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Album cover of Michael Black
2007
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CD
15.00 USD
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Digital Download
9.99 USD

Available in:
MP3 audio (320kbps)
M4A audio (256-320kbps VBR)
Releases
CD
Compass Records
4462
Digital
Apple Music / iTunes Spotify
Remarks
Simply titled, Michael Black, this album is Michael’s first solo CD and was produced by John Doyle. This CD features a variety of songs from shanties, to a song in Irish, anti-war songs and a number of chorus songs. Musicians on the album include John Doyle, Liz Carroll, Liz Knowles, Seamus Egan, John Williams, Chico Huff, Dirk Powell and backing vocals include John Doyle, Mary, Frances, Martin, Shay, Eoghan Scott, Danny and Roisin O’Reilly.
Reviews
Review of "Michael Black" by The Irish Times
By Siobhán Long

There's enough pristine music tucked inside this solo collection from the eldest of the Black brothers (scion of the Dublin clan that includes Mary and Frances) to power a rocket. Guitarist and producer John Doyle draws sparkling arrangements together from a stellar cast (including Seamus Egan, Liz Carroll, Chico Huff and Dirk Powell), yet Michael Black's declamatory singing style at times overpowers his refreshingly eclectic song choices. He coaxes The Willow Tree into the light delicately, yet Tarry Flynn and Don't Laugh at Me suffer from an abundance of dogma that threaten to overwhelm them. Subtle harmonies from Frances, Mary and members of the next Black generation modulate the mood a little, but a touch more restraint at the frontline might have served this otherwise fascinating collection well.

> > > Read full review in the Library

An Irish Tradition Inspired Album: Michael Black

The Bottom Line
An album that highlights the early childhood respect Michael Black learned for music.

> > > Read full review in the Library

Review of "Michael Black" by Irish Philadelphia
By Jeff Meade

So how is the album? Ummmm, OK, I guess … you know, if you like genius and an overabundance of talent and things of that sort.

At the center of it all, of course, is Michael Black. During a week in which we noted the passing of Tom Makem, I found myself listening to this CD and thinking that the tradition truly lives on in the form of so many younger traditional artists—but it is clearly alive and well on Black’s work on this album.

[...]

“Michael Black” might be the best ‘60s Irish folk album released in the early part of the 21st century. Tommy Makem can rest easy. The tradition is in able hands.

> > > Read full review in the Library

Singing Is in the Blood for Michael Black
By Earle Hitchner

Michael Black is not a garden-variety ballad boomer but a gifted, accomplished, sensitive ballad singer with diverse, discerning taste in songs, and his self-titled solo debut on Compass Records showcases his fine tenor voice to impressive advantage.

[...]

What is most admirable and refreshing about this new CD is Michael Black's willingness to sing songs unflinching in their political and social message. Nicola Joyce delivered a stunning rendition of Suzanne Vega's antiwar song "The Queen and the Soldier" on Grada's latest CD, "Cloudy Day Navigation," and Michael Black rivals Joyce in his moving interpretation of John Richards's antiwar song "The Deserter," which he learned from Fairport Convention singer Simon Nicol.

[...]

Singing is an absolute good. This CD proves it.

> > > Read full review in the Library

WHFC's comment on Michael's first solo album

We've received the Michael Black album. The Michael Black is probably the best debut CD I've heard in many years. Such a diverse group of songs and tunes, and he's got an amazing voice. I featured the album last Monday, and I'm already starting to get requests for some of the songs.

> > > Read full review in the Library

Album Review: Michael Black by Living Tradition

As one might expect from a member of this notorious Irish musical family, Michael Black's debut solo album is furnished throughout with assured and accomplished vocals that are a delight to the ear. On offer here is a discerning fusion of contemporary and traditional material -- Michael's sound is decidedly organic, ranging from ballads of sublime beauty to boisterous shanties.

> > > Read full review in the Library

Review of "Michael Black" by Folkradio.co.uk

Simply titled, Michael Black, this album is Michael’s first solo CD and was produced by John Doyle. This CD features a variety of songs from shanties, to a song in Irish, anti-war songs and a number of chorus songs. Musicians on the album include John Doyle, Liz Carroll, Liz Knowles, Seamus Egan, John Williams, Chico Huff, Dirk Powell and backing vocals include John Doyle, Mary, Frances, Martin, Shay, Eoghan Scott, Danny and Roisin O’Reilly.

Michael Black’s self titled album includes a music hall song from the 1930s, a traditional song sung in Irish, a ballad about war and the costs of it from New Zealand, a sea shanty, and a song to dance the baby on your knee. What makes it a cohesive whole is Black’s voice and his love of and natural ability to convey a good story. Dublin born Michael Black grew up in a family of singers. Mother, Patty, and father, Kevin, filled their home with music and their children clearly took up that love, with all five of them following music professionally at various points in their lives. Black has often performed with his brothers Shay and Martin as The Black Brothers, and he’s older brother to Irish superstar Mary Black and top solo artist Frances Black. All five have also recorded three albums together as The Black Family.

[...]

It’s Michael Black’s voice and influences that hold the center around which these voices and instruments work. Being Irish is part of who he is musically, and he incorporates that into his music always “but I don’t stick to just one genre,” he says. “I’m rooted in roots music, music of the people.” His beloved roots music, from Appalachian ballads to Irish jigs to songs of reflection, is what’s celebrated on this recording. “I’m singing this stuff, and people are enjoying it. This is what I do. This is what I sing.”

> > > Read full review in the Library