoadNeither a greatest hits collection nor a conventional concert album, On The Road sits somewhere between the two. Here are two dozen of Christy best and most popular songs recorded at seventeen venues in Ireland and the UK over the past three years.

The double-CD set opens with a mighty ‘Ordinary Man’ recorded at the Glasgow Barrowlands with an audience determined to sing it their way. As Christy notes, he felt it best to follow them. Christy’s audiences always know all the words. The band appearing pretty much throughout the album is Declan Sinnott on guitars, percussionist and producer Jim Higgins and Cathal Hayden with contributions from Máirtín O Connor, Seamie O’Dowd, Vickie Keating and Christy’s eldest son, Andy.

Initially the sequencing alternates moods so the second cut is ‘Ride On’ followed by the World Cup saga ‘Joxer Goes To Stuttgart. Is it an Irish thing: the ability to move from ribald comedy from sentimentality? ‘Black Is The Colour’ is followed by an updated ‘Don’t Forget Your Shovel’ filled with political comment and Irish in-jokes and ‘Delirium Tremens’ follows ‘The Voyage’. The fact that these are recent live recordings adds a twist to familiar songs with Christy working the audiences like the master he is. Just don’t expect anything to sound like it does on the studio album – he actually cracks up on ‘Weekend In Amsterdam’. The first set closes with a song that is rarely out of the set: ‘Viva La Quinte Brigada’ and even if you don’t know it you’ll be singing along before the end

The second half starts out in a less rowdy fashion; more what you’d expect from a Christy Moore gig. He opens with his brother’s ‘City Of Chicago’ followed by Ewan MacColl’s ‘Go Move Shift’ and a gorgeous take on ‘Nancy Spain’. Of course, the restraint doesn’t last forever as ‘Lingo Politico’ proves and ‘St. Brendan’s Voyage’ isn’t terribly reverential.

It is possible that you haven’t heard Christy Moore live and these days you’ll probably have to go to Dublin to do so but On The Road will do well enough until you get there. Hear this album and you’ll be booking your tickets.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: https://www.christymoore.com/

‘Ordinary Man’ – live:

SINÉAD O’CONNOR re-issue of Sean-Nos Nua due 8th April 2013

Sean-Nos NuaApril 2013 will see the UK & Ireland re-issue of Sean-Nos Nua, first released in 2000 selling more than 200,000 copies worldwide. Literally translating as “Old Songs Made New”, Sean Nos Nua is a redefining moment in Sinead O’Connor’s career, an album composed of songs extracted from the bottomless well of traditional Irish folk song. Indeed, as many have proved in the past, this ancient repository is an apt source of material from which to draw and compliment the outsider’s oeuvre of an artistic mutineer such as O’Connor, for, along with the customary stories of lust and heartbreak, Irish traditional song and verse, much like that of other folk song emanating from the British Isles, is stuffed to the gills with bloody narratives of tragedy, intransient rebelliousness and lawless skullduggery.

Despite its generous thematic share of ex-pat Irishmen caught up in foreign wars, nautical misadventure (Lord Franklin), murder and piracy, Sean Nos Nua is a very feminine album, with O’Connor at her fragrant, interpretive best on the sorrowful Molly Malone and Lord Baker, which finds Christy Moore revisiting the song he performed with Planxty on the 1982 album Words and Music. Intentions to “sex things up”, as O’Connor puts it, give birth to an intriguing reggae undertow on Óró Sé Do Bheatha ‘Bhaile while guest appearances from the Emerald Isle’s most eminent bouzouki practitioner Donal Lunny, the WaterboysSteve Wickham on fiddle, Sharon Shannon on accordion and ON-U Sound producer Adrian Sherwood keep things fresh but traditionally firm-footed enough not to deter purists. And, who knows, the boozy Irish bards and archivists of the future may have occasion to recount the tales of the shaven-headed colleen from Glengeary who ripped up pictures of the Pontiff and whose backside never surrendered to the threat of a star-spangled kicking from the boot of Frank Sinatra.

TIM EDEY TO RELEASE SOLO GUITAR ALBUM – with special Scottish guest musician Patsy Reid

TIM EDEY 2013Tim Edey has announced that he will be releasing a solo album of guitar music this Augustaugmented by a string quartet led by popular Scottish fiddler Patsy Reid (you may remember Patsy from Breabach).  The album will be officially launched at Kent’s Broadstairs Folk Week in Tim’s home town and he will be closing the festival on Friday, August 16 with support from Devon duo Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (recently featured on folking).

Tim’s hot property in the contemporary worldwide Celtic music scene, his melodeon and guitar playing is featured prominently on Christy Moore’s 2011 album, and his touring and recording credits read like a who’s who of the Celtic scene: Capercaillie, Sharon Shannon, Lunasa, Michael McGoldrick, Seamus Begley, Altan and Mary Black. Tim has also recorded an album with guest musicians Tim Edey: The Collective.

Tim has been in demand since his wins at the RADIO 2 FOLK AWARDS in 2012 where he picked up both BBC  “MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR” and the BEST DUO award (with Brendan Power). He has guested on BBC Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday, Mike Harding and Simon Mayo  shows, BBC Radio 3’s “World on 3” and Radio 4’s Midweek and been seen on BBC South-East, Ireland’s RTE1 John Murray show and, with The Chieftains on Later with Jools Holland

Dividing his time between Scotland and Kent, he also released the eclectic The Best of Tim Edey – a superb 18-track album that charts the course of his career to date and showcases his collaborations with luminaries from the Celtic music world including Sharon Shannon, Ross Ainslie, Seamus Begley and Mike McGoldrick. It includes the track “Why”? which evolved into a tune questioning the condition OCD to which Tim is no stranger and with which he feels music has helped him cope.

Tim will be making several key appearances across the Atlantic this year. In July, he will perform at one of Canada’s biggest festivals – Stanfest – before appearing with top international fiddler Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy in Ontario and, in October, returning to Cape Breton’s world famous  Celtic Colours festival followed by a Canadian tour with multi award-winning JP Cormier, the Canadian bluegrass/folk/Celtic singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Back in the UK, Tim will appear at Derbyshire’s Edale Folk Festival in May and in August, Towersey Festival and Broadstairs Folk Week where he will launch his guitar album and do a CD signing. Then in November, he has been invited to return to Dougie Maclean’s Perthshire Amber Festival.

Artist’s website: www.timedey.co.uk