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Moving Hearts

Prog Folk

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Moving Hearts The Storm album cover
3.98 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Lark:
The Lark in the Morning
Earl the Breakfast Boiler
O'Broin's Flightcase
In the Mountains of Holland
Oh Hag You've Killed Me
Peter O'Byrnes's Fancy
Langstrom's Pony
2. The Titanic:
An Irishman in Brittany
A Breton in Paris
3. The Storm:
The Storm in the Teashirt
The Staff in the Baggot
Tribute To Peadar O'Donnell
May Morning Dew

Line-up / Musicians

- Davy Spillane / low whistle, uilleann pipes
- Declan Masterson / uillean pipes
- Keith Donald / soprano sax, alto sax
- Noel Eccles / percussion
- Matt Kelleghan / drums
- Eoghan O'Neill / bass
- Donal Lunny / bouzouki, synthesiser, bodhran

Releases information

LP Tara TARA 3014
CD Tara TARA CD 3014

Thanks to kenethlevine for the addition
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MOVING HEARTS The Storm ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MOVING HEARTS The Storm reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Hercules
5 stars Long overdue on here, Moving Hearts are a loose aggregation of some the finest folk musicians in Ireland. Based round Piper Davy Spillane (who was at the heart of Riverdance) and Donal Lunny (Bothy Band/Planxty), they made some astonishing albums, The Storm probably being the finest of them. Don't expect a rock influenced folk album (or vice versa) a la Horslips; this is much more influenced by traditional music.

The first side starts with one 13 minute piece, The Lark, which is in several parts, all of which are based on traditional tunes and adapted by the band. The pieces flow beautifully, the musicianship is stellar, especially Eoghan O'Neill's astonishing bass playing and the twin piping of Spillane and Declan Masterson. The pace and intensity ebbs and flows, gradually building towards a powerful climax. The second track, the Titanic, is a couple of band-composed tunes in traditional vein. Strangely, I find The Lark so emotionally draining that I usually take a break after it before resuming listening to the rest!

The second side follows in similar vein to The Titanic, being mostly band composed; the highlight being the astonishingly beautiful and poignant tribute to Irish nationalist writer Peardar O'Donnell.

The music is incredibly complex, with fabulous rhythmical changes, pounding bodhrans and thundering bass over which the melody instruments weave complex, beautiful tunes. Some of the wild sax playing towards the end of The Lark is reminiscent of Van Der Graaf Generator but much better. The recording quality is also truly wonderful, allowing the instruments to be clearly distinguished and yet delivered with astonishing power.

Some will argue that this is really Irish folk, not prog, but the complexity and variety stands it well apart from more traditional (though excellent) Irish folk bands like Boys Of the Lough, Planxty and the Bothy Band. It's an astonishing album, well worth the full 5 stars. A genuine masterpiece which no lover of good music should be without.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars MOVING HEARTS was set up as a cooperative when initially formed, with all members sharing in both the expenses and revenues. As with many such aggregations, changes were the rule, and there is no evidence to suggest that any of those shifts in personnel and style represented anything other than natural if chaotic evolution. Thus when they turned from politically savvy Irish folk rock with prog influences to jazz-inflected traditional (or traditional styled) instrumentals, it seemed nobody batted an eye. The incarnation only lasted for one studio album, "The Storm", but the shock waves continue to reverberate, and it is this incarnation, of course loosely speaking, that reforms occasionally to the present.

Composed of only 3 multi part tracks, "The Storm" is basically a long medley of jigs and reels that start off like cookie cutter performances before subtle and less subtle rhythms and shifts of pace are interjected. The key lead instruments are Davy Spillane and Declan Masterson's uillean pipes and Keith Donald's saxes, but the drums, bodhran and bass and the manner in which they deftly interpose jazzy accents are also critical. Master instrumentalist Donal Lunny craftily integrates synthesizers that augment this freshness without descending into a 1980s keyboard morass.

My personal favourite here is "The Titanic", particularly the second segment, "A Breton in Paris", with an accelerating urgency that culminates in a manic dance of sax dragging keyboards into the drink by their high heels. Brilliant, and sadly not imitated enough. Additionally, "Tribute To Peadar O'Donnell" is the piping hot summit.

While I do enjoy "The Storm", I ultimately fall more on the side of the first incarnations of this band, which were albeit less progressive but compensated with their hard rock take on the genre and their political acumen. "The Storm" is dressed up well for a nightclub, but underneath remains those very jigs and reels that are repeated several times too often for those who could do without them entirely. 3.5 stars rounded down because I'm not sure the average prog fan would consider this a perfect storm.

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