Christy Moore shines brightly in his natural habitat – the stage

On the Road
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Artist: Christy Moore
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Sony

On the Road, a completist's dream, is a snapshot and a love letter rolled in to one. It was recorded in 17 different venues over the course of the past three years, and comes accompanied by a swathe of revealing sleeve notes.

Moore has been mindful of his mojo down through the years, and his most recent expansion of accompanists to include Máirtín O'Connor, Cathal Hayden and Seamie O'Dowd alongside Declan Sinnott and his own son, Andy, has invigorated his set and propelled it straight into the arms of a new generation.

Moore has always been defined by the live performance: his songbook thrives on the oxygen of an audience. So alongside a propulsive version of Ordinary Man and a buoyant reading of McIlhatton, there's the odd recent arrival. Contemporary comment in the shape of Lingo Politico (a sometime ode to politicians from Kilgarvan to Gweedore) is a reassurance that he is still a man of the people. The only outlier is Beeswing, Richard Thompson's gemstone, denuded of its pathos, its fragile lyricism tethered to a pedantic vocal rhythm. Still, Moore is right at home where he's always been: on the road.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about traditional music and the wider arts