DAVE McGILTON & FRIENDS ALL OUR DAYS Reviewed by John Hagan for Irish Scene Magazine Perth   ‘All Our Days’ is a compilation of Cork musician Dave McGilton’s best songs, drawn from his compositions over 20 years of performing and writing.While principally dedicated to his late father, McGilton also pays tribute to some of his other personal heroes. His vocal rendition of Tom  Crean, which also features the skills of multi-instrumentalist Dave Keary, recalls the incredible exploits of the modest, courageous west Kerry explorer who made a number of Antarctic expeditions with Polar luminaries Scott and Shackleton. The rousing chorus, reminiscent of Phil Coulter’s paean to the Lifeboat Service (Home From the Sea) is, according to McGilton, what Crean might have sung “whenever he needed to raise the spirits of his companions in adverse conditions”.   Father Mychal Judge,an Irish American priest who lost his life on 9/11 administering to hisfallen comrades amongst the wreckage that was New York’s Twin Towers is honoured in The Sky Belongs to Dreamers. McGilton, haunted by a newspaper photograph of Father  Mychal being carried from the rubble, poignantly memoralises his ultimate sacrifice. Another subject close to McGilton’s heart is Irish convict transportation during the nineteenth century. Sea and Sky, with its memorable lilting chorus, is written from the perspective of a husband left behind when his wife is condemned to exile in far Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).The lyrics of this song are closely associated with those of Roses from the Heart which was inspired by the work of Tasmanian conceptual artist Christina Henri (see www.christinahenri.com.au). This track, featuring the evocative piano of Pat Crowley, is a moving tribute to the thousands of Irish convict women banished from their native land to serve, often harsh and unjust sentences, in an alien environment far from home.   McGilton is well supported by other notable Cork musicians including Brian McGillcuddy on whistle and mandolin, Donncha Moynihan on guitar and keyboards, Aine NiShe, Eithne Willis and Karen O’Halloran on strings, with Mary Courtney and Aine Whelan providing tight backing vocals and harmonies on a number of tracks. Sounding remarkably like Emmy Lou Harris, Aine Whelan also demonstrates her ethereal talent in Falling Leaves while McGilton presents another aspect of his rich vocal palette, going a cappella on Coumeenole and At Your Window, the latter ending on an emotive flute coda. The Day Has Yet To Come, with crisp guitar and mandolin backing, is a pertinent comment on the current financial woes of what was once a proud ‘Tiger Economy’   To date, McGilton is probably not well known outside his native County Cork. This CD is about to change all that showcasing his prowess as a composer, songsmith and musician.While a number of his compositions have already been recorded by artists such as Frances Black, Daniel O’Donnell and Mary Courtney, there seems little doubt that many other Irish and international performers will be queuing up to cover material from amongst the gems on this CD.   CD available for AUD$17 including p& p  www.davemcgilton.com” - John Hagan

Irish Scene Magazine Perth Australia