Christy Moore: Flying into Mystery – Solid outing from Ireland’s greatest treasure

Moore revisits songs by namesake Gary and Bob Dylan alongside a few new of his own

Flying into Mystery
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Artist: Christy Moore
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Sony

"It has been a very different recording process this time around," writes Christy Moore in the liner notes. "Since 1969 I have been involved in recording but never with a total absence of live performance. Since March 2020, all my focus has been on this album." You would imagine that Moore might have basked in the socially enforced leisure time, but a restless spirit is a restless spirit, and so he did what every other musician does as downtime looms – forget about relaxing, pick up a guitar and write songs.

As is usual for Moore, however, Flying into Mystery revisits the work of other songwriters as well as throwing some of his own into the pot. He is as astute a curator and collector as he is an original songwriter, and the crux of the album lies primarily in two songs, cover versions that Moore effortlessly makes his own. The opening track, Johnny Boy, was written in the 1980s by a different Moore (Gary), as a tribute to his friend, Phil Lynott. It connects thematically with the closing track, I Pity the Poor Immigrant, written in the 1960s by Bob Dylan.

The filling in the sandwich includes revisions of songs not only from his back catalogue but also known songwriters. This isn't Moore by numbers, however, rather another solid outing from (not that he would ever think of himself as such) Ireland's greatest living national treasure.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture