If the sound of an acoustic guitar beautifully played turns you on, then this is the album for you. Daithi Sproule is a superb artist and has a style of playing that would leave other lesser guitarists (including me) in awe. On this album, Daithi explains, “I have spent most of my musical life playing accompaniment to songs, jigs and reel in Ireland. But from the very beginning of playing the guitar I have composed occasional melodies, usually in the quiet of the evening. These tunes, often associated with particular people or places, say something I can’t express in words.”
All the compositions on the album, except for “Johnny Seoighe” (trad) and “Young Catherine” (Turlough O’Carolan) are written by Sproule. There are 12 tracks in total. Daithi plays them all in a finger-picking style with no other instrumental accompaniment. From a guitarist’s standpoint, each piece is executed with precision I simply can’t fault. I must comment and hand a bouquet to John Wright, recording engineer at New Folk Records for producing such a good quality recording. It is simply superb.
If you are familiar with the harp tunes “Johnny Seoighe” or “Young Catherine” this should give you an idea of what to expect from the Sproule compositions on the album. The title tune “The Crow in the Sun” has a vaguely Scottish feel to it. The melody came to Daithi whilst on an airplane to Mexico, contemplating the idea of a personal crest. (I have to say that would be the last thing I would have on my mind whilst flying Mexico airlines!) Daithi has recorded this piece before with Liz Carroll on her Lost in the Loop album.
It occurred to me that the general listening public might find this recording a little self-indulgent. Some of the tunes do sound a little similar, as you would expect from a solo artist tune writer. In terms of overall commercial appeal, perhaps it’s a little too good. However, if you are a guitarist or just looking for some really pleasant background music, this might be right up your alley.
(New Folk, 2007)