Sean Doyle,
The Light & the Half-Light
(Alliance, 2004)

The Light & the Half-Light is just about a perfect recording.

Irishman Sean Doyle is the father of John Doyle, once a member of Solas and still an active, visible figure on the Irish-American music scene. The elder Doyle has an extraordinary repertoire of traditional songs, many not well known, others surprising and satisfying variants of more familiar material. He also possesses a singing voice that manages to be both warm and melancholy at the same time.

Set in stark, tasteful musical settings -- his son's guitar, sometimes augmented by fiddle, accordion, pipes or banjo -- it wanders through a musicscape of evocative lyrics and unforgettable melodies. I have listened to Irish folk music most of my life, so I speak, I hope, with some authority when I say this one is destined to be an enduring classic.

There's nothing fancy here, but what's here is all you need: heart, truth and music for the ages.

music review by
Jerome Clark

29 November 2014

Review first published in 2004;
reprinted by permission.

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new