Album Review: Paddy Dear - Finbar Furey

Irish folk legend delivers strongest album in years

His recent appearance on the Late Late Show (where he duetted with Christy Dignam on a sublime ‘Green Fields of France’) has reawakened interest in Dublin folk legend Finbar Furey. Not that his legion of long-time fans need any reminder of his talents – Furey’s rough-hewn vocals and uilleann pipe prowess have been a part of the Irish music landscape for as long as anyone can remember.

With Paddy Dear, he combines all these elements on an album that should find favour with fans of both Americana and Irish folk alike.

Banjo, whistle and guitars predominate on mid-tempo shuffle ‘We Built A Home’, while keyboards and jangly acoustic guitars backdrop ‘Sara Waits’, with Furey’s voice reaching intense emotional heights. Other highlights, meanwhile, include the Jim Reeves and Ry Cooder classic ‘He’ll Have To Go’; the evocative sea shanty ‘Michael Power’; and the bluesy J.J. Cale-esque ‘Sweet Liberty of Life’. Overall, this is excellent stuff from a genuine legend of Irish music.

 

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