Liam Lewis - fiddle, Josephine Marsh - accordion - Michel Bonamy - flute & saxophone
Claire Keville - piano - Jim Kerrigan - uilleann pipes & The Ceol Miners
Golden voices don't come along every day. When they do it's a special event. One such golden voice is that of Jerry Lynch.
Jerry Lynch hails from Kilfenora in Co.Clare. Jerry was raised in a musical family, his brother being John Lynch leader of the Kilfenora Ceili Band.
Jerry Lynch sang for pleasure in local pubs around Kilfenora and Ennistymon People complimented him on his fine pine tenor voice. He took part in several amateur productions with the Ennistymon Musical Society including "The Mikado", "Calamity Jane" and also "Oklahoma" and "Iolantlie".
All the time he worked with Telecom Eireann and raised a family. In 1994 lie entered the Thomas Moore Singer of the Year competition in Dublin and reached the final Jerry also reached the finals of the Clontarf Castle "Search for A Star" competition. In 1994 lie came in 2nd place in the "Reach for the Stars" competition in Dunmore Co Galway.
Jerry was still singing for pleasure at local gatherings in Co Clare. However he had one great abiding dream. He wanted to make an album. That dream became reality in 1995 when he started working with his neighbour, record producer/author/broadcaster P.J. Curtis. 'They discussed the format of the album and what material should be featured. His aim was to highlight the versatility of Jerry Lynch's voice in a variety of musical settings from Irish ballads, parlour songs and standards to contemporary material.
Meanwhile, Cormac McConnell a journalist had written "A Silent Nigh ((Christmas 1915)" a poignant ballad recalling the momentary truce in the World War I trenches. 'P.J. Curtis received a tape of the song and gave it to Jerry. "A Silent Night (Christmas 1915)" was recorded and offered to Sony Ireland and Dolphin Records. Dolphin released the CD single of "A Silent Night (Christmas 1915)" and Jerry Lynch had a hit on his hands. The song readied no 24 in the Irish charts and received saturation airplay on local and National Radio. People everywhere identified with the song's universal story of peace among waning factions. Jerry Lynch had arrived
The success of "A Silent Night (Christmas 1915)" stimulated the demand for an album and Jerry Lynch's debut album "The Dimming of the Day" was released by Dolphin in late 1998. Recorded in Xeric Studios Limerick and Harmony Row Studios Ennis Co Clare between October 1997 and February 1998,"The Dimming of the Day" is a showcase for Jerry Lynch's vocal talents. It is a collection of classic ballads and story songs from the Celtic tradition, the drawing room right up to the present day. Colorful backing arrangements from the cream of Co Clare musicians including Josephine Marsh (accordion) Liam Lewis (fiddle) and Michel Bonamy (flute) and more surround Jerry Lynch's vocal chords in a sublime and tasteful package.
Jerry Lynch's voice travels down through centuries of song from "My Lagan Love" and "Mona Lisa" to Mark Knopfler's "Done with Bonaparte" and Richard Thompson's evocative title Hack. Stephen Fosters' "Hard Times" and "Mary of Argyle" emerge new and written with Jerry Lynch's voice in mind. The album has a distinctly Irish base with My Lagan Love" and the Celtic Spirituality of "A lusa" adding another dimension to Jerry Lynch's repertoire.
Since the release of "The Dimming of the Day", Jerry Lynch has toured Ireland visiting local radio stations promoting the album. He has also appeared in concert with Phil Coulter and Sean Keane in Ennis. He has also appeared in Galway with Dolores Keane, Frankie Gavin and Mairtin O'Connor, Triona, Maighread and Micheal 0'Doinhnaill in Galway's Leisureland Complex and as special guest at the finals of "A Song for Limerick" at Limerick's University Concert Hall.
He has headlined sell out solo concerts in Ennis and Lisdoonvarna to launch "The Dimming of the Day". Jerry appeared on the popular "Sibin" TV show on TnaG(Teilifls na Gaeilge).
Reviews for "The Dimming of the Day" have been highly favourable "Uncluttered production, sympathetic semi-folk arrangements nonetheless its the purity of his voice that appeals" (The Cre Advertiser) and "Lynch's voice is a subtle instrument which lets the songs sing themselves and create their own atmosphere"(fRoots).
Jerry Lynch's voice is a wonderful creation, a consummate performer and a voice full of dignity perception and personality. Jerry Lynch has arrived.
