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Damien Dempsey Announce New Live Dates

Damien Dempsey will be hitting the road again this year for a stint of live dates, which you can find below. This would be in support of their new album.

June 25 – Dunmore East Festival

www.facebook.com/Dunmoreeastfoodfestival/

July 8 – Folk Festival Killarney

www.folkfestkillarney.com

July 9 – Séamus Ennis Centre, Naul : (trio)

www.tseac.ie

July 21 – Big Top, Galway Arts Fest

(Main support to Imelda May)

www.giaf.ie

July 23 – Iveagh Gardens, Dublin

(guest slot for Little Green Cars – solo)

www.songkick.com/concerts/25634179-little-green-cars-at-iveagh-gardens?utm_source=11593&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=widget&utm_content=5285298

Aug 19 – Hugh Lynchs Canal Quarter Festival Tullamore

www.canalquarterfestival.com

Aug 26 – Kennedy’s of Killeagh, East Cork

www.facebook.com/Kennedysbarkilleagh/

 

This is an album from a travelled man, from a singer who is still rooted in the local but not bound by the locale, and not afraid to stretch his geographic and vocal boundaries. He is reaching out beyond the Dublin shoreline of his youth and diving into a new artistic sea.

His vocal range too has broadened its strokes. The punch is still there, but it’s more personal and he’s now more likely to show than shove.

In Chris and Stevie, the refrain “I’m missing you today” is maybe not one a 20-year-old Dempsey could have or would have sung. Now he is a man who knows it’s good to cry. Men should cry more. It’s okay for men to cry. Crying and singing. Crying and healing.

“I feel the hate in my own land against me for who I am,” sings Dempsey in Born Without Hate. He is taking the discussion he started with an earlier song, Colony, and stretching the theme.

Back then, he sung about how some colonisers took what wasn’t theirs. Now, he sings about how quickly the colonised forget what they didn’t have.

Glorious revolutions can breed terrible evil and rage. Bob Marley understood that and London based poet and rapper Kate Tempest understands it too. She collaborates with rhythmical focus and fury on Born Without Hate, adding to the internationally grounded feel of the album.

Like all good songwriters, heartache is never far away. In Bustin Outta Here, Dempsey is breaking from a bad place. He’s done with beating himself up. Others will do that for him. Now he wants to heal.

There isn’t a preachy pose on this album. He doesn’t have to force his point home. This album is as subtle as a Damien Dempsey album gets and yet it feels bigger. After listening, kids will still look to him as a Rocky-type figure and adults will still turn to him for his particular poeticism.

Of course, with any Damien Dempsey album, there’s politics. Or at least in this case, there is political thought. People have come to expect Damien Dempsey to say something about today, about the world, about us.

On Moneyman, he rails against the banking bureaucrats who have mortgaged entire nations for decades to come. He says it as it is, but manages to do so in a way that sets it in a historical and social context, which is relevant, and above all, real.

Ultimately then this is an album of grounded hope, both personal and national.

Making Almighty Love was a long and careful process. Damien worked with long-term collaborator John Reynolds, who is an internationally recognised producer. This is their fifth album together, and theirs is an instinctive and homely artistic relationship, and it shows.

Of the 100 or so songs earmarked for the album, they chose nine originals and one cover – Andy Stewart’s Fire in the Glen, which Damien was singing in the kitchen late one night and it stayed in the air and drifted into the studio.

Sinéad O’Connor, one of the greatest voices of her generation, adds backing vocals, but gives without taking. Her voice alongside Damien’s makes sense in their mutual authenticity and authority. They both have something to say and they give each other the space to say it. Symbiotic is probably the technical term.

All that is mighty about Dempsey Dempsey is on this album. We hear the universality of the man and his concerns, are invited to connect with his accessibility, and can’t help but be lured by his unique vocals and particular rhythms.

This is an artist who has grown up and is self-confident enough to do it his way.

The fist and the fragility: that’s perhaps how you could best sum up the lyricism of Almighty Love. It’s Dempsey singing from the heart and soul as he always does, but there’s maturity reflected in the lyrics now as well as a resignation, a brave emotional openness and an easing of unease in his own skin.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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