Loosen Up

Loosen Up

by Niamh ParsonsNiamh Parsons


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Quite possibly Ireland's finest contemporary folk singer, widespread recognition eludes Niamh Parsons -- hopefully not because of something as inconsequential as her wonderful Irish name (which is simply pronounced "Neeve" but is frequently mispronounced or ignored altogether). Parsons' colorful alto voice shares certain qualities with Linda Thompson's and even Mary Chapin Carpenter's, but it is most often likened to legendary British folk singer Sandy Denny. Dee Moore's "Big Bad Wolf" leads this album with an American folk/Cajun-flavored arrangement, thanks to Gerry O'Connor's fiddle and banjo; Parsons' Irish and modern country proclivities yield an interesting hybrid. Moore's varied songwriting style surfaces in several other instances. "Fancy Waistcoat," for example, employs a Spanish feel propelled by guitarist Gavin Ralston and accordionist Mick McAuley's geographically correct playing. Moore wears many hats on this record. In addition to being Parsons' husband, Moore also plays bass and produced Loosen Up. His tenderer ballads like "Seeing Things" and "I Know My Faith" are superbly arranged but would not blossom fully without Parsons' heartfelt interpretations. Richie Buckley must be complimented for his tasteful and appropriate soprano and tenor sax contributions to those two selections as well. However, Niamh Parsons' deep and expressive voice is best felt when stripped of instrumental support; "The Briar and the Rose," a Tom Waits composition, is performed elegantly in duet form with vocalist Fran McPhail, accompanied only by cello. Similarily, Ron Kavana's voice on "Reconciliation" is unadulterated soul-folk guaranteed to send shivers down the spine of even those lacking one.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/01/1997
Label: Green Linnet
UPC: 0048248116725
catalogNumber: 481167
Rank: 101028

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Niamh Parsons   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
Gerry O'Connor   Banjo,Fiddle
Richie Buckley   Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Robert Harris   Conga,Drums,Snare Drums,Djembe,Bodhran
Alan Kelly   Piano-Accordion
Fran McPhail   Vocals
Jerry O'Sullivan   uillean pipes
John McSherry   uillean pipes,Low Whistle
Neil Martin   Cello,Keyboards
Roger Filgate   Lap Steel Guitar
Mick McAuley   Button Accordion
Dee Moore   Fretless Bass Guitar,Acoustic Bass
Jimmy Higgins   Drums,Wood Block,Hi Hat

Technical Credits

Ron Kavana   Composer
Paul Avgerinos   Engineer
Tom Waits   Composer
Greenberg Kingsley   Art Direction
Richard Rainey   Engineer
Dee Moore   Arranger,Composer,Director,Producer
Alistair McMillen   Engineer
Briege Murphy   Composer
Jimmy Higgins   Contributor
Tony Ferro   Engineer

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