Album Review - Máirtín De Cógáin / From Cork With Love ( CD & DVD )

In a country full of colourful characters Máirtín De Cógáin would probably be the one leading a chorus of The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee at the back of the Cork to Dublin bus on All Ireland Football Final day.  He has all the right ingredients as evidenced on From Cork With Love, his latest project.  It’s a DVD made possible by a Kickstarter Campaign which we highlighted some time back. Máirtín also has a CD with the same name that he recorded in St Paul, Minnesota in 2010. What works so well here is the fact that both projects are held together by a strong social and geographical narrative. In this instance it’s his beloved Cork.  As is the case with the best protest or folk singers, when there is a common thread running through their work you can identify more easily with it. Songs like people have a history which has a significance for the writer.  Sometimes the listener may also pick up on it and when they do a connection is made.  Máirtín's boundless energy and enthusiasm is invested fully in what he is doing and as a result you the listener join him in the stories that unfold.

The DVD includes live footage from the aforementioned St. Paul concert with additional material shot on the streets of Cork.  On his rambles around cork Máirtín meets many familiar characters like John Spillane, Jimmy Crowley, Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly and covers some of the well know streets like Prince's Street, Coburg Steet and UCC as well. In the words of Jimmy Crowley it's the "street songs and the songs of the people that cover the social history" of Cork, and this brings it alive. The St Paul concert features Brian Miller on guitar and better known for his work with Bua, the Outside Track's Norah Rendell and Nathan Gourley from the Doon Céilí Band are also present. Some great songs like Away Down The MarinaBridie and the Pole and Johnny Go Boating are featured. All in all it is a very enjoyable 60 minutes spent in the company of an all round entertainer who can spin a yarn and integrate all the elements of a vibrant and multicultural city into his stage show.  Lovers, singers, storytellers and all sorts of other characters surface. You can't help but get drawn in and an evening in the company of Máirtín would be well worth the admission fee.

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