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By: Luka Bloom  05/12/2011

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Amsterdam / Salty Heaven / Two Meter Sessions

Two Meter Sessions Tracklist

Gone To Pablo, Innocence, Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself, Rescue Mission, Sanctuary, Primavera, Hungry Ghost, Thank You For Bringing Me Here

Dreams in America (Audio CD)
€ 10

More than twenty years ago, Barry Moore left Ireland for America. Eventually settling in New York City, he created a new identity for his work, and for his future audience. And so, Luka Bloom was born. The performer I saw at the Red Lion on Greenwich Village’s Bleecker Street was playing an Irish bar but he wasn’t by any means an Irish folk singer. What he did back then intriguingly eluded easy definition. It was less the words at first but the sound of his open-tuned guitar that was mesmerizing, the way he could go from brooding to brash, intimate to anthemic, to get the crowd roaring or breath-holding silent.

Irish singer/songwriter Luka Bloom looks back on his career in an unusual way on Dreams In America. Instead of revisiting the finest moments from his two-decades-plus catalog in a run-of-the-mill anthology of old album cuts, he decided to devote Dreams In America to creating vibrant new versions of songs from his previous releases. In a strictly solo-acoustic format, Bloom breathes new life into a batch of previously recorded songs. From the breathless narrative of “The Acoustic Motorbike,” which blends stream-of-consciousness beat poetry with rap-like momentum over an urgent strum, to the title track, a poignant ballad of love and distance, he makes it clear that these songs aren’t just part of his history. They’re very much a part of his present as well. There are a few live, band-accompanied tracks thrown in for good measure, including the folky “Sunny Sailor Boy,” which gets Bloom’s audience singing along, and “Love Is a Monsoon,” a pulsing tune full of rich imagery. The one new song here is ironically the album’s oldest song — it’s Bloom’s version of the traditional folk ballad “Lord Franklin,” to which he lends an almost impressionistic feel. In the end, Dreams In America shows Luka Bloom to have a history that’s worth celebrating.

Each Track Available as Download.

Eleven Songs (Audio CD)
€ 10

Returning to the raw live sound of his earlier records and brimming with inspiring lyrics and sumptuous melodies, Eleven Songs reminds us why Bloom is such a master of the concert stage. The album was co-produced by Luka and David Odlum (ex-Kila and ex-The Frames) and recorded in Grouse Lodge in County Westmeath.

Musicians on the album include Dave Hingerty (ex-The Frames), Trevor Hutchinson, Liam O'Maonlai, Paul Smith, Cora Venus Lunny, Ken Edge, and the Gardiner St. Gospel Choir. Backing vocals are Sinead Martin and Robbie Moore.

Each Track Available as Download.

Innocence (Audio CD)
€ 10

Deft, delicate touch on the six-string and distinguishable Irish lilt in his honeyed vocals draws you in immediately with the heartfelt opener Primavera, from which the ensuing mood is set. The charm continues in the impassioned tale of a Muslim carpenter (No Matter Where You Go, There You Are), an emotion-charged message for parents in Thank You For Bringing Me Here and the spirited title track Innocence. Then, of course, there's a gentle dose of mellow instrumental (Peace On Earth) to complete the package.

Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun - 27 March 2005

Each Track Available as Download.
Amsterdam (Audio CD)
€ 10

Recorded live at the Theater Koninklijk Carre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on February 11th, 2002.

According to Bloom, he'd resisted the idea of doing a live album despite requests for a decade prior to the release of this set, recorded on February 11, 2002, in Amsterdam. In its song selection, the record's unsurprising, reaching back as far as his early career and sprinkling numbers from throughout the 1990s with others from his albums in the early '00s. It's different from his studio recordings, though, in that it presents Bloom accompanied by nothing other than his guitar.

The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011