Chris Murphy first and foremost makes music that is great for Celtic dancing and in my opinion drinking beer. I didn’t know much about his music going in but when I was greeted with the opening track “Connemara Ponies” from his album The Tinker's Dream I thought of that one scene in Braveheart where people are dancing, playing games and probably aggressively sipping ale.
“Connemara Ponies” is such a jovial track that it will make you forget your worries at least for while it's playing, It’s an instrumental track just like almost every other song on the album that is not only exceptional from a technical standpoint but warm, inviting and a pleasure to listen to.
After listening to this album it's evident that Murphy is quite prolific. We reviewed two of his previous albums Surface to Air and Red Mountain Blues but that really is just the beginning of his catalog as I was skimming through his website.
There isn’t a single song on The Tinker's Dream that lacked rich organic instrumentation the hits you right in your soul when you hear it. “Union of the Seven Brothers” is a song that mixes a celebratory feel with melancholy that is really quite powerful. You see instances of this all over the album.
The title track is a boot slapping good time while “Gibraltar” is a sprawling track that brings to mind rolling meadows and hills. Other songs like “The Artful Dodger” have a playful feel to it that remind you not to take things too seriously. It’s hard to pick out a highlight because songs like “The Thistlewood Bridge,” “Small Wonder” and “The Hayloft Waltz” have different things to enjoy.
Murphy doesn't seem to be slowing down and I’m all for it. I think his songs are undeniably a pleasure to listen to and I think many people will feel the same way.
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