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Dean Gurie Dean Gurie
Album: the Calling
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 10

For the last few years, this young man has been quietly building an enviable reputation around Ireland's Northwest and beyond, working on building a catalogue of songs of distinction, and working in the process with some of Ireland's finest talents, many of whom have been very vocal about their regard for him. Well, finally, there's no place to hide, because "The Calling" is now out there to battle its way onto the nation's airwaves, and into the hearts of the people.

The first question to ask is, how does it stack up against what's already out there, 'cos it is a crowded field? Very well, as it goes, must be the answer. It's an album of fine songs, 2 or 3 of which could do with a radio edit to guarantee airplay, very tight playing and singing, unfussy production, and, scattered throughout, hooklines to kill for. This is a man with a great deal on his mind, subjects ranging from breaking into the business to the vagaries of personal relationships, all delivered with passion and conviction.

What he has managed to do, with the help of some very fine musicians, and heartbreakingly lovely backing vocals from Aileen Concannon, is to create a body of work that will stand comparison with the very best that is out there. "Give Me a Chance" is the tale of a man looking for absolution from past transgressions, and the title track deals with the monotony of the workday for Joe Average, and a chance for something better. The icing on the cake, though, for me is a beautiful piece of work entitled "Guardian Angel", about, among other things, taking care of family.

There is much to admire here, and if the wider industry is really looking for artists with something genuine to say, then look no further. Dean Gurrie has arrived, bringing with him a calling card of no little distinction. Listen and enjoy. Repeatedly.

Oliver P Sweeney