Krista Detor @ Ballymore Eustace & Whelan's, Dublin 12/13th October.

Two gigs in two nights and each very different in nature; yet both equally compelling. A regular visitor to Ireland, Krista Detor plays in the hope of reaching a wider audience and her sublime song-writing and musical prowess certainly merits greater attention.

Ballymore Eustace is a small town and the local pub Mick Murphy’s Bar is a challenging venue in which to fit three musicians, their equipment and an enthusiastic audience, some new to the music and some who jumped at the chance to see Krista Detor in such an intimate setting.

Dublin is different with the upstairs venue at Whelan’s bringing a quieter mood with less banter between artist and audience. What is evident however across the two shows is the ease with which Krista Detor communicates with and shares energy with those present.

Her new release, Barely, is partly the reason for this Irish tour and the new songs sound wonderful, with an immediate appeal in both melody and structure to stand alongside her existing body of work. They gently settle into the collective conscious with an ease that says ‘we have been here all along …'

The title song is a reflective tale of love in need of rescue and Can I Come Over, For All I Know, Castle in Wales and All the Calls are also songs from the new release that contain much to recommend them with interesting words and arrangements. The feel is one of stripped back colours, with plenty of room and space for the musicians to play in between the overall textures.

Belle of the Ball, Hear That, Red Velvet Box, Always Somewhere are included from a previous release, Flat Earth Diary. We are also treated to Recklessness and Rust, Deliver Me, Clock of the World, Middle of a Breakdown, Lay Him Down and Icarus from earlier albums.

Mudshow and Steal Me a Car are two older songs that are well received along with a great crowd pleaser. A Year Too Long a wickedly funny vignette about a relationship gone wrong, complete with various family guests.

David Weber plays acoustic and electric guitars to great atmospheric effect, coming in and out of the arrangements perfectly to reflect the mood created by Krista on either keyboard or accordion. Mike Lindaur plays fretless 5-string bass guitar in a laid back style that grounds the songs and provides the base for the melodies to weave their magic spell.

Krista Detor is a rare talent in an industry that is overcrowded with artistic wanabees. Her literary gifts are equally matched by her song craft and musicianship and she sings in a voice that can be sweetly seductive, yet capable of great power when she opens out her full range.

Both gigs were celebrated with lengthy applause and the special feeling that perhaps we are seeing his artist at a time before her creative muse explodes upon bigger stages.

Review by Paul McGee    Photographs: (Top) Paul McGee (Bottom) Vincent Lennon