The CD begins with the beloved DANNY BOY set for string quartet and piano. It is performed tenderly and simply with a beautiful duet for voice and violin in the second verse.
The second track highlights the talents of Victoria Schultz, a celtic harper from Orlando, FL, who has performed with Josh Groban and The Chieftains. Robin Etter plays the flute.
The third track is an original composition of Lawrence Rush, a composer and lyricist in New York City. (Mr. Rush is also the arranger of most of the tracks on the album.) LUCKY is a song of friendship and the importance of relationship. Liam brings together his two friends, Kent Walker (a Roman Catholic priest) and David Walker (an internationally acclaimed countertenor), with his sister Kathleen Dykgraaf in a unique way to tell the story of how family and friends have helped support and shape his musical life.
By including a beautiful song from the Broadway show BRIGADOON, Liam expands the listener's horizons beyond the Emerald Isle to Scotland in a stirring rendition of this song.
What Liam has done with U2's PRIDE is a totally new take on this rock anthem of the '80s. It is sung here with intensity and emotion. Done simply with cello, guitar and Robin Etter's flute solo in the middle section is reminiscent of Jethro Tull. They let loose at the end and the listener is left with a transformation of this rock classic into an impassioned song to add to the great Irish tunes.
ONE PERFRECT DAY was written by Ernie Lijoi in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Ernie is a composer in New York City and wrote this song as a way to imagine a better world. It is a song of hope that rises out of the ashes of that day to bring sunlight and flowers, not to cover over the pain of loss, but to find meaning and renewal.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL is a beautiful patriotic response to the tragedies of 9/11 ("thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears"), but Liam performance is tender with guitar and flute, and overlaying the tune with SHENANDOAH. It is a unique blending of songs about the beauty and legacy of our country.
What Irish tenor in his right mind wouldn't honor his mother with TOORAH LOORAH LOORAL. Liam sings it so intimately that you can almost hear him call to mind his own youthful days of lullabies.
So why is there a Yiddish song on this Irish album? Liam's mother never sang him Irish lullabies because she is Jewish! But Gaelic music and Jewish music are not as far removed as one would think. When you hear him sing this song, you will appreciate the correlation.
Liam closes the CD with two contrasting selections: an opera aria and an American hymn. Liam's voice soars in NESSUN DORMA and stands starkly alone in the final song: a perfect footnote to this well conceived recording.
The son of an Irish Catholic father and a Jewish mother, Liam was raised singing soprano in the all-boys choir of his church and chanting prayers at home with his mother as his Hebrew coach. From the years of mixing the music of his parentsâ€™ traditions, he brings an eclectic blend to the singing of such classics as Danny Boy and a fresh take on the Yiddish favorite Oy dortn, dortn.
Liam has been an active performer in opera and musical theatre, having performed leading and supporting roles, as well as appearing as a soloist in 1999 at a White House reception for President Clinton and the nationâ€™s governors.
He has been shaped by a wide variety of musical styles, having been acclaimed for his honest and sometimes humorous characterizations in both opera and musical theater. He is "very sensitive musician" and his intuition "demonstrates a sensitivity to various colors and nuance in his voice."
Check out the artist's website:
1. Danny Boy
2. The Bard of Armagh
4. Come to Me Bend to Me (BRIGADOON)
5. Pride (In the Name of Love)
6. One Perfect Day
7. America the Beautiful
8. Toorah Loorah Looral
9. Oy dortn, dortn
10. Nessun dorma
11. How Can I Keep from Singing