Luka Bloom Innocence

Still regularly referred to as the younger brother of Irish folk music legend Christy Moore, Luka Bloom has gained international respect for his own series of excellent solo albums. Three discs on Reprise in the early ’90s (the first, Riverside, is a gem) saw him flirting with wider commercial success, but his profile has dipped over the past decade. His talents have certainly not diminished, as Innocence proves. Bloom’s clear and poetically expressive voice has an attractive Irish lilt, but his lyrical and musical approach is global. "No Matter Where You Go, There You Are” is a moving tale of an Algerian Muslim now living in Galway, and it’s illustrated with Middle Eastern musical accents. Similarly, "Gypsy Music” is a joyous tune with a real gypsy flavour. There’s a more conventional Irish folk feel to "City of Chicago” and "Larry Redican’s Bow,” while "Primavera” and "First Light of Spring” are tender and gently haunting love songs. A sense of compassion and global humanism permeates this record, as exemplified by the final track, "I Am Not At War With Anyone,” and its final lines, "This rush to war was wrong, I just sing my song.” It is a song well worth hearing. (Cooking Vinyl)