A Silent Night:
The Dimming of the Day:
- Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine
- Done With Bonaparte
- Hard times (Come Again No More)
- A Silent Night (Christmas 1915)
- The Dimming of the Day
- Mona Lisa
- The Last Thing On My Mind
- My Lagan Love
- Mary of Argyle
- A Iosa
- Fare Thee Well
- I Hear You Calling Me
- Dreaming My Dreams
Press ReviewsThe Irish World Newspaper 4.3.05
THIS IS A reissue of the The Dimming of the Day as it was originally released in 1998. Due to public demand, however, it has been re-released and it is clear to see why. Intitally issused by the Dolphin Label to build upon Jerry's ultra- successful debut single A Silent Night (Christmas 1915) this album is an opportunity to experience Jerry Lynch's beautiful, emotive tenor voice.
Hard to put this in a catergory but really I would say, that this is for listeners who adore old-fashioned Irish music.
In contrast to the sound of the album is the eclectic choice of songs which Lynch has chosen, putting his unique sound onto them. Covering a mixture of classics, traditional and contemporary songs, displaying his remarkable voice.
The beauty is the clarity of this album. Lynch's voice is clear- yet emotive. Through ultimate control he sings along to empassioned trad music.
Although this is not one for everyone, it is taste rather than quality. Tara McWeeney.
Jerry hails from Kilfenora, Co. Clare, from a musical family (his brother John leads the Kilfenora Ceili Band), and over the past few years has cemented his reputation as a fine singer with a lyrical tenor voice.
The Dimming Of The Day, Jerry's debut album, was first released in 1998 on the Dolphin label, as a response to a great deal of pressure following the enormous success of his single A Silent Night (Christmas 1915), which achieved a high position in the Irish charts and almost saturation airplay on Irish radio stations.
The album presents a collection of ballads and story songs, drawn from the tradition and the drawing room alike, a variety to highlight the versatility of Jerry's voice and his interpretative powers.
The selection of material carefully reflects Jerry's background and development too (he'd starred in light operatic productions as well as featuring in singing competitions).
So this is obviously not an album for the strict folk enthusiast, or the more traditionally-minded listener who appreciates sean-nós, say; it's far more likely to appeal to the lover of crossover easy-listening. Think a kind of low-key Josef Locke without the over-cloying rubato, perhaps.
The instrumental accompaniments are for the most part anchored firmly at the tasteful end of the folky colouristic spectrum (accordion, fiddle, concertina, guitar, bass and occasional piano,
all played by choice Clare musicians), with not a glutinous synth in earshot (hurrah!), and the playing is plain and unadorned - no intrusive vibrato or needless emotional pointing, but just enough expressiveness to provide an attractive foil for Jerry's voice.
As for the choice of material, well much of it is distinctly middle-of-the-road albeit tasteful and refined in execution if you like that kind of thing; myself, I can only listen to the likes of Mona Lisa, I Hear You Calling Me and Mary Of Argyle for so long, although I can appreciate Jerry's superb artistry and innate way with this repertoire for what it is. Jerry's performances of Hard Times and the celebrated Richard Thompson opus that gives the CD its title are, I find, marginally too florid, due to his wholesale adoption of the parlour ballad style on material that it doesn't quite suit; Jerry's gentle crooning does, however, perfectly suit Dreaming My Dreams (waltzing is for dreamers, after all!), and I also liked his rendition of My Lagan Love, while earlier in the album there's a nicely responsive take on Mark Knopfler's Done With Bonaparte.
So the verdict is that if you enjoy the smoothness of Irish singers such as Sean Keane and Christy Moore, and can cope with Jerry's choice of material, then you're likely to find this well-recorded CD well worth trying. David Kidman
Until the end of last year, Jerry Lynch was a completely unknown quantity but with A Silent Night Christmas 1915 written by journalist Cormac McConnell he gained considerable airplay, which subsequently lead to this debut album.
A Silent Night (Christmas 1915) is one of those unpretentious tear jerkers which, like its nearest neighbour, John McCutcheon's Christmas In The Trenches, hits the tear ducts with uncompromising force yet is bereft of sentimentality.
Lynch's voice is suitable for both narrative and lyrical ballads with the selection of material gathered for The Dimming of the Day encompasses both parlour sonqs and more recent material, including Mark Knopfler's Done With Bonaparte and Mr Thompson's title track.
Musically the sensitive backing of Paul O'Driscoll, Josephine Marsh, Claire Keville, Declan Corey and Padraig O'Broinn is both subtle and suitably minimal,
while P.J. Curds' production work borders on the sublime. With delicate and appropriate brushstrokes where others would stomp slipshod, he cruises in laid-back mode. The initial comparison would suggest a sophisticated Sean Tyrrell, with a broad scope of diverse material arranged in a minimal fashion working from the heart rather than going for overkill.
Lynch's voice is a subtle instrument, which lets the songs sing themselves and create their own atmosphere.
The Dimming Of The Day grows on continued exposure, and while initially I found the overall selection somewhat scattershot and perhaps a mite too diverse for
comfort, I have warmed to its ways over time.
