Luka Bloom (Riverside) – 1990
Irishman Luka Bloom managed to paddle in on the first tidal surge of the New Celtic boom. Two years after Van Morrison And The Chieftains breakthrough album and four years before Riverdance came this unfussy, echo-drenched little gem. The core of the album is Luka’s masculine brogue and his clean hyperactive electro-acoustic strumming. What decoration there is on the album only serves to strengthen and support its main character. The songs are sturdy and straightforward and are not begging to be liked. The emotions range from mature whimsy, “You Couldn’t Have Come At A Better Time” and “Delirious”, to aching, moody reportage, “Gone To Pablo”. “Rescue Mission ” is one of those songs that any good songwriter wishes they had written. Stardom seemed possible but never materialized. Luka faded further into obscurity with each successive album. He never again reached the bar he set for himself on Riverside .
Sometimes a full band can get in the way of a good song and dilute the power of the artist. This is Luka (straight no chaser) delivering one of his best songs.