Ed Harper


The Goatman’s Litany Claddagh Records

Subtitled Songs of work, war, want’n’women,this debut from goat herder Ed Harper is a piece of work, akin, one suspects, to the man himself. Crammed with frolicsome tales that tackle the perils of war and adultery, of reason and logic, The Goatman’s Litanyheralds a formidable talent long in the gestation on Clare Island by way of Lancashire. Wisely lightly orchestrated, Harper’s songs promise much but occasionally disappoint in the transparency of their humour and the limits of their arguments. It’s an Achilles’ heel avoided by fellow folkie Kate Rusby, who has a fondness for Harper’s picaresque subject matter. He succeeds best with songs drawn from his own native well, but brings an impressively lonesome touch to the Virginian epic Grammarie. Harper’s muscular voice wouldn’t be out of place in the loftiest speakers’ corner, so expect to hear more from this charismatic latecomer. See http://emara.org/goatmans litany.htm