Folk

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hil­lier

True Born Ir­ish­man Daoiri Far­rell Daoiri Record­ings/PIAS Young Ir­ish­man Daoiri (pro­nounced Derry) Far­rell, cham­pi­oned by Eire folk mu­si­cians High Kings of Tara — aka Christy Moore and Donal Lunny — has ac­cu­mu­lated more awards and ac­co­lades than you could chuck a shil­le­lagh at, in­clud­ing an All Ire­land Cham­pi­onship. Since Far­rell pos­sesses a rich and ex­pres­sive voice that evokes Paul Brady and Andy Irvine in their prime, that’s re­ally no sur­prise. Fea­tur­ing the or­na­men­ta­tion and pas­sion that char­ac­terise top-notch tra­di­tional Ir­ish singing and the in­tri­ca­cies of high-level mu­si­cian­ship, ar­rang­ing and record­ing, True Born Ir­ish­man cap­ti­vates from go to whoa.

The lu­mi­nos­ity of Far­rell’s voice and, to a lesser ex­tent, his bouzouki play­ing is matched by an uil­leann pipes solo in a jaunty open­ing ren­di­tion of Fer­gus Rus­sell’s trav­ellers’ paean Pat Rainey. In the stripped-back Blue Tar Road, the first of two Liam Wel­don songs, Far­rell’s singing blends mel­liflu­ously with a pipes’ drone. In a banjo and gui­tar-dom­i­nated read­ing of Shay Healey’s This Town is Not Your Own, which also al­ludes to trav­eller dis­crim­i­na­tion, Far­rell ben­e­fits from vo­cal backup. An­other song once recorded by the mighty Wolfe Tones, Bryan MacMa­hon’s Val­ley of Knock­a­nure, has yer man singing in more or­nate and emo­tive fash­ion as he in­vokes the tur­bu­lent Black and Tans era. En­hanced by bodhran and flute, Fergie McCor­mack — Mar­cus Turner’s ditty about the flawed hero­ism of a Kiwi rugby player — pro­vides hu­mor­ous re­lief. Far­rell’s take of the trans­porta­tion stan­dard Van Diemen’s Land builds im­pres­sively in in­ten­sity courtesy of an or­ches­tral makeover.

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