RTE Radio 1 Music

    Album of the week

    RTÉ Radio 1 Album of The Week: Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles – Suzanne Vega

     The weeks RTÉ Radio 1 Album of the week is Suzanne Vega - Tales From the Realm of The Queen of Pentacles.

    Here is what Cooking Vinyl had to say....

    Vega’s much-welcomed first new material in seven years.

    By Andy Fyfe February 3, 2014 MoJo.com ( Also their Album of the Week that week)

    Whatever made Vega spend her last four years re-recording her own back catalogue as four themed albums – like someone re-filing their CDs from alphabetical into ‘feel’ – it seems to have unblocked whatever was preventing her from releasing new material. And to celebrate, here is the folky singer-songwriter in totally new guise: Suzanne Vega, Rock Chick. Well, not quite, but in a career more noted for hushed moments it’s still a surprise to hear electric guitars played in anger. And it’s a good look. Vega dips into the Tarot for songs about spiritual growth, death, the afterlife and Vaclav Havel, while an array of session superheroes – among them Larry Campbell and Gail Ann Dorsey – fill the album with crackling electricity that even gets a little menacing on live showstopper I Never Wear White. It’s hardly Dylan goes electric, but the intent is much the same.



    Album of the Week: The Henry Girls - Louder The Words


    This weeks album of the week is Henry Girls Louder Then Words and here is what MusicandEverything.com had to say....

    The Henry Girls have been around for quite some time despite the recent peak in interest, possibly spawned by the increased popularity in folk music. Names after their grandfather, the Donegal sisters have been performing together for more than a decade, with their first release “Between Us” gracing the Irish music scene in 2002.

    This month sees the release of their 5th album ‘Louder Than Words’ , a warm, ten track album that comes across polished and professional, without succumbing to an overly commercial sound.

    On the whole, this is a consistently strong album with a few tracks that stand just a little further out than the others. Reason To Believe is particularly notable; a soothingly harmonic track in which the sisters vocals intertwine beautifully, it is a signature of their light and airy sound.

    The harmonies are what really sell this album. There is something wonderfully perfect when siblings sing together and this is especially true in the case of the Henry Girls. The Light in The Window and Here Beside Me are rendered magical by the heart wrenching harmonies; the former instilling some fantastic traditional Irish musicianship in the form of a fiddle and bodhrán.

    This is an exquisite album with highs and lows in terms of tempo, mood and vocals throughout. It is compelling and moving; masterful in the sense that it truly draws the listener in to the atmosphere of each song. If you have not yet heard The Henry Girls music, this album would be a great place to start

    Review written by Claire Kane. Visit her website for more great music reviews: musicandeverything.com




    Album of the Week: Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes

    This weeks album of the week is Bruce Springsteen High Hopes -

    Here is what Alan Corr of RTÉ Ten had to say about it,

    40 years on and at 64 years of age, Bruce elevates this re-ordering of odds and sods onto a higher level altogether.

    Welcome to the Bruce and Tom show. Rage Against The Machine guitar firebrand Tom Morello is not just Springsteen’s musical foil on this enjoyable rag bag collection of b-sides, covers and previously un-recorded tracks; he also became his muse, providing the impetuous for Bruce to finally put these ghosts and lingering half-finished songs from his vast back catalogue to rest.

    Morello features on seven of the 12 tracks here and High Hopes also marks a series of firsts for Springsteen. This is the first album he’s recorded on the road and the first Bruce album beginning and ending with cover versions.

    As bookends go, they reveal a lot about the spirit of this 18th album. The first is a sturdy reworking of High Hopes, a song by LA act The Havelinas originally covered by Bruce in 1996 for his Blood Brothers EP. Here it becomes a brass- drenched, righteous rumble full of lashings of Morello’s wah-wah guitar. The closing song is a cover of Dream Baby Dream by New York proto-punks Suicide, a seemingly unlikely choice that keeps its original form but also turns into a burnished torch song in Bruce’s hands.

    What lies between is a collection split between Springsteen heart-on-blue-shirted sleeve redemption songs and some knocked-out knockabouts, all bristling with the bedrock musicianship of E Streeters but truly enlivened by Morello’s spitting, aerobatic guitar moves.

    There’s even a blast of Celticism on This is Your Sword as Cillian Vallely's uileann pipes and high and low whistle build to a typically rousing chorus about self-belief in the face of adversity. There’s fun to be had with Frankie Fell in Love and the spare and haunting Down in The Hole features Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici's last ever recordings.

