Although they only lasted five years, Tir Na Nog managed to make their brief time in existence count, and fans of ’70s folk still sing their praises warmly.
Formed in Dublin in 1969, the duo of Sonny Condell and Leo O’Kelly were making the right music at the right time.
Although influenced by traditional music, their compositions followed the singer/songwriter bent of the time, and the blend of two voices and two guitars did their material justice, light, airy, and thoroughly engaging, with bits of tabla and exotica.
Tir Na Nog, whose name translates from the Gaelic as “Land of Eternal Youth,” hit a Zeitgeist with their first album.
The pairing of Sonny Condell and Leo O’Kelly caught the same softness as, say, Nick Drake, but more open and engaging, with just enough lilting Celtic influence to offer plenty of charm (although, it must be said, very little of the Irish tradition is evident in their music).
The acoustic duo could be sweetly romantic, as on “Time Is Like a Promise” and “Our Love Will Not Decay,” but they could also offer a crowd-pleaser like the singalong “Aberdeen Angus.” “Picadilly” is especially poignant, a touching tale.
Condell brings a few exotic touches to the disc, adding tabla, Moroccan drum, and jew’s harp, but that hardly turns them into a version of the Incredible String Band — their writing simply isn’t quirky enough.
That’s not to imply there isn’t a strength to it; there is. They can pen a good, memorable tune with an affecting chorus, and the relatively straightforward arrangements, fleshed out by Barry Dransfield’s fiddle and Nick Harrison’s arrangements, are never overdone.
Pleasant without ever being startling, this is ’70s folk-rock, with the emphasis on the folk more than the rock (by AMG).
Time Is Like A Promise:
01.Time Is Like A Promise (2:56)
02.Mariner Blues (4:12)
03.Daisy Lady (2:21)
04.Tír Na Nóg (5:20)
05.Aberdeen Angus (1:50)
06.Looking Up (4:51)
07.Boat Song (3:24)
08.Our Love Will Not Decay (3:04)
09.Hey Friend (3:01)
10.Dance Of Years (3:50)
11.Live A Day (3:04)
Tir Na Nog:
*Sonny Condell / vocals, guitar, moroccan pottery drums, tablas, jews harp
*Leo O'Kelly / vocals, guitar, dulcimer, electric bass, tin whistle
*Barry Dransfield / fiddle (4)
*Annie Crozier - psaltery (1)
[ Thank you MIF for sending this post ]
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