Kevin Collins,
This is My Home
(Landwash, 2004)

Jump In & Swim
(independent, 2004)

Kevin Collins has a wonderful voice that projects a love of the lyrics and the sentiments he delivers.

On the first of these two albums, he opens with the title track. "This is My Home" is a celebration of place. He divides his loyalties between Ireland and Newfoundland, so it is sometimes difficult to deduce the land in question. (Incidentally, I found that some his ancestors left from a village only three miles from where I write this review.)

He follows this with a nice rendition of "If We Only Had Old Ireland." The album also contains relatively new standards like "Clare to Here" and "Streets of New York" that have become the staples of any performer with an Irish audience. Also on offer are "Kingdom of Kerry" and "Be Nice to the People."

On 13 tracks Collins gives us a wide range of songs all sung with love and affection that will lift your heart even if you do not have a drop of Irish blood.

"Jump In and Swim" opens the second album. This is an upbeat song penned by Collins. In fact, this CD contains more of his own compositions and in many ways is a better product for it. He has a knack for writing nice, seductively simple songs that we can all believe we can sing.

"Where in the World are You Crying Tonight" is a wonderful easy-listening song combining clever lyrics wit a gentle beat. On track 16, he gives us a very unusual offering: Johnny Cash's "Give My Love to Rose." The angle is that it is Kevin's father, Tony, singing at the age of 23 in 1953 with a modern backing from Kevin. The wonder of modern technology spanning half a century gives us a unique track.

The 16 songs here will find favour with any listener and should ensure plenty of airplay.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 3 September 2005