    The lean Harry’s Place, originally recorded for 2003's post-911 album The Rising, has all the backroom menace of The Sopranos or a poker game in Joe Pesci’s basement. A lively cover of The Saints' Just Like Fire Would is also very good and very welcome indeed but perhaps Hunter of Invisible Game is late period Springsteen at his best. It overtures with an Elmer Bernstein-style string thing and is the most plangent and gorgeous song here. Raw emotion leaks out on The Wall, a moving lament for fallen comrades on the Jersey music scene who died needlessly in the Vietnam War.

    However, the seven-and-half-minute re-recorded version of the celebrated Ghost of Tom Joad towers above even that. It’s owned by Morello as he trades verses with Springsteen and fires off some extraordinary note-bending pyrotechnics which sound like machine gun rattle one second, wired turntablism, and, then, police sirens the next. It's spine-tingling proof of the genuine connection between the pair.

    40 years on and at 64 years of age, Bruce elevates even this re-ordering of odds and sods onto a higher level altogether. This kind of heroism and undaunted self-belief would be clichéd if it wasn’t so damn passionate. It’s further testament that he remains hungry after all these years. Clearly, Springsteen is still guided by hidden forces



    ALBUM OF THE WEEK: David Burke - Where Colours Swim

    David Burke is delighted to announce that his debut album ‘Where Colours Swim’ is now available to pre-order on iTunes for €4.99. The album will be officially released on November 1st.
    The first 2 releases taken from the album – ‘Love Hate’ (Single) & ‘Clothes on the Floor’ (EP) both went in at No.1 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts.
    Beautiful Mind (track 8) is the lead single to accompany the album. David wrote the song 10 years ago after being inspired by the movie of the same name.

    Write & record debut album – Check
    Busk in L.A. & New York’s Central Park - Check
    Guest artist to Declan O’Rourke, Wallis Bird, Mundy, Kila, Paddy Casey, Alabama 3 & Hothouse Flowers amongst others – Check
    Record with Chris Elliott – string orchestrator on Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black’ – Check
    Record on Freddie Mercury’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ piano – Check
    Run the original marathon course in Athens – Check
    Climb Carrauntoohil & Croagh Patrick (barefoot) – Check
    Law degree – Check

    To Do:
    Keep making the music I love
    Climb Ben Nevis (Scotland), Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa).........Everest??
    Run another marathon
    Positive living & positive people

    Watch the video for 'Beautiful Mind' here.

    Watch the video for "Clothes on the Floor" here.

    Watch the video for "Love Hate" here.




    ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Zervas and Pepper: Lifebringer


    This Weeks album of the week is Zervas and Pepper: Lifebringer

    and here is what Nick Dent Robinson had to say: 

    Zervas & Pepper are attracting a lot of interest in the music press and on radio with their exquisite vocal harmonies, interesting arrangements and highly original songs.

    Paul Zervas and Kathryn Pepper are about to release their second album, 'Lifebringer', following the success of their debut release 'Somewhere in the City' which they recorded in 2011.

    The pair first met in the Toucan Club, Cardiff in their native Wales and soon decided to write and perform their own original songs as a duo. “That was a very exciting time for us,” Paul Zervas recalls. “We were still finding our feet as songwriters, pushing each other and digging ever deeper musically, determined not to be constrained by current trends in musical style. We realised we'd found our ultimate soul mates in each other. As our romance blossomed, the harmony in our music increasingly reflected the harmony in our lives – at times it felt almost otherworldly to us. And our audiences picked up on that.”

    BBC Radio 2's Janice Long and Terry Wogan have heaped praise on the pair.

    'Lifebringer', the new album, includes some of Wales's finest musicians. The material – which Zervas & Pepper describe as “sunny, cosmic, retro folk rock music” - is “more of an escape from reality” than the band's previous work, Paul Zervas says. Critics have been very positive, calling it “perfect festival music” with “an exquisite sound”. Comparisons have been made with Fleetwood Mac and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. But this may be misleading as it downplays the originality and beauty of the best of Zervas & Pepper's work. 'Lifebringer' is a very satisfying listen. It is well worth making the effort to see Zervas & Pepper perform live with their highly versatile and impressive current line-up including Andrew Brown on bass, Jack Egglestone on drums and Simon Kingman on lead guitar.

    The sounds of Laurel Canyon permeate deeply an album of original songs that draw inspiration from their travels, Kathryn says about the album “There are times when our music is a reflection of our lives but mostly we like to create an escape from reality. We wrote the bulk of this album whilst staying in LA last year, taking as much inspiration from art, music and characters we ran into as we could” and Paul adds “We’ve been somewhat selfish when it comes to the song writing for this album, certainly when it comes to subject matter, there aren’t many Welsh singer-songwriters writing material about round-eyed cult leaders, dystopian futures or mystic Indian shamans! So while not intentionally we do tend to write music that flies in the face of our everyday surroundings and lives”



    Album of the Week: Masters of Their Craft - Various Artists

    This weeks album of the week is Masters of Their Craft, a compilation of various artists including Clannad, Planxty, Shaun Davey, Stockton’s Wing, Christy Moore, Moving Hearts and many more.

