‘Something To Say’ Damian Clarke - contemplative personal narratives, finely cast observations(August 08, 2016)
There is something supremely listenable about ‘Something To Say’ Damian Clarke’s third solo album ... tenderly contemplative personal narratives, finely cast observations, softly sensitive voice and elegant instrumentation ... mixed into a collection of 14 songs. The minutiae of life, loves, travels, encounters and ‘moments-that-mater’ all come under Clarke’s fine-tuned assessment and combined with his expressive musical skills with hammer dulcimer and hurdy gurdy create an album that will equally intrigue, energise and invigorate.
There are songs about travelling ‘Million to one’ and ‘Long way to go’ with expectations of arrival and returning, songs that record human aspects in wider instants of history with ‘Swing goes higher’ and ‘The Blue Cockade’ and the personal observations of ‘Payday’ and ‘Nobody’s written the rules’. Tunes such as ‘Planxty Burke / 3 o’clock storm’, ‘Widcombe Flight’ and ‘Last light of day / Le Canal en Octobre’ add an O’Carolan air and Maclaine Colston tune to the intricacies of the hammer dulcimer, and introduce Irish jig to French Schottische’.
There’s a distinct other-worldly, almost medieval tinge to this album, possibly because our ears are attuned to his chosen instruments operating in genres removed from the contemporary. Whatever the reason ‘Something To Say’ by Damian Clarke is well worth a listen. And the title song ‘Something To Say’ says it all.
Review: Charlie Elland