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Luka Bloom: Between the Mountain & the Moon

Album Reviews:

Q (6/02, p.111) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...This first indie album of new songs carries a quiet weight of conviction and passion..."

Mojo (Publisher) (8/02, p.104) - "...His writing has found maturity, honing a hitherto slightly hippy-dippy worldview into a Zen-rich poetic humanity, while his musical approach follows fresh paths..."

Album Notes

Personnel includes: Luka Bloom (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Sinead O'Connor (vocals); Ray Fean (guitar, drums, percussion); Calvin Ralston (guitar); Catherine McCarthy (violin, strings); Tomas Kane (viola); Annette Cleary (cello, strings); Conor Byrne (flute, whistle); Eamon Murray (harmonica); Martin O'Connor (accordion); Ronan Dooney, Steve McDonald (trumpet, flugelhorn); Karl Ronan (trombone); Rod McVey (keyboards); Joe Csibi (bass); Ray Fean (drums, percussion); Mohamed Bouhanna (darabuka, bindir).

Engineers: Brian Masterson, Paul Ashe-Brown.

Recorded at Windmill Lane, The Works Studios, Dublin, Ireland.

Luka Bloom's seventh album (not counting three releases in his native Ireland under his real name, Barry Moore, which he changed to avoid comparison with his much more famous brother Christy) is a welcome change. His first new album of original material in three years, BETWEEN THE MOUNTAIN AND THE MOON at last features Bloom's soulful voice and folk-based acoustic guitar supported throughout by full-band arrangements.

Unlike a lot of solo performers who go the full-band route (see Phil Ochs' TAPE FROM CALIFORNIA), Bloom wisely avoids the temptation to go overboard with all his new toys. The arrangements are rich, but surprisingly subtle; Bloom remains at the center, with effective touches like piano, accordion, and cello coloring the songs, not overpowering them. Even the occasionally histrionic Sinead O'Connor, who guests on "Love Is A Place I Dream Of" (a touching tribute to a woman who has devoted her life to working with orphans in Southeast Asia) and the otherwise solo "Moonslide," keeps herself to herself. The most bizarre tune, "I'm A Bogman," features goofy mock-Spanish horns and a lighthearted rap interlude. It's a winningly light moment on an otherwise fairly dark, but powerful, album.


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