Michael Patrick Kelly – Ruah (2016)

FrontCover1Best known as the third youngest member of the eccentric, award-winning, traditional German/Irish band the Kelly Family (also known as “the Kellys”), Michael Patrick Kelly (* December 5, 1977 in Dublin), who also goes by the name Paddy Kelly, was born in Dublin, Ireland on December, 5, 1977 to American teacher Daniel Jerome Kelly and American dancer Barbara Ann Kelly.

Kelly spent his formative years busking and performing with his multi-generational family troupe throughout Europe and the United States.

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By the time the mid-’90s rolled around, the Kelly Family had become an international tour de force, and the multi-talented “Paddy” had become a bit of a teen idol. Overwhelmed by the media attention and overall stresses of public life, Kelly quit the family business in 2004 (after issuing his debut solo album In Exile the year prior) and spent six years in a monastery in France, where he sought to gain some personal perspective after a largely nomadic early life. In 2010 he decided to return to writing and recording music, and in 2015 he issued his second solo outing, Human, via Sony Music. Ruah, Kelly’s third album, appeared in September 2016, followed quickly in June 2017 by iD. (James Christopher Monger)

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And here´s  very special album by Michael Patrick Kelly:

Last year, Michael Patrick Kelly finally stepped out of his family’s shadow. “Human” was well received and showed the artist as a mature songwriter. Only one year later, the Irishman presents the spiritual album “Ruah” (Hebrew for ‘spirit’). Kelly lived in seclusion for six years in a Catholic monastery in the north of France. The longplayer offers insights into this religiously influenced time.

The title track with the accompanying “Prologue” is well chosen as an introduction: With mythical sounds and flowing rhythms, Kelly sings to the Holy Spirit to take him to higher things. The following single, “I Have Called You”, drips with restraint and tenderness, telling of the Lord’s unconditional love.

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Almost every song title is about religion and spirituality. The touching ballad “Don’t Judas Me” is of course about betrayal. In “Abba! Father!” Kelly loudly calls on the Lord, ‘Abba’ being from Aramaic and meaning Jesus’ personal address to his Father and Creator. “Agape” is a Christian term and stands for divine love – in this song Michael Patrick thanks God and pledges his allegiance to Him. In the chorus, however, the campfire atmosphere of the Kelly Family sparkles through a little.

Nevertheless: So far, Michael’s religion lesson is not particularly rousing, rather bland: Kelly never breaks out of his soft singer/songwriterism. Fortunately, the fellow believer has three more interesting pieces in his luggage.

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For example, “Seinn Aililiú”, sung entirely in Gaelic. Kelly’s echoing vocals, an Italo-Western guitar and spherical synths create an Elysian atmosphere. When the drums and choir start in the chorus, goose bumps are the order of the day. Even associations with the theme of the Fanatasy video game “ICO” come to mind.

Then the eulogy “Ô Prends Mon Âme”, performed in French, which means something like ‘Oh, take my soul’. Kelly sings velvety soft and unagitated, guitar and glockenspiel sound gently in the background, his breathed vocals captivate the listener for almost four minutes.

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Kelly even sings the closing track “Salve Regina” in Latin. A conciliatory, dreamy arrangement with guitar and piano as well as the singer’s good voice end his very personal religion lesson.

You have to give Kelly credit for the fact that with “Ruah” he has recorded neither an overcandid nor a ‘children’s Bible weekend tralala’ album. The record spreads intimacy and melodiousness – as far as one can get involved with the religious theme. (Johannes Jimeno)

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Personnel:
Lars Ehrhardt (guitar on 02.)

Christian Heidenbauer (guitar on 02., 04., 05., 06., 07., 08.)

Michael Patrick Kelly (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion)
Niels Lorenz (bass)
Tim Lorenz (drums)
Leo Pearson (pedal steel-guitar on 02., 06. percussion 0n 04.)
Nils Ruzicka (piano on 03., 05.)
Christoph Van Hal (flugelhorn on 04, 08., 09. vibraphone on 04., trombone on 08, )
+
Dondieu Divin (piano on 11.)
Jack Gourlay (guitar on 05., 07., 10.)
Simon Kluth (violin on 08. + 10., viola on 10.)
Dirk Schulz (guitar on 11.)
+
programming:
Richard Rainey – Nils Ruzicka
+
background vocals:
Lars Peter – Laura Bellon – Sebastian Cuthbert – Paul Habsburg
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Cois Cladaigh Chamber Choir (on 06. + 10.)
+
Emmanuel School Of Mission Altötting, Gebetshaus Augsburg (background vocals on 07.)
+
The Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Martin Pospieszalski & Prof. Wojciech Rajski (on 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. Prologue (Kelly) 1.02
02. Ruah (Kelly) 3.49
03. I Have Called You (Kelly) 3.52
04. Walk The Line (Kelly) 4.05
05. Don’t Judas Me (Kelly) 3.42
06. Seinn Aililiú (Traditional) 4.39
07. Abba! Father! (Kelly) 5.20
08. Holy (Kelly) 6.38
09. Ô Prends Mon Âme (Cohen/Arnera) 3.42
10. Agape (Kelly) 4.42
11. Salve Regina (Latin) (Kelly/v.Reichenau) 4.09

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The official website:
Website

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