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Moving Hearts - Moving Hearts CD (album) cover

MOVING HEARTS

Moving Hearts

 

Prog Folk

4.75 | 5 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
5 stars CHRISTY MOORE was already a legend of Irish folk music when he got together with others of his ilk for this project. They stormed out the gate on this, one of the strongest debut albums in rock history. The unfathomable chemistry is on par with other inaugural works like those by KING CRIMSON, PROCOL HARUM, LINDISFARNE. As in those cases, although perhaps less arguably, MOVING HEARTS pretty much blew their wad then and there. Sure, echoes reverberated to the next and final studio offering as a vocal group, but this is surely where you need to start if your interests lie in the roots of roots-influenced socially conscious Irish rock of the last 2 decades of the 20th century. This includes artists like BIG COUNTRY, THE MEN THEY COULDN'T HANG, THE POGUES, THE WATERBOYS, THE SAW DOCTORS, and even the early 80s efforts by MIKE OLDFIELD, and countless others from Ireland and beyond.

On so many levels, this is a classic:

the choice of material. These performers could have written their own, but their selections demonstrate a sensitivity to the breadth of protest music, and also helped to popularize artists toiling in relative obscurity. Even more impressively, the material wells from the heart of Ireland regardless of its origins, and at the same time could apply to anywhere where political and social upheaval still rages.

the live energy imparted in the studio recording. I am not sure if this was recorded live in the studio but it sounds as if in front of an audience, but with all the studio technology that could be mustered. A rare achievement indeed.

the professionalism of the musicians

the virtuosity of the musicians

the integration of sax with more traditional folk instrumentation like pipes, and the integration of traditional instruments with searing electric guitar

The inimitable voice of Christy Moore who had released possibly two dozen solo albums in a similar if more subdued spirit.

From the deft opening picking of Jim Page's "Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette" through to the fade out of Jack Warshaw's "No Time For Love", MOVING HEARTS wrings it all out unfailingly. The interaction of pipes, lead guitars and sax in "Hiroshima..", and the jaw dropping sudden ending, help to establish the standard which is rarely let down. "Irish Ways and Irish Laws" is almost creepy in its depiction of what once was in Ireland before invasion upon invasion changed its course. "Landlord", with his "mortgage on my body, and deed to my soul", demonstrates that not every significant issue is played out at a national level. "Faithful Departed" is thoroughly engaging and builds to a glorious crescendo in the chorus and instrumental ending. "Lake of Shadows" is a shimmering instrumental that hints at the coming direction for the group after its initial boom and bust, a languid affair coaxing extraordinary pathos from sax and bass, further encouraged by a sweet melody. And "No Time for Love" has been reincarnated many times but, if you have heard this version, you will always want to punctuate the others with the guitar and sax fills that give this one so much more impact. The plight of political prisoners everywhere that is described therein remains more relevant than ever.

If you are approaching this band from a prog only perspective, then start with the all instrumental "The Storm". However, if you want their definitive statement, this masterpiece will move even the heaviest of hearts.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |

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