Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Musical Elective Of The Week

The Musical Elective Of The Week is Hothouse Flowers.

Hothouse Flowers, formed in 1985, is an Irish band fronted by 43-year-old Liam Ó Maonlaí along with co-founding member and guitarist/vocalist Fiachna Ó Braonáin, bassist Peter O'Toole, and drummer Dave Clarke.

Hothouse Flowers is a rock band built upon a foundation of traditional Irish music with influences from soul and gospel. Among its fans are U2's Bono who calls Liam "the best white soul singer in the world."

In its 20-plus years, Hothouse Flowers has toured extensively but produced only five original albums as well as a live album and a couple of best of compilations. The first album, People, came out in 1988 and scored the hit single "Don't Go." It was followed by Home in 1990 which included the modern rock hit "Give It Up" and a cover of Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now." 1993's Songs From The Rain was perhaps the group's most critically acclaimed album -- and my personal favorite -- but it only achieved significant chart success in their native Ireland and in Australia. It includes the single "Thing Of Beauty" as well as the tracks "An Emotional Time" and "Isn't It Amazing."More recent albums are 1998's Born and 2004's Into Your Heart.

Apart from the Flowers, Liam has ventured out as a solo artist in recent years (including Rian, a 2005 album of traditional Irish music), has been involved in other musical partnerships (such as ALT with Andy White and Tim Finn and his more recent Mali Project), and is active in social causes (such as Nuclear-Free Future).

Here is the official Hothouse Flowers web site for more information.
Stand by the river on a moonlight evening
Lovers are loving and grievers are grieving

And the water does a dance upon the stones

I sit and listen, I will not ignore

A thing of beauty is not to be ignored

--'Thing Of Beauty," Songs From The Rain (1993)
Extra Credit--Past Musical Electives of the Week:
The Decemberists
Ron Sexsmith
Kasey Chambers
Lucinda Williams
Great Big Sea
Griffin House
Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer
Neil Finn
Ray LaMontagne
Stuart Stotts
Dan Wilson
Kathleen Edwards

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