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This New Morning
Kildare troubadour returns with a strong collection
Colm O Hare, 19 Jun 2012
He’s been gigging since 1969, when as a 14-year-old he supported his brother Christy Moore on a tour of UK folk clubs! Since then Luka Bloom, aka Barry Moore, has crossed many a musical bridge, lived on several continents and changed his name along the way. His latest album finds him in familiar mode, singing the kind of rousing anthems and tender ballads that have made him a huge live draw, particularly on mainland Europe.
The sound is pared down and intimate, his distinctive voice, along with some lovely string arrangements, adding texture on many of the tunes. ‘A Seed Was Sown’ is inspired by the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and her historic appearance at the Garden of Remembrance: “She laid her wreath with dignity and grace/ An eloquent silence and softness in her face.”
Elsewhere, he blends the kind of pastoral, evocative imagery that recalls Nick Drake’s best work on songs like ‘Heartman’ and ‘Riverdays’. Meanwhile, environmental causes which have never been far from his heart are also explored, particularly on the poignant ‘Gaman’ (meaning “enduring the unendurable” in Japanese), in which he describes the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster: “The radiation and wave that came, revealed a beauty, with a simple name.”
Helping him out on this strong collection of songs are some of the cream of Irish folk musicians and singers, including Eimer Quinn, Iarla O’Lionard, Steve Cooney and Conor Byrne among others, with lovely orchestral arrangements by Joe Csibi.