There are many remarkable pieces in Deep is the Well. I’ve long been a fan of Kevin O’Donnell and that remarkable voice; it stands with the great balladeers like Foster & Allen, Tommy Makem, Rex Allen – storytellers first, whose voice is unmistakable and timeless. The photography is as vibrant and telling, the accompanying cast has four All-Ireland Champions among them, and is star studded: Jim DeWan, Finbar Furey, Larry Gray, Kathleen Keane, Bill Lanphier, Maurice Lennon, Haley O’Donnell, John Rice, John Williams, and Jessica Willis. The liner notes with lyrics bear reading, and rereading.
The great Maurice Lennon (Stockton’s Wing) not only accompanies, but he also produces Deep is the Well. An extensive, interactive accompaniment to the CD and other offerings are found at www.deepisthewell.com.
“August 23rd, 1838 – Lemont, Illinois. Dear Mother,…” From the opening spoken poetry of Prelude: A Letter Home, Deep is the Well sends us on a musical journey through vibrant lives, days and moments of discovery with insight, amidst wonder, hip-deep ghosts and forged in fire pride we Irish know well. Our hero immigrants and legends that laid the path to our success are brought to life in songs spanning centuries and states, from coast to coast, and a little beyond.
O’Donnell is a bard in every sense of the word, the news, and the history. He recounts all original songs of a journey of centuries past, daily battles lost but an immigrant’s war for survival, won, despite it all. It is quintessential Irish married to quintessential Americana, just like you and me.
Deep is the Well is a Top Shelf Selection, one of the best albums I have had the pleasure of hearing this year. I will wear grooves in this one.
– John O’Brien, Jr., Irish American News Ohio, May 2013