Perhaps one of his homeland's greatest interpreters of song, County Kildare's finest, Christy Moore, continues to blend the serious with the absurd on a collection of covers by undiscovered songwriters and reworkings of his own back catalog for his 21st studio album, Folk Tale. Produced by regular collaborator Declan Sinnott, the follow-up to 2009's Listen shows that the 66-year-old's unique style of storytelling remains as passionate, poetic, and potent as ever, as he addresses such weighty issues as the various troubles in Ireland ("Tyrone Boys"), the migrant cockle picker tragedy ("On Morecambe Bay"), and the recent biggest earthquake in 200 years ("Haiti"), armed with just a solitary acoustic guitar and his distinctive deep solemn tones. Continuing the rather somber mood, the strident folk of "Tiles and Slabs," written during the aftermath of a triple murder in County Clare, and the true tale of a farmer who fled to the U.S. after killing his landlord ("Farmer Michael Hayes") pack an equally powerful punch, but thankfully, there are a few lighter moments to counterbalance the album's more prevalent darker subject matter. "My Little Honda 50" is a humorous and charming guitar-twanging ditty about the impact the car in the title had on rural Ireland; "Weekend in Amsterdam" is a banjo-plucking humorous account of an X-rated trip to the Dutch capital; while the gorgeously subtle strings of "Easter Snow" help to provide a tear-inducing tribute to the legendary piper Seamus Ennis. Musically, Folk Tale could have been recorded at any point during Moore's 42-year career, but its traditional take on contemporary themes suggests that Moore's status as the Godfather of Irish Folk is likely to remain intact for some time. ~ Jon O'Brien
Record Collector (magazine) (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "His innate skill is in bringing a traditional folk sensibility to stories with which fans of any age can identify."