Daoirí Farrell: True Born Irishman

May 16, 2017

Nature and Nurture

Listening Post 99. Daoirí (pronounced “Derry”) Farrell is a performer and scholar of Irish music. Two of the songs on True Born Irishman, his award-winning second album, are compositions by the late folk singer Liam Weldon, who was not only a role model but also the subject of Farrell’s master’s thesis at the University of Limerick’s music school. Across the album’s ten tracks of jaunty and mournful songs and masterful arrangements, Farrell’s voice sparkles with lush accompaniment of bodhran, fiddle, piano, cello, guitar and his own bouzouki, or with only the drone of Uilleann pipes. In Pat Rainey, the lead track, he embodies a carefree itinerant musician with stories to tell—“I tramps down the road with me horse and me dog… I sing like a lark as along I do jog” (video 1). The Valley of Knockanure gives homage to unarmed Republicans from County Kerry shot down by a troop of Black and Tans on a night when “dismal stars and clouds afar were darkening o’er the moor” (video 2). Bright and waggish is Fergie McCormack, the anti-heroic tale of a rugby player who catches a baby thrown from a burning building, only to get carried away by cheering spectators: Last line spoiler alert—“he kicked forty meters to touch” (video 3). Bogie’s Bonnie Belle is a sweetly sung ballad of lost romance (video 4), while Weldon’s My Love is a Well is a towering anthem written for the composer’s wife (video 5). Farrell, a true born and cultivated artist, delivers many moods and colors. True Born Irishman is the product of both natural gifts and diligent homework. (Daoirí Recordings)








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