Formed in 1981 by bouzouki player and genius producer Dónal Lunny and singer Christy Moore, Moving Hearts was an Irish “super group” which blended Folk-rock and Jazz with elements of traditional Irish music. Their trademark pairing for instance of uilleann pipes with saxophone made a lasting impression. While the initial line-up included singer Christy Moore, then replaced by Mick Hanly, instrumental tunes gradually took over most of the band’s repertoire. Due to the increasing difficulty of maintaining a large band of eight to ten musicians on the road, Moving Hearts stopped touring in 1984 but nevertheless went into a studio to record The Storm, an incredible instrumental fusion album released the following year. Associating traditional tunes and original compositions with exquisite arrangements for a funk rock rhythm section, the album mainly focused on the sound of two pipers (Davy Spillane and Declan Masterson) combined with the saxophones/bass clarinet of Keith Donald.
With Davy Spillane starting on the low whistle, “The Titanic” is only one of the six tracks on the album and breaks down as “An Irishman in Brittany” composed by Eoghan O’Neill followed by a Dónal Lunny composition called “A Breton in Paris”.
Such was the impact of the original trad/electric fusion album that a reunion took place in February 2007 during which Moving Hearts performed live and re-recorded “The Storm” as well as a selection of instrumental tracks from their three other recordings. “Finore” is a marvellous Davy Spillane composition introduced by Keith Donald’s bass clarinet and featuring Kevin Glackin on fiddle:
Experimenting with various time signatures within long suites of themes, the unique and defining sound of The Storm became a classic…and anticipated in the process the sound of worldwide hit Riverdance ten years later.