Friday, November 21, 2008
Fionn Regan - Ireland / The History of the World
I often dream about seeing bands in their home town. Having the change to see Bens Fold in a little bar in San Francisco, or catching an evening with Billy Joel playing back ground music at a bar in lower Manhattan. One of the most memorable concerts experiences I've had was seeing The Dropkick Murphy's in their home town Boston on St. Patrick’s Day.
This next week I am going to Ireland for the first time. As I began planning the trip, the places we would go, the things we would see, the places we would eat. Once the pubs I found for us to eat at had a little bar venue upstairs... and naturally i couldn't resist. To my elation one of my favorite Irish song writer/singer, Fionn Regan, was playing the night we planned on being there!
Fionn Regan is one of those young musicians that comes a long with such an advanced out look on life. AND with the ability to put that into song. He can't be much older then mid-20s, yet he sings with the dignified age or a Ray LaMontagne or Sean Hayes.
His debut album, The History of the World, is a masterful array of song writing genius and musical beauty. The album was first released independently on 06 but was picked up by a major record label and released national July 07. Fionn produced the album himself which gives me great hope of a promising future. There is already talk of a new album and apparently he will be playing some new stuff at this special show in Limerick. History of the world starts with a simple little finger-picking number, Be Good or Be Gone. This tune seeps with the lament that comes with the distance that comes between us and the things we once knew and loved. Really Fionn is a master at crafting songs that consist of complicated finger-picking and soft memorable melodies. Though the song structure of his songs doesn't change very often, he is able to give the album a very diverse sound by changing the tempo from song to song and mid-song at times.
Possible the most alluring aspect of this album is the mature lyrical aspect, Fionn is wise beyond his years. While his musical siblings are singing about the tore and lost love in their lives, Fionn is telling touching stories about the Snow Atlas Mountains. Not that he doesn't approach the subject of love; but when he does, he approaches it with sincerity and directness, rather then whining or cueing on obsessantly.
Needless to say, I am exited to see Fionn on his home turf. The vast open road a head of me and the sky a hazy bowl above. The road, friends, live and the occasional parcel of Irish music. Ireland, here I come!