- 30 Jan 20
Commitments keyboardist shines on solo effort
This is the second album of original material (plus a few trad arrs) by Dublin keyboard wizard Eamonn Flynn, familiar to us from way back on the soundtrack to The Commitments. But as he proves herein, he’s no slouch on the songwriting front either.
The introspective opener ‘Black Coddle’ evokes small hours Dublin weariness, with Flynn’s heartfelt vocals backed by the Black family and a taut, confident band. The up-tempo ‘Porcupine’ has the ghost of Randy Newman hovering about, but at times it gets too close to ‘Sail Away’ territory for comfort. The all-too-short instrumental ‘Come Here To Me’ inventively marries Flynn’s Hammond organ to co-writer Todd Denman’s uilleann pipes, which also appear on ‘Yeah You Right’, driven by the martial drumming of Kevin Hayes. Sanara Pippins and Tamar Gillette also contribute choral vocals, which add real drama.
Chris Cain’s guitar leads us through the bluesy ‘Morning Love’, with Flynn’s vocals adopting a Van The Man swagger. But it’s Andrew MacNamara’s accordion that ramps it up on ‘Farrell O’Gara/The Sligo Maid’, abetted by Blyss Gould’s staccato bass and Hayes’ skittery drums. The trad ‘A Bunch Of Thyme’ gets a barrelhouse-lite makeover, courtesy of Flynn’s vocals and vintage piano, plus Mike Rinta’s trombone, taking it into fresh territory. The seven-minute ‘I Still Love The Sun’ stretches out with languorous vocals, interwoven with soulful backing vocals.
Black Coddle, despite its apparently diverse array of styles and influences, is an admirable addition to the catalogue of exciting new works coming from Irish artists. The San Francisco-based Flynn wears his influences on both sleeves, but there’s a generous helping of originality here too.