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“Ballroom of Broken Dreams”
“I’ll take you home again Kathleen”
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The road less traveled has been the favourite stomping ground for Seán Tyrrell and this journey with ‘The Walker of the Snow’ which has been more than five years in the making takes us on another extraordinary musical journey. Its title track is based on a poem by the 19th century Dublin poet Charles Dawson Shanley a mesmerising, ghostly tale set in the Yukon presented in a sparse acoustic style, as are the other songs on this new CD, including Seán’s version of the Tom Paxton classic ‘Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound’ and a hair raising rendition of ‘She Moves Through The Fair’.
In the words of Eamonn MC Cann “No other writer or singer in Ireland would have apprehended the shadow much less made substance of this cycle of songs. This is an album to be listened to gently for the enjoyment of its gusto. It deserves the widest possible audience”.
Siobhán Long Irish Times Review “Tyrrell wanders through vastly different landscapes, from the suitably wayward and Wildean Reading Gaol to the bittersweet ambivalence of the timely closer, I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound, borrowed from Tom Paxton’s songbook. . .Siobhán Long Irish Times.
Tyrrell’s selections – some original, others taken from the traditional repertory, adapted from poetry or borrowed from songwriters outside the tradition – all revel in story and metaphor, often injected with a bracing (and disarming) directness that impels listeners to understand the messages in them.
The album’s musical arrangements are built on Tyrrell’s mandocello and tenor guitar, but many also include acoustic, electric & slide guitar, Hammond organ, and even synthesizer. It allows in an occasional folk-rock sensibility that moves the album beyond the typical borders of Irish traditional song.
His take on John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero,” a song that few can adapt effectively, but one on which Tyrrell excels. Led by Tyrrell’s powerful voice, “The Walker of the Snow” is an excellent album that explores the corners of existential meaning.
Daniel Neely Irish Echo
This show maps the amazing life and incredible work of one of Ireland’s lesser known heroes. Through the medium of song and story it paints a vivid picture of John Boyle O’Reilly’s journey from his boyhood in Dowth, enlistment as a Fenian, his imprisonment and great escape from the penal colony in Fremantle on board an American whaling ship . He settled in Boston and became one of the most important Irishmen in America of his day.
It’s theatre, great songs ranging from Oscar Wilde to John Lennon. Storytelling, history, its now, relevant, humourous, tragic, heroic the life of a majestic visionary soul. A poet, rebel, courage of a freedom fighter and commitment of a civil rights activist.