- Released: August 4, 2009
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
- 1.Lake of Shadows
- 2.Sunlight on the Water
- 3.Farewell to Inishowen
- 4.Flight of the Earls, The - (featuring Liam Neeson)
- 5.The Star of the Sea
- 6.The Lough Swilly Railway
- 7.For Those in Peril on the Sea
- 8.Lonesome Boatman, The - (featuring Henry McCullough)
- 9.The Year of the French
- 10.Shores of the Swilly, The - (featuring Sin?ad O'Connor)
- 11.Back to the Island
- 12.Vive La Hoche
- 13.Prayer for the Fishermen - (featuring Roma Downey)
- 14.Take Me Home
Personnel includes: Phil Coulter (arranger, piano); Sinead O'Connor, Roma Downey, Liam Neeson, Aoife Ni Fhearraigh (vocals); Brian Agus (conductor); Ivan Gallagher (acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin); Henry McCullough (electric guitar); Louis Roden, Mike Healy (violin); Frank Gallagher (fiddle, viola, whistle); Tommy Kane, Michelle Lalor (viola); Richard Angel, Delia Lynch (cello); Catherine Mary Clancy (harp); Dermot Byrne (accordion);
David L. Cooke (keyboards, programming); Malachy Robinson, Seamus Doyle
(bass); Rory McCarron (drums); Brendan Monaghan (bodhran); The Ballyclare Male Choir, The Coolea Choir (background vocals).
Includes liner notes by Phil Coulter.
Personnel: Phil Coulter (piano); Ivan Gilliland (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin); Katie O'Connor, Ken Rice, Eileen Murphy (violin); Frank Gallagher (fiddle, viola, whistle); Michelle Lalor (viola); Kate Ellis, Delia Lynch (cello); Brendan Monaghan (bodhran).
Photographer: Walter Pfeiffer.
Arrangers: Dave Gold; Phil Coulter.
Phil Coulter may have made his name way back when as a writer of pop hits, but since then he's practiced his craft on a broader musical canvas. Here the art becomes more intimate, dealing as it does with a most specific place in Ireland, Lough Swilly, and its associations, both warm and tragic, with his own history. In the '80s, the lake claimed the lives of both his brother and sister, but he remains drawn to it, and its pristine memories of his childhood vacations. The musical result isn't a million miles from the neo-classical Celticisms of Peadar O'Riada -- who helps out here -- but also tinged with sorrow, as on "The Shores of the Swilly," beautifully and sparely sung by Sinead O'Connor, which is the tale of Cyd Coulter's death. There's history in actor Liam Neeson's spoken-word piece, "The Flight of the Earls," and the mournful simplicity of the hymn "For Those in Peril on the Sea." There's also plenty of orchestral sweep to the melodies, evoking the water, which brings some of the album perilously close to new age music. Always, though, Coulter knows when to back off and not let things go too far. Even "Prayer for the Fishermen," with Roma Downey's invocation, never reaches overkill. In essence, this album is a catharsis of spirit and a memorial, and Coulter's touch ensures that it succeeds as both. ~ Chris Nickson