Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Turner And Kirwan Of Wexford "Absolutely And Completely" 1977 rare Irish Celtic Prog Folk Rock


Turner And Kirwan Of Wexford  "Absolutely And Completely" 1977 rare Irish Celtic Prog Folk Rock
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Pierce Turner first teamed up with guitarist Larry Kirwan sometime around 1970. As their name suggests, both were from Wexford Town, and Turner had briefly been keyboard player with Dublin soul/pop group The Arrows in 1969, playing on their single “Mercy”/”See Saw”. Turner and Kirwan released their first single together under the name ‘Aftermath’ in 1971. By 1973 the duo had moved to New York and renamed themselves ‘Turner & Kirwan of Wexford’, presumably to promote themselves in the Irish bars and clubs they were playing there. This first album from 1977 seemed to find them at a crossroads, with a mix of progressive rock and new wave pop. 

Lengthy tracks like the title suite betrayed their prog leanings with titles such as “Frodo’s Theme”, but the duo transformed Ewan MacColl’s simple ‘60s folk ballad “Travellin’ People” into a full-blown epic by adding their own passage featuring heavy rock drumming and layers of Pierce Turner’s prog synthesizer. “Father ‘Reilly Says Goodbye” – the mourneful tale of a lonely and depressed priest – also features some spine-tingling keyboard playing from Turner, who is the stand-out musician on the album as far as I’m concerned. Others in the band included Scott Spray (bass), Emil Guadagno (lead guitar) and Scott Bailey (drums). The much shorter and punchier “Warts ‘n All” and “The Girl Next Door” – in which the singer tries to comprehend why his girlfriend has left him for another woman – were in sharp contrast to the other songs, but somehow it works. 

Sadly, in 1977 extended keyboard solos were no longer tolerated, and by 1980 Turner & Kirwan had reinvented themselves as new wave group The Major Thinkers, about whom I know nothing but song titles like “Tears And Synthesizers” might give you some idea. Since The Major Thinkers parted ways in the mid-’80s Larry Kirwan has led New York Irish republican/socialist bar band ‘Black 47’, while Pierce Turner launched a solo career that has been hugely critically acclaimed but has never quite broken into the mainstream. His debut solo album in 1986 was titled It’s Only A Long Way Across – a line taken from the lyrics of “Distant Ships” almost a decade earlier….~
Pierce Turner (born 1956) is an Irish singer-songwriter. After forming a duo with Larry Kirwan he went solo in the mid-1980s and has since released several albums to critical acclaim

Biography 
Turner grew up in the port town of Wexford, where his mother ran a record shop and led her own band. A classically trained musician, by the age of seven he was a member of a traditional Irish tin-whistle group, and at eight, he was playing in a brass and reed orchestra. He also sang in his local church choir, and the influence of hymn and plain-chant singing has been evident throughout his later career. 

His first professional job was as a musician with the pop showband The Arrows. He later moved to New York City and formed The Major Thinkers with fellow Wexfordian Larry Kirwan (now the frontman of Black 47), and recorded several acclaimed albums, also performing as Turner and Kirwan.Turner and Kirwan released two albums – Bootleg and Absolutely and Completely – the latter issued on the Cosmos label as well as a single “Neck and Neck”/“When Starlings Fly” recorded at Electric Lady Studios/New York and issued on the Audio-Fidelity subsidiary label Thimble in 1973. In 1978 Pierce and companion Larry Kirwan were offered to front a new version of The Ohio Express bubblegum band. 

His first solo album, It’s Only a Long Way Across (1987), was produced by American avant-garde composer Philip Glass. It was nominated for ‘Best Debut Issued by an Independent Record Company’ at the New York Music Awards. He went on to make two more albums for Beggars Banquet: The Sky and the Ground (1989) and Now Is Heaven (1991). The latter was released to great critical acclaim, with Hot Press dubbing him “Ireland’s greatest living poet”, and he was voted 'Irish Solo Performer of the Year’ in the Hot Press Awards by a panel drawn from the national media. This album was produced by John Simon. In 1997 the Baltik imprint issued the album Angelic Language, the brainchild of long-time DJ/A&R mastermind Neil Kempfer Stocker. The Irish Times raved over it. 

In 1998 Beggars Banquet released a Best of Pierce Turner compilation. In June 2001, 3 Minute World was released, Hot Press giving it a 12 out of 12 rating, while Tony Clayton-Lea of the Irish Times described Pierce as one of the most important Irish artists of the last twenty years. Meanwhile, Turner embarked on what he called his Parlour Tour, performing in over seventy private houses in Ireland, accompanied by London-based Wicklow film maker Colin Murnane who was making the documentary The Song for the Year (2007). 

Other songs by Turner were featured in the film Snakes and Ladders and the HBO TV show The Wire (his version of “Dirty Old Town”). Christy Moore recorded Turner’s songs “Wicklow Hills” and “Musha God Help Her”. Moore’s 2004 box set includes the track I Love the Way Pierce Turner Sings. 

In 2005, “Wicklow Hills” was voted among the top twenty-five Irish songs of all time by Today FM in a nationwide poll. His album The Boy to Be With was released in 2006 and includes Turner’s tribute to the late Irish bluesman Rory Gallagher.In late 2011, work commenced on a new collection, Songs foR a veRRy small OrchestRa, recorded in Ireland and released in 2012. Turner described the sound of the record as “Baroque Pop”. The song “Yogi with a Broken Heart” contains a synthesizer accompaniment from Philip Glass, with whom Turner had performed the song at Carnegie Hall in 2011…..wiki…~





Credits 
A&R – Neil Kempfer 
Acoustic Guitar – Larry Kirwan 
Autoharp – Larry Kirwan 
Backing Vocals – Larry Kirwan, Pierce Turner, Scott Spray* 
Bass – Scott Spray 
Chimes – Pierce Turner 
Drums – Scott Bailey 
Electric Guitar – Larry Kirwan 
Harp – Pierce Turner 
Keyboards – Pierce Turner 
Lead Guitar – Emil Guadagno 
Lead Vocals – Larry Kirwan, Pierce Turner 
Percussion – Emil Guadagno, Larry Kirwan 
Vibraphone – Pierce Turner 
Written-By – Larry Kirwan, Pierce Turner


Tracklist 
Absolutely And Completely
A1a Sunshower 0:47 
A1b Absolutely And Completely 4:24 
A1c Frodo’s Theme 4:31 
A2 Warts’ N All 2:18 
A3 Travellin’ People (Including A Tinker’s Curse) 10:46 
B1 The Girl Next Door 3:26 
B2 Father 'Reilly Says Goodbye 9:31 
B3 Distant Ships 6:16 
B4 Retreat… Who Can Fight With The Light? 6:08 


Discography 
It’s Only a Long Way Across (1987), Beggars Banquet 
Sky & the Ground (1990), Beggars Banquet 
Now Is Heaven (1991), Beggars Banquet 
Mañana in Manhattan…Live (1994), Virtual 
Snakes and Ladders 1995 soundtrack BMG 
Angelic Language (1998), Baltik 
Mr. Smith (2004), LoveCat 
3 Minute World (2004) 
The Boy to Be With (2006), 5030 
Catch a Wave mini-album (2008), Pierce Turner 
Beyond The Blue (2010), LoveCat 
Songs foR a veRRy small OrchestRa (2012) 
Love Can’t Always Be Articulate (2016) 

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