While some of his albums have been let down by weak material, the-best-of collection provides an opportunity for Damien Dempsey to showcase his talents.
It's All Good – Best Of (Sony)
A fortnight ago, Luke Kelly fans gathered at Vicar Street to mark the 30th anniversary of his untimely death. Kelly had a voice like nobody else's and he was always happy to sing in that wonderfully strong Dublin accent of his.
It's a great pity that many of our admired musicians eschew their own accents and opt instead for an American, or mid-Atlantic, twang. Nobody could ever accuse Damien Dempsey of such a crime and the man from Donaghmede has remained true to his roots since he first emerged 15 years ago.
While his albums to date have been sullied by the presence of weak material, this best-of collection offers a compelling reminder of the man's gifts. He's especially strong on social-realist songs like Factories and Canadian Geese, and he can soften the stoniest of hearts when he has love in his sights as he does on the delicate Your Pretty Smile. Perfect for the day that's in it.
His covers are first-rate too: A Rainy Night in Soho is a worthy companion to The Pogues' original while his take on Dominic Behan's The Auld Triangle will make you forget Timberlake's effort on Inside Llewyn Davis.
A Rainy Night in Soho; Factories
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