The last time I wrote about Irish troubadour Damien Dempsey, I received a great deal of flack (and that’s an understatement). What I said then, and I will continue to say now, is that Dempsey is certainly the most talented Damien to come out of Ireland. Dempsey’s remarkably strong voice is so entirely captivating that the musical arrangements are often overshadowed by his vocal prowess. Dempsey combines contemporary folk music with his Irish heritage–when you listen to Dempsey, you don’t feel like you’re listening to the product of record company machinations. Dempsey is genuine in his effort to fuse the past with the present. His new album Rocky Road is perhaps not as ambitious as his excellent To Hell or Barbados, but it nonetheless shows a maturing Dempsey who is becoming even more comfortable with his sound/style.
Damien Dempsey Effect
Everything about Dempsey’s effect reflects in everyman….that is, except for his voice. Almost unearthly in its crispness and its clarity, it sounds as though his voice almost compels his backing instrumentation to play. But I don’t want to disparage The Dubliners, who add their wonderful native Irish touch (and more than that!). “A Rainy Night in Soho” is a sweet serenade showcasing Dempsey’s Irish brogue. “Kelly from Killian/Teetotaler” is a rolling-prairie of a song, an absolute delight that is sure to go well with a pint of Guinness!
Get a copy of Rocky Road.
Listen to “A Rainy Night in Soho”
Listen to “Kelly from Killian/Teetotaler“