Christy Moore

A household name in Ireland where his songs constitute a predominant part of the musical diet of buskers and pub singers, Christy Moore has been more responsible than most in raising the profile of Irish music. Merging a natural gift for communicating with audiences with a unique mix of comic songs, powerful traditional ballads and strident political material, Moore's influential 50-year career is the stuff of legend in his home country. Arriving in England in the mid-1960s during a strike at the bank where he worked, he immersed himself in the thriving British folk club scene and his low profile first album Paddy On The Road in 1969, produced by Dominic Behan, is now a collector's item. Returning to Ireland, he recorded his second album Prosperous with old schoolfriend Donal Lunny, multi-instrumentalist Andy Irvine and respected uilleann piper Liam O'Flynn. The collaboration triggered the formation of the hugely popular Planxty who helped transform the image of traditional music in Ireland and, after leaving the band in 1975, he went on to become a founding member and lead singer with the trailblazing, politicised folk-jazz-rock fusion band Moving Hearts. His subsequent solo career contained much topical and political material as he supported various protest movements and in 1978 released the controversial H-Block album, going on to record two songs written by Bobby Sands, the republican prisoner who starved himself to death. When his heavy touring schedule and hard-drinking lifestyle (reflected in one of his most popular comic songs Delirium Tremens) took its toll on his health, he cut back on touring, stopped drinking and produced some of the best work of his career, playing selective live performances with guitarist Declan Sinnott. He co-wrote North & South Of The River with Bono of U2, played with the Dubliners, sang with Coldplay and published his autobiography, One Voice.

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