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Peter Mulvey - The Trouble with Poets (Black Walnut)

A new Peter Mulvey is unlikely to be much of a surprise. He could be called the "man least likely to go techno" and the chances of him releasing a triple-vinyl prog-rock concept album are fairly remote. No, Peter Mulvey is a singer/song-writer who concentrates on forming deliciously simple concoctions of words and melody.

And that is the case with "The trouble with poets", no tricks, no gimmicks - just songs. From the funky, up-beat title track and 'Check me out (hey, hey, hey)' to the slower and more emotive 'eyes front (see through me)' and 'tender blindspot', a magnificent mix of spoken word and singing, there's not an element out of place. The songs feature Peter's acoustic guitar, David "Goody" Goodrich's variety of guitars and a minimal percussion, perfectly complementing Peter's vocals and those of guest vocalists Chris Smither and Jennifer Kimball. The words of the songs force you to close your eyes and just listen, even when they do, by Peter's admission, verge on complete nonsense on 'Wings of the ragman'.

The album is divided into two sections, "Trouble" and "More Trouble", separated by a version of an old 1930s Tin-pan Alley song, 'you meet the nicest people in your dreams', a lively ditty that is simplicity itself, but is also perfect. Peter Mulvey remains a fairly well kept secret, someone who can regularly be found playing small pubs around Ireland, as well as in the States. This album is a perfect sample of music that is like a holiday from the monotony of over-produced MTV world.

by Donnacha DeLong

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