DUKE SPE­CIAL Hal­low

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - LAU­REN MUR­PHY

If the mark of a true artist is one who re­fuses to re­tread old ground, pin the medal on Duke Spe­cial’s lapel, stat. His back cat­a­logue in­cludes in­ter­pre­ta­tions of Ber­tolt Brecht and Ruby Mur­ray dot­ted amongst his more “straight­for­ward” re­leases, but his ninth al­bum sees him pay­ing homage to Belfast poet Michael Lon­g­ley. Spe­cial’s mu­si­cal in­ter­pre­ta­tions of his work run the ram­bunc­tious gamut from mu­sic hall pomp (A Ques­tion for Wal­ter Mitty) to ten­der play­ful­ness

(Grand­daugh­ters) and more

som­bre fare (The Ice-Cream Man, fea­tur­ing Lon­g­ley’s own voice). Cru­cially, although the source is treated with rev­er­ence, Spe­cial bur­rows deep into the heart of each poem and gives it a per­sonal touch. Even those pre­vi­ously ap­a­thetic to­wards the dread­locked artist’s canon will find some­thing to ad­mire here. duke­spe­cial.com

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