Although Martin Furey is best known for his work in the fairly traditional Celtic folk groups Bohinta and Mouth Music, his solo album Howl is something else entirely, a skeletal singer/songwriter album in the Richard Thompson/John Martyn tradition, with the hushed intimacy of the former and the jazz and blues explorations of the latter to go along with the songs' roots in Irish folk. Though Furey is primarily a guitarist, most of the songs on Howl are based on his organ and electric piano playing, giving the album a low-key, mellow feel that fits the largely minor-key ballads perfectly, even though it also means that the few more up-tempo tunes bear a certain resemblance to Gerry Rafferty's work circa "Baker Street." Not necessarily a bad thing, but it may make some Celtic purists nervous. Which is a shame, because then they'd miss stunners like the Nick Drake-like spooky ballad "Strange Bird."
THE ORDER OF THINGS - MOUTH MUSIC
The Order of Things (2005) (Skitteesh)
Mouth Music's sixth album was released in 2005 in both CD and download format. For this album the band formally consisted of a trio of Martin Swan, Martin Furey and a returning Michaela Rowan.
Order Of Things contains six original songs by Swan, a version of "Roisin Dubh" and a version of the song "The Dae Doers", which is the oldest known written Scottish music extant. The album was another predominantly acoustic recording, but with "moments of high distorted drama".
THE SCRAPE - MOUTH MUSIC
The Scrape (2003) (Skitteesh)
Mouth Music's fifth album was released in 2003. At this point the group was predominantly instrumental and consisted of Martin Swan, James Mackintosh,, Alison Crawford and second percussionist Lamin Jassey. The album focussed heavily on fiddle playing and drew on source material from Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser, legendary Bulgarian singer Georgi Chilingirov and Irish-American fiddler Liz Carroll.