The Shelly River ... a record that will tickle anyone who's ever
got a thrill out of Springsteen's 'Nebraska' or The Pogues' Shane McGowan
at his most displaced and sentimental.
New Musical Express
Many comparisons spring to mind when listening to 'The Shelly River'.
It's a musical journey from Limerick to Lubbock, with equal hints of Van
Morrison, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Christy Moore and Butch Hancock to be found
in his writing... like the Austin and Nashville songwriters he admires,
Clarke is a storyteller. This is an impressive recording in which Clarke
manages to capture the best of two worlds.
The Shelly River, joy, sorrow, parting, reunion, success, failure,
procreation and passing - the stuff of memories... a breathtaking album
of snapshots of those events ... the songwriting, all the instruments
and the vocals, including the harmonies are the work of this giant among
men. Terry Clarke explores his true ancient heart. In the wake of BBC
2's patchy 'Bringing It All Back Home', the Celtic sourced, panoramic
expanses which Clarke paints with words, are truly awe inspiring.
His own production deserves more than full marks. He has his voice right
up front, and stays entirely with acoustic music, mostly just guitar and
mandolin, and it works. The songs chart Terry's musical influences in
a very direct way ... a musical travelogue, if you will. Given the right
breaks and exposure I can see many drooling over Terry Clarke and this
collection of songs and, to be frank even without the songs, the voice
and the production deserve a much wider interest.
Having shown Nashville how it should be done with the excellent 'Call
Up A Hurricane, Clarke turns his attention to the Irish and - against
all odds - pulls it off again. Poitin powerful Celtic rock, rich in ballads
and poor in pretensions.