Music Review- James Cramer- The Lights of Lisnaskay

James Cramer Album PoetryJames Cramer, front man of Dublin based Tupelo, has created an inspired, some would say surprising, début album.

An unlikely partnership between Cramer’s undeniable talent and the poetic works of Matt Duggan, a former WWII Prisoner of War who passed away almost 34 years ago, has resulted in ‘The Lights of Lisnaskay’.

Duggan’s book of poems, compiled by his son Gerry, Mountain to Lough: The Collection moved Cramer while he browsing the bookshelves.There was something about the poetry that struck a chord (no pun intended) with the Tupelo singer, and he evidently felt compelled to put the words to music.

A wonderful tale but the true task of this album is to live up the romance of the back story.

The title and opening track sets the tone of this soothing and thought provoking album. It is spiraling almost hypnotic. The Wish is a soul-soaring number that will have wishing there was more to enjoy on the album. In this particular track it is easy to see why Cramer fell in love with Duggan’s poetry.

There is a real sense of being in Duggan’s prose; the way in which he describes the surroundings of home are moving. There is a real sense of longing surrounding the lyrics, harking back to the poet’s days as a World War II prisoner. Combine that with Cramer’s addition of musical poignancy, this album is an aural treasure. It is a testament to Cramer’s talent, the way in which he can take someone’s already beautiful work and make it even more entrancing.

Rather than pick ‘The Lights of Lisnakay’ apart and scrutinise Cramer’s musical interpretation of the poet’s work, it makes more sense to just allow you to listen to it. Enjoy and feel free to say what you think below.


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