As a showcase for Jerry Lynch's melodic and lyrical voice it is commendable but The Dimming Of The Day's ultimate charm is its sweep of the narrative ballad and art song form into a strange and compellingly attractive package. It becomes a treasured possession, but after time and extended listening rather than the initial encounter. John O'Regan.
The Clare Advertiser
On approaching an album such as this, one ventures with as much trepidation as curiosity. A new singer with ambition is always welcome. Peering at the sleeve notes, it's impassible not to be struck by the diversity of song sources. The song - writing talents of Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Mark Knopfler and Richard Thompson could suggest a folk rock leaning.
On the other hand, the inclusion of standards such as 'Mona Lisa', 'Hard Times' and 'I Hear You Calling Me" conjour up something else entirely.
Having listened on a few occasions to this CD, the songs or their sources are not what immediately jump from the speakers. Lynch's superb tenor voice does.
Uncluttered production, sympathetic semi-folk arrangements nonetheless, it's the purity and clarity of his voice that appeals. His bravery at attempting such an eclectic mix of songs must be commended, but I suspect the selection was based more on vocal suitability rather than any attempt at showing off musical dexterity.
Credit on this score I consider must go to the producer P J Curtis. Using the aforementioned folk-style arrangements behind a classical mannered tenor voice must nave been a gamble, but it is one that has worked for the most part.
I can understand the approach of trying a solo minimal upright-piano accompaniment on "Mary of Argyle", to achieve that 'parlour sound, but I suggest a bigger grand-piano backing might have accentuated the vocal to greater effect. Nevertheless this CD is to be treasured. The warmth exuding from this recording is palpable.
Excellent musicianship never gets in the way of splendid vocalising.
The title track, Richard Thompson's 'The Dimming of the Day' has a freshness and simplicity which if equal to or better than other fine versions by Bonnie Raitt or Larry Rice.
Cormac McConnell's 'A Silent Night (Christmas 1915), is chilling in its passion and stark reality. I must admit though that my own personal favourite is the Old John McCormack chestnut, "I Hear You Calling Me". The range and quality of Jerry's voice is to be heard at its best on this track.
Ennis based vocal quartet The Ceol Millers', can be heard to great effect on backing vocals on numerous selections on this CD, adding depth and colour to the overall tone whenever needed.
Recordings were done at both "Xeric Studios" Limerick and "Harmony Row in Ennis. Compliments to both studios for an excellent sound.
P J Curtis must once again be hailed for such a steady hand at the production board. The various session-musicians used throughout, especially Padraig O'Broin on guitar and bouzouki are in fine fettle, but the highest accolades must go to Jerry Lynch himself. Jerry Lynch is a natural at and must be very proud of this, a massive debut album.
Hopefully the record buying public will take to such a charming record and ignite this Kilfenora man to explosive stardom. Gerry QuinnJerry Lynch Career Highlights / Live Performances
'04 June Town Hall Galway. Concert with Kilfenora Ceili Band and Michael Donnellan
'04 St. Patricks Day. Earlsfort Terrace. Open air Ceili Mor with Kilfenora Ceili Band
'03 Aug. Lisdoonvama Festival at the R.D.S. with the Kilfenora Ceili Band. Featuring Christy Moore
'03 July. Live RTE Radio One Ceili House broadcast for Opening Ceremony of Special Olympics from ancestral home of Count John McCormack in
'03 March. Ceili House With Ennis Ceili Band.
'02 June. Semi-finalist in RTE " Open House" search for an Irish Tenor.
'00 Mar. Successful in interviews for position of "Butler" at Bunratty Castle.
'99 Dec. Guest Spot - Ennis, also featuring Mick Hanly, Martin Hayes.
Nov. Clare F.M. 10 Anniv. Celebrations: Also featuring: Sharon Shannon, Maura 0' Connell, Micheal O'Suilleabhain
Nov " " - Ennis Cathedral. Also featuring: Franzita Whelan, The Monks of Glenstall
Jun. " " - U.C.L. Limerick. Also featuring: Finbar Furey.
Apr. " " - Ennis. Also featuring :Phil Coulter, Sean Keane, Fiddlers Of Dooney
Jan. " " - Leisureland Complex, Galway. Gala Variety Performance Featuring: Dolores Keane, Frankie Gavin & Mairtin O'Connor, Triona & Maighread & Micheal O' Dhomhnaill
TV Spot. Dec. TG.4 "Sibin" X-Mas Eve. " A Silent Night Christmas 1915" Dec. Also featuring: Tommy Peoples, Sean Tyrrell, Kate Purcell.
Nov. Concert - "The Dimming of the Day" at "The Hall" Lisdoonvarna