Lots of you will remember Tommy Makem from his ten years with the Clancy Brothers. Before that he was acting professionally, so it was a long apprenticeship. Now it is really over and in the last two years Tommy Makem, solo star, has taken his rightful place in the front line of Irish International Entertainers.
Platitudes over, let me tell you a few truths about Tommy Makem. He is an odd sort of Irishman. Doesn't drink! It's getting the rest of us a bad name but he just continues to look at the world through clear eyes every morning.
Compounding his insolence, he sings drinking songs whilst stone cold sober. Mind you his nature is such that it makes little difference. Listening to this L.P. you will hear the warmth in his voice, the fire in his blood and the simulated tones of a delighted drinker approaching the pint of no return.
An evening in the company of Tommy, is an evening of songs, stories, anecdotes and good humour. Lately he has taken to putting some of his vast store of personal observations into song form and already he has created a lot of interest in his songs. Happy to sing at the drop of a hat, we got the biggest fedora we could and persuaded him to come to The Harp and Bard in Norwood, Massachusetts. There we gave him his head and he surrounded himself with friends and musicians and took off on an evening of song and story.
That evening is this L.P. We had twenty-two black eyes, four broken necks, two nervous breakdowns and a few shattered egos, before we could finally decide what to leave in. Tommy visits me in the hospital every day and we talk about how I got him to leave in "Come By the Hills" and "The Liar."
Really, I think you'll enjoy this record. The people who filled the Harp and Bard enjoyed it, Tommy enjoyed it. Two dogs walked four miles just to sit outside the door and howl the choruses.
Tommy Makem is musical measles, highly infectious and highly contagious. The only cure is a darkened room, plenty fluid and lots of warmth. They have all those in the Harp and Bard.
This record is some combination. If you don't enjoy it I don't want to be personal, but I think you are a grouch.