In the last couple of years Mick Flannery has gone from part time stonemason to one of Irelands most sought after musicians. Currently writing his thirds album, a follow up to the hugely praised ‘White Lies’ he has played a string of sold out shows all over Ireland, one of the most notable being a double headline show at the Marquee Cork with John Spillane. Last year he was nominated for the Choice album awards, was cited as ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ by Hotpress readers (also making it into their 250 best irish albums) and won ‘Best Male’ at the Meteor Awards.
Mick's voice sounds like that of the bastard offspring of Howlin' Wolf and Tom Waits - or maybe even someone who grew up in a car exhaust factory. But there's more to it than those low and dirty tones - he can scale his way up the vocal register to produce a gossamer thin vocal delivery that coaxes all the gentle lyricism out of the songs. Other times, he could have his finger in his ear and be singing in a folk club with no amplification.
You haven't heard music as resonant as this for a long time: throughout the album you'll hear moments that put you in mind of The Blue Nile's plangent piano chords, and the sort of artful acoustic strumming that was probably last heard in Greenwich Village coffee shops in the early 1960's. These are songs that naturally produce their own echo - long after you've heard them, they're still floating somewhere around your head.
2010 has been a busy touring year with acclaimed live shows in America, Europe and the UK.