The track list on Luka Bloom’s new album This New Morning is bookended by two solos – just Bloom and guitar, ‘How Am I To Be?’ and ‘No Big Deal’. In between there are eleven songs featuring numerous guest musicians and a couple with orchestra. There’s Robbie Harris, Rita Connolly, Steve Cooney, Máirtín O’Connor, Glen Hansard, Samuel Arnold, Conor Byrne, Eimear Quinn, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Dónal Lunny, Frankie Lane, Dirk Powell, Eimear Quinn, and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh.
All newly written by Bloom, these songs, as he writes himself ‘mainly come from other peoples’ lives and experience.’ ‘A Seed Was Sown’ was inspired by Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the Garden of Remembrance, and Bloom thanks Tommie Gorman ‘for motivating me’ to write it. ‘The Race Runs Me’ was inspired by Sonia O’Sullivan, and the rhythm came from watching Eamonn Coughlan’s record breaking run of 1983; while ‘The Ride’ is a revisiting his ‘Acoustic Motorbike’ song: ‘Some days I’m like Sean Kelly / Some days I’m David Byrne’.
There are, on form, numerous songs dealing with topical themes: ‘Dignity and Backbone’ is in response to the IMF coming to town in November 2010, ‘Your Little Wings’ is a reaction to young girls drinking to excess, ‘Across The Breeze’ is about turf cutting, and ‘You Survive’ is about surviving suicide. Less expected is the Eastern outlook underlying some of the material, clear from the title and artwork, possibly resulting from Bloom’s performance for and meeting with the Dalai Lama in Australia in 2011.
In a most unusual blend of activities, on Bloomsday, 16 June, Bloom will be partaking in what he is calling Luka Bloom’s Day Ride in Dublin: a bicycle tour of the city, open to all, starting with a breakfast gig at 10am in the Cafe du Journal in Monkstown, followed by a cycle into the city, an in-store album launch in Celtic Note at 1pm, and from there a visit to the Bike Festival in Fade Street at 3pm.
On 28 June Bloom will play at the Button Factory for the Liffey Banks Sessions (with Lisa O’Neill as support).
Published on 11 June 2012