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Review of Across the Great Divide

Mo Elnuaimy
Hour Magazine, Montreal

Old Dublin fixture Brendan Nolan has focused his considerable talent for soulfully sung melancholy on the plight of the Irish immigrant. Traditional songs, like Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore and No Irish Need Apply, complement Nolan originals like Curse of The Immigrant, a tender ballad about being torn between two lands, and the mournful Widow's Walk, about a woman waiting for the return of her sea-faring husband.

The subdued acoustic instrumentation, designed as a frame for the lyrics, neither hurries nor overpowers them. My criticism, however, is that Nolan buries good melodies below the vocals, missing the opportunity to show off as an accomplished musician.

Nolan's fans will be delighted with this selection of borrowed and new material. This is the bard at one with his music, far removed from the din of determined drinkers.