24 Bray Gardens, Loose, Maidstone, Kent, England, ME15 9TR - Tel/Fax: 01622-744481
Chris McLernon is a new, exciting Irish singer-songwriter, heavily steeped in traditional country music, but with a modern, pop-country edge.
He started writing songs in his teens and cites such diverse acts as Hank Williams, John Prine, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard and the Beatles as major influences. He enrolled in a graphic design foundation course at the Rupert Stanley College, Belfast, but was increasingly drawn toward music and after a year-and-a-half, he left to form Ebony Cels, a country'mor'dylanesque band.
He left the band, mainly because he felt the vocals were not as strong and distinctive as he would like, and decided to concentrate on his flourishing writing. Alongside songs, he had also branched out into poetry, sending songs and poems to publishers, singers, record labels and radio. His persistence paid off and he had several of his poems published in local newspapers and enjoyed numerous recitations on radio.
More recently, he has signed with The Celtic Connection, a small, independent publishing company, and has had half-a-dozen of his songs recorded by such performers as Joe Moore. He has now begun work on his first album, Hands Of Time, which is due for release this summer. The first single, the self-penned I Won't Look Back Again, is a classic country tune that showcases the fine writing and heartfelt vocal work of this talented singer/songwriter.
Chris McLernon is currently putting a band together ready to take his music on the road and is also making himself available for songwriter showcases.
Some reviews on Chris' album:
Date: 22 May 2002 12:46:03
Subject: hands of time
every once in a long time you put on a CD and you get a real
surprise...such was the case with yours, chris...as i stated before,
country is alive and well and living in ireland...your songs 1)all sounded
like they came from the same pen 2)all sounded like they belonged on the
same album and 3) were refreshingly country from the first to the last
track...i actually heard 3 swing songs! gotta have some fun being the first
and it took me back to a time when that was actually on country
radio...great song....more than anything i was impressed with the way you
turn a phrase, not the same old cliches...."when you can hold a minute in
your hand and say this is how it's gonna stay"....the title track had a
great, great, feel and a wonderful message...your song good at getting by
had a groove and a half on it that reminded me of c'est'la'vie the way
emmylou harris did it....and i will say it again, no more lonely fools is
just about as well written as anything i've heard in a long time...you
should be proud of this package and i'm sure you are .... keep writing and know that you have a fan here in the
states...it was a pleasure to meet you and to hear your work...you've got
HANDS OF TIME CHRIS McLERNON THE REVIEWERS SAY
From renown British critic ..... Mr. Ken Muzzall .....
CDs Of The Month
Hands Of Time
When I first heard Joe Moore singing Chris's songs I thought I'd like to hear more from this guy; Well I got the opportunity when Chris send me his 12 track self-penned album. Hands Of Time almost 45 minutes of sheer [pleasure from this 12 tracker, consisting of 6 delightfully smooth ballads 5 dance-along songs and 1 lovely waltz. Loved every minute of it. Gets off to a real bouncy start with What You've Done To My Heart and then bounces on with another toe-tapper Gotta Have Some Fun. Two delightful body-swaying ballads next, followed by another hand-clapper For me Steal My Heart Away, is the cream of the milk. A lovely three-step waltz. Tracks 7 and 11 are good for the dancers who like to nip around the dance floor., whereas tracks 8 and 9 are a little smoother. Tracks 10 Maybe That's the Reason and 12 No More Lonely Fools are nice " Buckle Polishers", I've played this album a dozen times already and it gets better every time I hear it.
I'll tell you more about this guy in my Focus On column.
Hands Of Time -Dash Records DAS-8701
Tracks: What You've Done To My Heart; Gotta Have Some Fun; Summer Storm; Back In Our Home Town; Getting Good At Getting By; Steal My Heart Away; Who's The Fool; I Won't Look Back Again; Hands Of Time; Maybe That's The Reason; Someone To Turn To; No More Lonely Fools. Running time: 43:29.
During the course of a year I listen to many hours of music, the variety of artists, styles, and sounds are vast. Sadly, for some artists their music and hard work is just a compilation of done to death covers or they sound like a contestant in the television show Stars In Their Eyes.
Receiving this 12-track album Hands Of Time I must confess, when seeing the artist was from Ireland it generated thoughts of more ballads about the Emerald Isle set to a tick- tock tempo. I put the album in the player and when the music started the shock came like a bucket of ice water, the credits confirmed a singer/songwriter/musician using all original material but his music was modern country leaning more towards that of Garth Brooks than his native Celtic sounds.
At this moment in time Chris is busy working the bar scene and guesting with bands. His album has been gaining extensive airplay in Europe and Australia. A follow up album has already been started and it will contain an even wider view of country music McLernon style. He is also working towards forming his own band.
In this review I have made informing you about the artist the main point because he is still unknown. The music is so strong it can stand up and take on all challengers, for me to do it full justice would require a special feature. Forget about crossing the pond just cross the Irish Sea to hear some truly sensational original country music.
I suggest if Ronan Keating is looking for a country follow up to "If Tomorrow Never Comes" listen to "Summer Storm" on this album.
DO NOT MISS THIS ALBUM. MY BRIT ALBUM OF THE MONTH.
By IAN McQUEEN
Check out the artist's website:
1. What You've Done To My Heart
2. Gotta Have Some Fun
3. Summer Storm
4. Back In Our Home Town
5. Getting Good At Getting By
6. Steal My Heart Away
7. Who's The Fool
8. I Won't Look Back Again
9. Hands Of Time
10. Maybe That's The Reason
11. Someone To Turn To
12. No More Lonely Fools