Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mystery Man Paul Tiernan at the Coastguard Station

The name of singer songwriter Paul Tiernan was hitherto unknown to me. The poster pic of the artist in top hat and false music hall moustache suggested a performer with a theatrical sensibility and the addition of violinist Marja Gaynor, a major mover and shaker on the classical scene in Cork suggested a performer of some substance. The duo drew an near capacity house to the upstairs gallery at Tramore Coastguard Station on Friday night for a programme of bittersweet, elegant self penned songs (with a few covers) infused with the spirit of French chanson

A skilful player, Tiernan at times used his guitar like a percussion instrument, tapping the strings to release an eerie floating harmonic. His dark wry lyrics and appealing melodies reminded me at times of Randy Newman and Gilbert O Sullivan. He was wonderfully well-aided and abetted by the Gaynor who added mellifluous lines and Grapelli-esque riffs on violin. The whiff of a boulevard was evoked with interludes on a demonic melodica and drones on a gaudy concertina. Gaynor displayed her penchant for early music with a rumbustious Baroque partita.

Local lass, Anna McSweeney was in fine voice accompanying herself on guitar in a short supporting set.

A look through Tienan's biography shows an impressive music pedigree name checking big names among his  collaborators and citing excellent reviews from international music press.  He is promoting his 6th solo album, The Mystery of Others on this tour. If you've not heard him yet, let Paul Tiernan be a mystery to you no longer.  Do catch him on the remaining dates on this tour.

Thurs 25th Feb  White Horse Inn Ballincollig with Grainne Hunt and Marja Gaynor

Thurs 3rd March Hole in the Wall Kilkenny  with Marja Gaynor

Sunday 20th De Barras Clonakilty with The Vespertine Quartet

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