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Christy Moore "This is the Day" Columbia 5032552

Each month I'm lucky enough to receive a small selection of CDs from Living Tradition towers. From those I choose the releases I feel are most relevant to you the readers. But this CD was different. I heard it some time before its full UK release and felt immediately that I should be telling people about this recording. So I set about locating a copy. I've not been a life long fan of Christy's, in fact quite the opposite. True, he is a legend and if you don't know his work already, check out 'R'ide On' or his discs with Moving Hearts, but even a legend has to keep producing quality material if they want to remain seasonable. Long before I studied the CD booklet to see who the writers were, I was impressed with the way each song knitted together to make the album so complete. Themes as diverse as the Cuban revolution ('Campaneros'), wife beating ('A Stitch In Time'), and the break up of a relationship ('Cry Like A Man') appear comfortably alongside each other as if tailor-made.

Throughout 'This Is the Day' I was constantly drawn into its stories, each a mini opera. Christy builds the characters with such identity that you simply 'have' to follow their progress through the lyrics. Yes, the music also works well, but this album all about the words, and boy does Christy know a strong lyric when he hears it. Songwriters represented include an array of British artists like Ewan McColl and Mike Waterson. They're joined by a host of transatlantic luminaries such as Arlo Guthrie, Jackson Browne, and the vastly underrated Dan Penn. I've heard many of Christy's recordings over the years, and with the possible exception of 'Ride On'. I don't think I've ever heard one that has so much instant appeal as 'This is the Day'.

Keith Whitham

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This album was reviewed in Issue 46 of The Living Tradition magazine.