The Burning Word
Galway Arts Centre,
47 Dominick St,Friday Oct.15
Booking 091 565886
Following a string of glowing reviews for his latest album, The Burning Word, Johnny Duhan is set to perform a solo version of the work for the first time at the Dominick Street gallery section of the Galway Arts Centre on Friday 15 October. That a religious work of this intensity should gain such high praise from some of the country’s leading musical critics at a time when all things Christian would appear shrouded in shadow surprised the reclusive, Barna-based songwriter, though he has admitted to “digging deep” for the ore of melodic and poetic substance that enriches the collection. Some of the commentators on the album have explained something of the work’s potency:
“…The songs branch out like veins beneath the skin and intersect at some point right under the heart. There is loss here, as well as love, tenderness, friendship, and an affecting, contemplative disclosure that other singer-songwriters, young and old, would burn their rhyming dictionaries for….”
Tony Clayton-Lea, The Ticket
‘Truly a beautiful piece of work. It achieves an engagement with faith and
God that will not “lose” the doubter or the sceptic, but will draw them to itself, reassuring them by the depth and quality of its music and poetry. I identify very strongly with the songs, and at no time feel the sense of creeping unease that afflicts me at some stage while listening to most Christian-inspired music.
I think this is because Johnny comes to the music from a position in the world, in life, in culture, and seeks to comprehend the Mysterious Otherness by means of that language, rather than accepting the “given’ language of religion and simply utilizing that as a code to summon up beliefs assumed to be held in common with his audience. There is therefore something primary, if not primal, about the album. It speaks to the human being who comes to these questions with nothing but a flimsy raft of openness buffeted on an ocean of doubt and fear..” John Waters
“A suite of 11 exquisitely executed songs. Duhan’s most accomplished album yet.
Gerry Quinn, Irish Examiner
“In an ideal world, Johnny Duhan would have national treasure status by now.
Alan Corr, RTE Guide