Moya Brennan Brings Irish Christmas Spirit to New York

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How it’s New York: The gig was held at Connolly’s Klub 45 off Times Square.Moya Brennan Christmas album cover highres (2)
How it’s Irish: Moya Brennan and her band are all from Ireland.

Moya Brennan and her band played an aptly timed show on Sunday, December 7th, to start the Christmas holidays in earnest and as She reminded the mostly Irish audience, December 8th was the official start of Christmas in Ireland and as my friend reminded me, the day all the farmers went into town to buy their turkeys!

Accompanied by harpist, Cormac DeBarra, and her young band, which included her daughter Aisling Jarvis, with Ashley Davis making a guest appearance for two songs.
The Christmas themed show worked well on tracks such as ‘God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen’, which had a beautiful arrangement, but the evening’s highlights were when they stuck to their core music in songs such as ‘The Lass of Aughrim’, a beautiful love ballad, and O’Carolan’s ‘Captain O’Kane’, a lovely harp instrumental.

Moya has been recording for over 40 years, best known perhaps for her work with her family band Clannad, singing ancient Celtic music and reintroducing it to the world with her signature mystical sounding voice and harp playing.

IMG_5276Sunday’s performance lacked energy at times, which may have been as a result of
the venue, which was cold and felt too closed and heavy for the band’s light musical style. Her new album with Cormac,”‘Affinity,” includes a lot of the songs performed and I look forward to listening to the difference between their studio and live performance

In the predominantly Irish audience, there was at least one Donegal jersey in the room. The pieces that worked best in this venue, with the audience were the traditional or upbeat pieces like ‘Stoirin Rua’. Colum McCann popped in for the show and told us he had wrote a song with Moya earlier in the year. The band was joined by Aisley Davis for the a final singalong Christmas carol, Oiche Cuain, half of which they sang ‘as Gaelige’ and half in English.

Moya is accompanying Phil Coulter on a tranquil Caribbean Cruise ~ ancient Celtic mystical music in the in the middle of a warm ocean in January ~ what could be better. IMG_5268

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Copyright 2014 New York Irish Arts