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Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006
This is a truly lovely debut album, an unpretentious and heartfelt delight from Irish-Australian singer/guitarist Gerry Doyle.
Gerry has a pleasant, expressive baritone voice, plays a mean acoustic guitar, and has stylish and unobtrusive accompaniment by way of occasional backing vocals, fiddle, percussion and bass. His album, very much in the Scottish or Irish manner, is stamped with a deeply personal quality. Traditional songs include “Rocks of Bawn”, “Galway Shawl” and “Spancil Hill/Bport na Bpucai’”, while the others were written by Dougie Maclean, Pete Seeger, Dominic Behan, Elvis Costello, Padraic Colum, Richard Thompson and Gerry himself.
Style-wise, one may detect influence from one or another Irish, Scottish or English ballad singer – Christy Moore, Dougie Maclean, John Doyle and Bert Jansch came to mind. Dougie Maclean’s style for example is reflected in the melancholy reverence of Gerry’s marvellous own ballad “Scotts of the Riverina” based on a Henry Lawson poem. Gerry likes songs with political bite too, as in Pete Seeger’s “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy” and Elvis Costello’s “Deportees Club”, with its stated relevance to the Australian refugee situation. A variety of sources has been tapped for personable adaptations to create a homogeneous album that really flows.
I was blown away by this evocative and nicely crafted album. Well done Gerry, more please!
Gerry Doyle (0412) 486 889