Frank Harte – When Adam Was in Paradise album review: epic yet intimate

Thu, Nov 17, 2016, 11:00


When Adam Was A Boy

Frank Harte

Claddagh Records


Singers’ legacies can be vulnerable to the vicissitudes of recording conditions, particularly in the live setting. Frank Harte’s reach was welcoming and wide, and his touch can be discerned in the songbooks of countless singers, from Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill to Karan Casey.

This collection, curated by his daughter Orla and engineered by his long-time compadre, Donal Lunny, casts a sharply-cocked ear to the man’s vast and eclectic repertoire. Harte manages to convey the epic quality of some songs (Donal Óg), while at the same time revealing the intimate vulnerability at the heart of The Bonny Blue Eyed Lassie.

His take on Sweet Sorrow In The Wind (with West Virginian Molly Andrews) conjures the lonesome notes of Appalachia, as if he were born in the belly of the beast. A song lover’s delight.