Old Simplicity

The Old Simplicity

by Niamh Parsons
     
 
On her first offering in nearly four years, Niamh (pronounced "Neeve") Parsons delivers her most powerful and serious recording yet. Her voice is singular, a trademark, much like Linda Thompson's -- and in fact Parsons covers the latter's "No Telling" here. She revisits the amorous territory of 2002's

Overview

On her first offering in nearly four years, Niamh (pronounced "Neeve") Parsons delivers her most powerful and serious recording yet. Her voice is singular, a trademark, much like Linda Thompson's -- and in fact Parsons covers the latter's "No Telling" here. She revisits the amorous territory of 2002's Heart's Desire but juxtaposes it against songs of war, aging, and injustice. Parsons' producer is Dennis Cahill once again, and Graham Dunne remains her guitarist and musical foil. The traditional material here -- "Poor Irish Stranger," "Moll and Poll Ha'Penny," and "Long Cookstown" -- is given new and bracing arrangement without the loss of Parsons' sensitivity toward history. Her readings are full of empathy and reverence, but extend it for modern listeners. Of the new songs, the set opener, "1917" by David Olney, is startlingly beautiful. It's a reality-based love song about a drunken, broken soldier on leave, told from the perspective of a woman who has seen many. It's a song about both love and war, illustrated out of space and time by Parsons' hunted vocal. Alistair Hulett contributes three songs to this set, all of them heartbreakers, but none as devastating as "No Half Measures," a supposedly true account of a woman who wrote the details in a letter to an Australian newspaper. This is the kind of love song that offers the surrender to helplessness as the only way to salvage memory from a relationship. The reading of "John Condon," here arranged by Dunne, is one of the great war songs that asks the eternal question: why? The Old Simplicity is dignified and burns its passion quietly like a smoldering fire. There's poetry in here, and tragedy and defeat, and above all empathy and love. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/21/2006
Label:
Green Linnet
UPC:
0048248123228
catalogNumber:
481232
Rank:
328229

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Niamh Parsons   Primary Artist,Vocals
Kat Eggleston   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Larry Grey   Bass
John Williams [accordion]   Concertina
Liz Knowles   Fiddle
Dennis Cahill   Bass,Bouzouki,Guitar,Mandolin
John Williams & the Tick Tocks   Accordion
Steve Gibons   Violin
Graham Dunne   Guitar
Graham Dunne   Guitar

Technical Credits

Kieran Halpin   Composer
David Olney   Composer
Niamh Parsons   Arranger
Victor Sanders   Producer,Engineer
Dennis Cahill   Arranger,Producer,String Arrangements,Audio Production
Traditional   Composer
Alistair Hulett   Composer
Graham Dunne   Arranger,Composer,Writer
Maria Dunn   Composer

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