Seán Tyrrell has fostered a reputation as a lover of language, of poetry, of words strung together in webs that capture moments and places. This reputation was confirmed by his first album (released in 1994) and is further strengthened by this latest CD. Tyrrell was raised in Galway in the West of Ireland (where he now lives again). He has been the featured soloist on two Davy Spillane albums. In addition to singing, Tyrrell plays guitar, banjo and assorted large members of the mandolin family.
The Orchard contains songs of courage, passionately sung. The CD opens with "Rising of the Moon," with new words like "'Cos the wail of fighting nations dims the beauty of the tune/ Let's all dance the dance of Freedom, at the Rising of the Moon." There are four poems put to music by Tyrrell, including Charles Lever's "Bad Luck to This Marchin'" and the quiet soundscape of "The Song of the Wandering Aengus" by W.B. Yeats. Two old classics make their welcome appearance, "Wild Mountain Thyme" and a soulful version of "Red River Valley." Other highlights include "Game Over," a condemnation of environmental criminals.
In all there are a dozen songs and four sets of instrumentals here (which show another side to Tyrrell). He is backed by a score of fine musicians, such as Liam Lewis (fiddle), Davy Spillane (pipes, whistles) and Fergus Feeley (guitar). "The Orchard" bears sweet fruit, in its mix of poetry and passionate. - Ivan Emke
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