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Stockfisch Records SFR 357.4080.2 Cover
Paul O'Brien

Long May You Sing

SFR 357.4080.2

Stereo Hybrid SACD

There's something which connects all the songs on this SACD: all are by Canadian composers.   This is much more than a mere collection of hits • thanks to the poetic, strong and never sentimental interpretations of Paul O'Brien.

Canada is often not taken so seriously - particularly in Europe it is often regarded as a mere extension of the USA, a secret 51st federal state, at the most a paradise for sledge dogs and canoe enthusiasts.   Paul O'Brien breaks with these clichÉs on his new SACD “Long May You Sing” and opens up a whole new perspective.   He openly admits to having felt like a child in a sweet shop, picking out these songs by the great Canadian composers.

Paul O’Brien was brought up in England, received an Irish-Catholic education and formed his own musical identity in pubs and at festivals, with the inevitable mixture of positive and strengthening, but also negative and sobering experiences.   Ten years ago enough was enough - he shut his guitar away in its case and moved with his family to Canada, settling high up in the North-West - a barren landscape, the beauty of which he often documents with photos on facebook (including pics of the beloved family labrador “Dooley”).

Even at the risk of sounding sentimental: this country and this landscape changed him - changed the musician within - in a very positive and creative sense.   He took the banished guitar out of its case and the music flowed.   This artistic output reached new heights on his relatively recent and best album for Stockfisch Records “Walk Back Home”.   The brand-new album “Long May You Sing” could even top that.   It is a hymn to his new way of life.

All 14 songs are by Canadian writers - from Bruce Cockburn, Gordon Lightfoot and Paul O'Brien right up to Neil Young, whose song “Long May You Run” inspired the title of the new album.   The original impulse for this project is not a secret.   The idea came while thinking about doing something for Joni Mitchell's 70th birthday, which comes about this year.   As a tribute Paul decided to record a version of “Big Yellow Taxi.”

A big part In this production was played by Canadian master-guitarist and composer Don Ross, who also contributed two solo instrumental pieces.   One particular piece just had to be on the album, for all those who wish to celebrate Canada's independent musical integrity: Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah.”   All these songs move Paul emotionally - in his own words, “more than just in their function as fantastic works of art.”   This project is for him a mixture of thankfulness, fascination and positive energy from the heart of a very special country.   The new album has the greatness, the potential and the chance as “volume one of a long labour of love” to go to the top of Paul's personal hit-parade.   “My final 'thank you' is to Canada.”

01. Long May You Run - Neil Young     3:32
02. Silvia's River - Paul O'Brien     3:56
03. Jasper - Aidan Knight     4:03
04. Cold Missouri Waters - James Keelaghan     5:26
05. Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen     3:57
06. Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell     2:59
07. If You Could Read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot     3:41
08. I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan     2:23
09. Brooke's Waltz - Don Ross     5:16
10. Pacing the Cage / Creation Dream - Bruce Cockburn     4:25
11. Norfhwest Passage - Stan Rogers     4:13
12. Lord Inchiquin - Turlough O'Carolan     1:52
13. Sony's Dream - Ron Hynes     4:11
14. Song for All Seasons [Prayerful Hymn] - Oliver Schroer     3:02
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