19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2004
After the whirlwind experience that was Planxty, Christy Moore set off to establish his name as a serious folk artist.
Due to the influences of his American heroes, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, and his Irish heroes, Luke Kelly and The Clancy Brothers, Moore gathered a repertoire of contemporary protest songs and songs for the working people (to appeal to a contemporary audience) and combined these with traditional songs of nostalgia, love and loss to highlight the parallel emotions experienced throughout all generations.
With the help of Donal Lunny on bazouki and guitar and Jimmy Faulkner on guitar, Moore created an intimate, personal, "live-in-your-living room" style of album.
The opening track 'Hey Sandy' tells of violence breaking out after US police forces intervened in a peaceful protest in an American University. The second track 'The Boys Of Barr-na-Sraide' is a nostalgic track describing the various antics of a group of men who hung around a community in Listowel, which has since been raized. The third song 'Little Mother' is a song Christy collected while gigging in Norway. 'Clyde's Bonnie Banks', 'Bogie's Bonnie Belle' and 'Black Is The Colour' are all Scottish songs. They deal with love, poverty, loss of love, death and class discrimination. Not exactly the happiest songs ever written or performed, but they demonstrate some beautifully arranged instrumentation between the three musicians and they do create a very special, intimate atmosphere. 'Pretty Boy Floyd' is a very clever Woody Guthrie song depicting a Robin Hood type character persecuted by the US authorities of the time. Of course, back then (1978) an Irish folk album would not be complete without at least one uptempo song depicting the antics of a group of drunken Irish men, so this can be found on the Barney Rush song 'The Crack Was 90 in The Isle Of Man'. The final song 'One Last Cold Kiss' is a beautiful uptempo Canadian song describing a scene between swans - quite unique! Faulkner demonstrates some fantastic guitar work on this track.
As already mentioned, this is an album of intimate songs: quiet protest, love and nostalgia are the main themes. It's not really suitable for those expecting the genre of humourous songs found on 1994's Christy Moore, Live At The Point.
However it does contain some examples of fantastic musicianship and beautiful songs and it is an excellent recording of the sort of gig that we just don't hear enough of these days!!