By Christopher Scapelliti
Irish singer/songwriter Luka Bloom takes a creative turn on Head & Heart, his forthcoming album, due May 6.
On it, Bloom delivers provocative interpretations of 10 well-known songs alongside a pair of new self-penned tunes.
Among the classics are "My Wild Irish Rose," "Danny Boy,” "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," and "Gentle on My Mind" – songs which, Bloom says, are "simply songs I loved before I ever sang them."
Recording an album of covers is unusual for Bloom, whose renown has been built upon his own body of folk-rock compositions. What's more, half the album was recorded spontaneously with the Phil Ware Trio, a jazz ensemble with whom Bloom had never played.
He describes the entire recording process as “unforgettable.”
"Completely out of my comfort zone,” he says, “in a studio I've never used before, singing with musicians I had never met before and performing without rehearsal.
“I love everything about this record.”
Bloom’s two original tracks on Head & Heart each have the emotional underpinnings that fans have come to expect from him. "Liffeyside" is a tribute to the town of Newbridge and its surrounds where he grew up, while "Give You Wings" is a lament to the tragic loss of life experienced by the Belgian families who lost children in a bus crash in Switzerland in 2012.
Sample tracks from Head & Heart can be heard here.
To order, visit Compass Records.
Bloom begins a U.S. tour in support of the new album on May 10 with dates nationwide. Scheduled dates include:
5/10 — Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
5/12 — Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA
5/14 — Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA
5/15 — Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA
5/17 — Infinity Music Hall, Norfolk, CT5/18 - City Winery, New York, NY **SOLD OUT
5/19 — City Winery, New York, NY
5/20 — New York Irish Center, Queens, NY
5/22 — Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY
5/23 — The Stephen Talkhouse, Amagansett, NY