Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Graeme Cousins (Lurgan Mail) Review of To The Maker of Things, Oct 27

Lurgan musician Ciaran Lavery has released his second EP.
It's another accomplished effort by Ciaran, whose voice continues to amaze and inspire in equal measures.
His vocals are befitting of any setting, transcending from Tennessee to Tandragee. His songs transport the listener to a land that time forgot where moonshine flows and people don't have to remember pin numbers and passwords.
Ciaran is familiar to many as frontman of indie folk rockers Captain Kennedy. His solo work ploughs a slightly more introspective furrow though it's sure to be cherished by anyone who leans towards music with heart and substance.
Ciaran's debut solo EP - You Will Be A Stranger Now - was released in May. Less than six months later he follows it up with To The Maker Of Things backed by The Bad Hearts. It confirms Ciaran is not a man to rest on his laurels.
The stand out track on the EP is 'Til You're Leaving' which would not be out of place on a Tom Waits album. It's a tear-soaked ballad of the highest order, which comes to an abrupt end and leaves the listener hungry for more. Elsewhere on the EP Edelle McMahon's soft tones provide the perfect foil for Ciaran's distinctive rasp. The video for 'I Lost' is available on Youtube and can be accessed through Ciaran's webpage ( It's a slick intricate piece of filming by Paul McParland of which tells you everything you need to know about Ciaran Lavery.
Armed with this EP (available via iTunes) major success and prime time airplay are just around the corner for the Lurgan singer.
Ciaran has lined up the following live dates - Thursday November 4 - Auntie Annies (with John Blek and The Rats, 1930s), Saturday December 3 - Crescent Arts Centre (with CornCrakes and Malojian), Sunday December 4 - Black Box

Friday, 21 October 2011

To The Maker of Things Review - David Roy, Irish News

To The Maker of Things is a four-track EP credited to Ciaran Lavery and The Bad Hearts. Rather than the full-on arrangements that will be familiar to fans of Captain Kennedy's material, these songs are more stripped down, whimsical affairs on which Ciaran's smooth, husky vocals take centre stage. In particular the late night lament 'Til Your Leaving' jumps right out with just a lazily strummed acoustic and the raw emotion of Lavery's voice carrying the tune with ease.

There's a smidgen more instrumentation employed elsewhere (piano, mandolin, banjo, box drums) but in general the low-key 'sitting on the porch with a bottle of whiskey and memories of the way we were' vibe cuts through loud and clear - or rather, quiet and clear.

He's in full-on heartache mode throughout the EP, with the gentle, sad country pop ballad Needle and Thread telling a tale of broken promises and cut-off heads.
Soft and gentle finale So, Goodnight enjoys the benefit of breathy female backing vocals to set the mood, also employed to great effect in beefing up the melancholic melodies on opener I Lost.

Its all great, saccharine-free stuff that should be enough to guarantee Ciaran Lavery and indeed The Bad Hearts a residency at any decent dive bar. They'll have the punters crying into their beers even as they scrape together enough shrapnel to buy a CD and a carry-out for after hours listening.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Big List Review - 0ctober 2011

Ciaran Lavery & The Bad Hearts: To The Maker Of Things........4 Stars

Solemn and heartfelt, the opening two tracks of this four song EP thoroughly showcase the Ben Ottewell flavours Ciaran's rasp that first drew attention his way. During his days with Captain Kennedy, Ciaran's voice was always a force of nature but here he explores Tom Waits tones and phrasing, fitting the more laid back direction of The Bad Hearts especially in the too short Til You're Leaving. Ciaran's new outfit give classy support, with some restrained banjo and sweet backing vocals from Edelle McMahon. I found myself waiting for some of the tracks to take off and move towards a crescendo, which nearly happens during Needle & Thread, but even though Ciaran's voice is at its most impressive when pushed and full-bodied, I suppose it's too his credit that he's prepared to leave that in the bank occasionally.

Moving With The Times

Just a short message to let everyone know that indeed the times have caught up with us, long gone are the days of hard copies of albums/e.p's being the norm...although I am deeply sad at this fact, such is the day and age that even Bob Dylan is moving with the times...
To The Maker of Things gets its official release to the world wide web via iTunes (with a really bad ass parental advisory sticker) follow the link....

The e.p also got its very first review from the very god people at The Big List, free entertainment mag kicking around Belfast and nearby.  To read this 4 Star review (awesome) you can do so at the above blog entry :)

In closing, November is starting to shape up like a busy month, with some new gigs announced and some more on the way hopefully I will get to meet some new happy faces along the way