Review of Caduceus

Hauntingly Sincere

by bryanweb

This first album by Irish artist Stephen Galvin is a rare little treat. If you were to flick through the tracks you might make the mistake that this is yet another singer songwriter doodling away on a guitar, singing folky songs with just about an adequate technical mastery of his instrument. But show down and really listen and you will discover that Stephen Galvin is an artist and musician first and a guitarist second. Aficionados of folk guitar might not be so impressed, but aficionados of heart-felt sincere raw, even gut wrenching music, will relate to the musical journey going on here, even if has lots of rough edges. In particular the track Slowly It Will Be creatures a wonderful sense of the mystical, and weaves in and out of world musical rhythms and textures that are universal to all “soul” music. If you are in any way in touch with yourself at all, or going through any type of transition from asleep to awake in your life, you cannot but be touched by this meandering, meditative, prayerful and above all simple song. Other tracks are less spiritual and more experimental, but here too is the encounter with the non-ordinary, at the edge of our comfort zone. This is an album about suffering and healing, but there is a constant returning to something solid, something reliable, something comforting that always underlies our forays into the unknown, the frightening, the unfamiliar. I consider myself a real aficionado of guitar, and listen to the most technically sophisticated stuff out there in the finger style guitar tradition. But this album knocked me for ten. Behind and between the notes played on that guitar, is real music – straight from the heart. If you can hear it you will love it.