The Irish Times – Friday, May 18, 2012

Seán Tyrrell


Walker of the Snow Longwalk Music ***

The sparse landscape of the Burren provides an apt backdrop to Seán Tyrrell’s sixth solo album. Walker of the Snow takes its name from a poem of the same name by Charles Dawson Shanly, published in 1859. By turn world-weary, tender and deeply philosophical, 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. Tyrrell’s plaintive vocals have come into their own on this collection, possessing a spare, echoic quality that recalls Ry Cooder’s in Paris, Texas. Tony Trundle partners Tyrrell’s lilting mandola with a perfectly throaty fiddle on The Lark in the Morning – reinvented by Seán’s indefatigable optimism. Here be folk music as it was meant to be: pugilistic at times, all embracing at others. Tyrrell’s appetite for telling it like it is is as unquenchable as ever.