There’s something incredibly noble about being a full-time musicians even in the best of times but especially now, to commit to a life where your purpose is to entertain and to take people away from their daily worries is an extraordinary thing we should never take for granted.
Davie Furey is one such troubadour. Given normal times, he’d doubtless be playing somewhere this evening, of course, escapades like these feel like pure fantasy now. The obvious thing would be to give it all up but like many, it has become an opportunity to craft new music, in Davie’s case a welcome and overdue new album which sees him on scintillating form both musically and lyrically.
Haunted Streets is the sound of an artist who is completely in control of the music he makes. It has a wonderfully lived-in sound which captures both his environment and the characters in his songs. Flames on the River may glitter with the frustrations of Trump’s reign in America but it isn’t bogged down with overt rhetoric and instead has a feel of real widescreen hope. It’s not unreasonable to see a kinship with Springsteen.
When Davie sings, you really do believe him. Just Like the Wind has a real gravitas and potency, whilst the instrumentation swirls around him, just as the title suggests. Who Am I? is similarly majestic and features some of the traditional sounds of Ireland without it becoming a parade of influence-on-sleeve-baring. So often musicians feel duty bound to use instruments for the sake of it, leading to a sound which is less them and more an idea that has run away from them. Davie Furey’s taste is clearly impeccable.
Fire & Gold is an obvious highlight, bringing to mind prime Waterboys, perhaps not too surprising as their multi-instrumentalist, Steve Wickham, appears on the album throughout. A word too for Magic of the Ocean, a track which immediately makes you think of one of those helicopter shots of the sea at the end of Rick Stein’s documentaries. A truly great album which deserves a wide audience.