Link to Living Tradition Homepage





CIARÁN BOYLE - Bright Flame

CIARÁN BOYLE - Bright Flame
Hallamshire Traditions  HATRCD07

This is another fine collection of songs from the vibrant Leeds-Irish scene, mostly comprising standard session songs delivered in a style reverential to Christy Moore and Ciarán’s late dad, Tommy. My first impressions were that the album lacked instrumentation, apart from bodhran, admittedly played with vigour and competence throughout. Repeated hearings, though, have reinforced to me the ‘less is more’ sense that these songs stand up well without too much embellishment – especially when handled by an expert as on this album. Most songs are well covered elsewhere and are standard session fodder, such as As I Roved Out and Step It Out Mary, and hidden gems such as The Green Fields of Canada.

The reels – The Bank of Ireland / Within A Mile Of Dublin remind the listener of Ciarán’s previous role in Last Night’s Fun, but just serve to reinforce to me that the album is suffering from a distinct lack of body which instruments could have provided. Ciarán’s voice is lovely (especially on the lilting mouth music – Elizabeth Kelly’s Delight for example), his bodhran playing sublime, and the choice of material fab, but I would have preferred just a bit more – more choice in the material, more instruments, a few more voices – even some harmonies – oh and a few more minutes of music – I think most of us expect more than 37minutes on a full price album these days. Having said all that, it is a good starter for ten and a suitable showcase of Ciarán’s skills.

Grem Devlin

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 92 of The Living Tradition magazine.