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The Harvest Ministers – ‘Love Will Call On You’ EP (2008)

The Harvest Ministers – ‘Love Will Call On You’ EP (2008)

mp3 / 320 kbps / Alternative

Do you know why you were sent?

I want to know why you were sent

Were you sent to make my days

much worse or better?

One of the most criminally ignored bands to come out of Ireland, the marvellous “Harvest Ministers” are back after quite a hiatus with this great EP.

We’re very fucking happy about that! It’s so great to again hear new work from one of our very favourite Irish groups ever.

The main man, Will Merriman, is a songwriter of true idiosyncratic greatness, with songs of sumptuous melodies beneath wonderful and very unique, often strange, poetry.

With most songwriters, one can usually say they sound a little like this and a little like that. However, with Will, you can’t. He sounds noting like this and even fucking less like that!! He has a wonderfully unique songwriting style totally out of left field! It’s like he comes from another time and place!

The band were first established about 16 years ago and their weekly Sunday afternoon gig at Whelans – a small but great music venue in Camden Street, Dublin – in their early days became a “must attend” event.

Back then, the band entailed, as well as Merriman, a wide array of members, all magnificent musicians. I saw them play at small clubs countless times over the early years. The music they made in the live environment was totally superb.

She’d pour a drink for one

and wait til I was gone

I put her first

She put me last

I didn’t learn very fast

The band have produced a number of albums which, although having some wonderful moments, for various reasons, failed to properly capture the magnificent magic of the band, the magic of the music.

Furthermore, although a supreme songwriter, Merriman wasn’t exactly Caruso in the singing department (more Johnny Thunders after a few pints of whisky!), and this perceived deficiency (I don’t mind it since most of my faves can’t really sing – Lenny Cohen, Bob Dylan, Johnny Thunders, Nick Cave et al) perhaps became more pronounced in the studio.

More broadly, the band’s name never did them any favours. The name conjures up a range of images entirely different to what the band’s music and ethos is. I know that, when they first came on the scene, I deferred checking them out for quite some time due entirely to their name!! I though they were perhaps some hillbilly country covers band or perhaps some sort of mormon sect!

Over the years, the group gradually pared down in terms of size and played live more infrequently. The recordings dried up too. Eventually they went into a mini hiatus a few years back.

But the great news is that they’re back! Hurrah!

Well not really “they” because this time it’s really only Will Merriman with help from long-time colleague, New York based, Dublin musician Andy Fitzpatrick (who plays on the tracks and produces).

This new EP contains 5 wonderful tracks of typical melodic mastery and idiosyncratic poetry – a lyrical cross between Johnny Thunders, WB Yeats, Jonathan Richman, a seventh century blind Irish beggar poet and Samuel Beckett! So often filled with fragile precious beauty or laden with pitch black humour!

The pared down instrumentation also works really well on these great new songs.

She says you start with one

Then you go and on

Counting white crocuses in a field


Love Will Call On You
Down At Heel
White Crocuses
Melody And Light

Here’s Willy!

Love Will Call On You

May 26, 2008 Posted by | Ireland, Music_Alternative, The Harvest Ministers, _MUSIC | Leave a comment