NIALL TONER

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - JOE BREEN

Work­ing on Love ★★★

Avalon Records

If medals were awarded for ser­vice be­yond the call of mak­ing Ire­land safe for coun­try mu­sic, then Niall Toner would be bent over with the weight of metal adorn­ing his cow­boy shirt. On ra­dio, Toner has been a light­house for all that is good in Nashville – and, in turn, has used th­ese in­flu­ences to shape his own ca­reer as a per­former. Work­ing on

Love is his fifth al­bum; while the songs con­cern love’s pluses and mi­nuses, they also pro­claim his af­fec­tion for all shades of coun­try and in­deed Ir­ish mu­sic. Toner recorded it in Nashville, and the top-notch sup­port­ing play­ers re­pay his trust with skill and imag­i­na­tion. Toner’s voice is a lit­tle weath­ered th­ese days, mit­i­gated by the mas­terly har­monies of Wendy Buck­ner and pro­ducer Keith Sewell. The qual­ity of the songs varies, but this al­bum is re­plete with love for the mu­sic and the peo­ple who in­spired it.

While the songs con­cern love’s pluses and mi­nuses, they also pro­claim his af­fec­tion for all shades of coun­try and in­deed Ir­ish mu­sic

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