Wednesday, 8 March 2017

David McWilliams - Lord Offaly


(This review first appeared in issue 59 of Shindig! magazine)

Esoteric Recordings CD

He's best known for his 1967 song 'The Days of Pearly Spencer', but David McWilliams' later recordings reveal a songwriter whose deep talents should have been more widely recognized. This is perhaps the best of his '70s albums, revered most for the progressive folk and Irish history lesson of the title track. With his knack for folk-based storytelling songs the “Irish Bob Dylan” tag was well deserved, though on the evidence here he could also have given James Taylor and Elton John a run for their money.

A shy, thoughtful man away from the stage, qualities which are reflected in the sensitive songs on this newly re-mastered CD. Lack of promotion in an era crowded with singer-songwriters meant he was overlooked by the record buying public, but this reissue shows him as the real deal - a compassionate songwriter whose eye and pen turned towards those in society who others shunned.