Link to Living Tradition Homepage





JIMMY CROWLEY - Songs From The Beautiful City 

JIMMY CROWLEY - Songs From The Beautiful City 
Free State Records CR0013 

I can’t remember when I first heard Jimmy Crowley’s dulcet tones, but it was a long time ago. Over the years he’s released a good number of recordings, both solo and as a band member. All of them have been interesting and have been characterised by his superb musicianship and melodious, expressive singing. This double CD is no exception.

It does exactly what it says on the can – these are all songs (and there are 27 of them) from and about Jimmy’s beloved Cork city and its people, and the subject matter represents every aspect of that city’s teeming life, from the streetwalker’s deception of a callow youth through to The Banks Of My Own Lovely Lee to the darkness of Terence McSwiney’s heroic end in Cork’s Most Illustrious Son.

Nearly all the songs are accompanied by Jimmy’s wide variety of instruments, plus contributions from a galaxy of fellow musicians.

What seems different to me is his approach to the songs; he seems to have become more subtle, less demonstrative in his delivery, but with the melodious quality of his voice enhanced by a maturity which suggests that he himself has sailed into the peace and familiarity of Cork Harbour. Relaxed, unhurried. This does mean that some of the songs share a similarity of style that militates against listening to the whole recording at one sitting; but dip into it at random and you’ll end up with a rewarding and panoramic insight into the life and times of this characterful city and its people.

John Waltham


This review appeared in Issue 134 of The Living Tradition magazine