THE THOMAS MOORE PROJECT
Still the world around you and listen to the words. Eleanor McEvoy, ever questing in her artistry, has crafted her own arrangements of songs by the distinguished Irish poet Thomas Moore (1779-1852), so even the most famed, like The Last Rose of Summer and The Minstrel Boy, are heard afresh. The latter, for instance, is given more a lilting than a militaristic air.
McEvoy is too astute to have cluttered the songs with needless ornamentation, but in creating what we might loosely call folk-rock renditions she has flecked them with ingenious devices such the handclapping on Come Send Round the Wine, a song about collegiality and conviviality weathering differences of religion or politics. Yes, she has suffered the odd aesthetic lapse (such as the rather wet flugelhorn on Though Humble the Banquet), but much more significant is the way her voice, which distinctively blends the earnest with the elfin, nestles into her arrangements and serves the words so well. Standing out is the diaphanous At the Mid Hour of Night, a heartbreaking lyric from a man who buried his five children during his own lifetime.