    Heres what Tim Carroll had to say about it:

    Masters Of Their Craft’ pretty much sums up what you get with this compilation album from Various Artists on the Tara Music label. It’s is an anthology of 18 tracks from some iconic names and bands in Irish and roots music. In a lifespan of some 30 years Tara Music has recorded the work of music maestros such as Christy Moore, Moving Hearts, Rita Connolly, Clannad, Davy Spillane, Planxty, Shaun Davey and Liam O’Flynn - and this album showcases some of their best known work.
    So what do you get? Well from the rousing might of ‘The Storm’ by Moving Hearts and the cautionary tale of ‘Ripples In The Rockpools’ delivered by Rita Connolly, through the rabid Bulgarian dance frenzy of ‘Smeceno Horo’ from Planxty along with their definitive version of ‘The Good Ship Kangaroo’ to the haunting ‘Daire's Dream’ by Davy Spillane. There’s a live recording of Christy Moore singing the wonderful ‘The Crack Was Ninety In The Isle Of Man’, Clannad delivering the immortal ‘Mhórag's Na Horo Gheallaidh’ and the echoing simplicity of ‘Beautiful Affair’ from Stockton’s Wing. I could go on but if you know Irish music and Tara Music then you’ll already know these 'masters'.

    Will avid fans of Irish music have most of the tracks on ‘Masters Of Their Craft’ on the original albums? Undoubtedly. Then again, is it worth adding this group of gems to your collection? Possibly. And if you are new to the genre is it a good starting point? Probably. There’s also an added bonus of some comprehensive notes about the artists with details of the original albums.



    Album of the Week: Caro Emerald - Shocking Miss Emerald


    This weeks album of the week is Caro Emerald - Shocking Miss Emerald and here is what musicomh.com had to say...


    They love Caro Emerald in Holland. They love her almost as much as they love trance DJs, bridges over canals, and tulips. Emerald’s debut album Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor broke all kinds of records in Emerald’s native country, spending more time at Number 1 on the charts than a little album called Thriller by some bloke named Michael Jackson.While she may not yet be a household name outside of the Netherlands right now, she’s garnered enough attention to sell out the Royal Albert Hall, become a staple fixture on Radio 2 and helped out Jools Holland on his Hootenanny. So it’s fair to say that The Shocking Miss Emerald pretty much deserves the soubriquet ‘eagerly-awaited’.

    The secret to Emerald’s success is easy to identify from the very first notes of her second album. Like her closest comparison Imelda May, Emerald deals comfortably in a retro, nostalgic type of blues-tinged jazzy pop that’s been so successful for her contemporaries. Of course, she could be accused of playing it safe (it’s true that there are no real surprises to be found here) but there’s no denying that she does what she does very well indeed.

    A dramatic orchestral flourish introduces the album before One Day pretty much summarises what Miss Emerald is all about – a sassy, brass-laden strut bearing more than a passing resemblance to Kirsty MacColl‘s In These Shoes. Tangled Up seems to be lined up to be Emerald’s big cross-over hit (bearing the name of a certain Guy Chambers on co-writing credits) and could well be a success – despite some lyrical clangers (“treating girls like a yo-yo is a no no of a monumental kind” anyone?) and some rather over-produced strings, it does have a certain kind of charm, and Ms Emerald splashes her personality all over the song whenever she opens her mouth.

    At times, The Shocking Miss Emerald seems like a triumph of style over content – at 14 tracks, it’s rather too long (a trait in common with many albums these days, to be fair) and for every endearingly daft romp like Pack Up The Louie, there are moments of fluff like The Maestro which just serves to remind everyone that The Puppini Sisters were once inexplicably successful for a brief moment. Far better are the times when Emerald seems to emotionally connect with a song, such as Black Valentine, a beautifully yearning torch ballad, or the smouldering, classy rendition of Paris.

    Stylishly retro and just on the right side of quirky, Caro Emerald fits well into the new breed of post-Amy Winehouse pop star, like Paloma Faith. While her music probably won’t appeal to everyone (and really, what music does?), there is a huge market for this modern spin on a classic sound. Although it may become too whimsical for some, there’s every chance that The Shocking Miss Emerald will see her repeat her staggering success at home on an international basis.




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