All songs are written and composed by Luka Bloom IMRO/MCPS
My Singing Bird, traditional, arranged by Luka Bloom
She Moved Through The Fair, traditional, arranged by Luka Bloom
I'll Walk Beside You, by Edward Lockton & Alan Murray
Nora, traditional, arranged by Luka Bloom
The Water Is Wide, traditional, arranged by Luka Bloom
Luka Bloom - Spanish Guitar and Vocals
Recorded at The Old Mill, Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland, October 2003.
Recording engineered by Mark Gavin
Mixed and mastered by Brian Masterson
'Camomile' painted by Brid óg Norrby
Artwork designed by Turlough Rynne
Project Coordinator: Niall Rynne
Before Sleep Comes
is a special CD, designed to give people something calm to listen
to before going to bed at night. It is 28 minutes long, 9 tracks, two of which are instrumental.
I got the idea for the CD in the Summer, when my tendonitis was bad, and I was playing
soothing little things on my Spanish guitar. I grew to love this time each day; wrote some
soft songs; decided to record it in the Old Mill nearby...
There with Mark I recorded these tracks over two nights. Late at night, with the wind blowing.
I recorded when I was tired myself. This is a CD of non-performance. It's purpose is to help
bring you closer to sleep, our sometimes elusive night-friend.
It's a special project, and I hope you like the result.
Before Sleep Comes is chill-out
music for the soul. Irish singer-songwriter Luka Bloom created this intimate album specifically for late
night listening, for those last moments of wakefulness when the imagination remains fertile but the flesh is often worn out. Its purpose,
he explains, "is to bring you closer to sleep, our sometimes elusive night-friend." But Luka may have thwarted his stated
purpose: he performs elegantly austere new songs and covers traditional ballads in such a quietly compelling manner that one
would find it almost impossible to drift off while these gorgeous grownup lullabies are spinning.
It was in the early months of 2003 that fate, not design, pushed Luka away from his signature style - the high-energy, quick-handed
attack he took on his steel-string guitar - towards a more contemplative approach on a nylon-stringed instrument. A bout of tendonitis
in his right hand, a recurring ailment, had seriously sidelined him, making it painful to do gigs or even write songs. While being treated
by a physical therapist, he picked up his Spanish guitar and gingerly started to pick. As Luka explains, "After a few weeks of
really soft playing, I became fond of it, and began to feel very relaxed with this style of playing, almost non-playing. I began to play
ballads, and soon found myself singing and writing whispery songs. I was doing this daily, and by August, I realized that this
needed to be recorded."
Luka completed Before Sleep Comes over the course of two windy nights in autumn 2003 at the Old Mill, a lovely,
off-the-beaten-path studio near Naas, County Kildare. He'd previously cut most of his 1998 Salty Heaven there, the
most elaborate production Luka had undertaken in his then decade-old recording career. This time was dramatically
different: just Luka's bedroom-volume voice, his Spanish guitar and his midnight confessions, all captured in the
wee small hours.
"Rarely does quietude translate so powerfully on record," said Irish Times critic Siobhan Long in a
four-star review, "and rarer still is the bottling of an artist's personal happiness as successful as this beautifully
somnambulant album... Luka fuels this gentle mix of original and traditional tunes (including a finely understated
reading of 'The Water is Wide' and an even finer snapshot of the twilight zone that is the title track) with minimum
intervention beyond strings and larynx. One for the witching hour." - The Irish Voice simply declared, "It feels
like Luka has made a record just for your nightstand."
Before Sleep Comes is not so much a radical change for Luka as a deeper exploration of a particular aspect
of his craft. He's long been known for creating rousing, anthemic tracks like 'The Acoustic Motorbike', 'Delirious'
and 'Perfect Groove' that bring crowds to their feet at his concerts. But Luka has been equally adept at
composing romantic slow-burners - like 'True Blue', 'Don't Be So Hard on Yourself' and 'Love is a Place
I Dream Of'. Evocative new after-hours tunes like 'Camomile', 'She Sings Her Songs With Open Eyes' and
'Before Sleep Comes' will surely come to rank with the best of Luka's balladry.