Luka Bloom » Album Reviews
Refuge Carl Corcoran
Siobhan Long - The Irish Times

(BigSky Records)

Amongst the many artists who visited me on the Blue of the Night Sessions broadcast on RTE lyric fm, one very intimate experience was with Luka Bloom. Luka spent an hour with me – guitar in hand, voice in resonating wellness. And I thought to myself – this is magic!

Now, hot on the heels of his ‘Frugalisto’ release, Luka shares intimate moments of magic a la that night on ‘Blue’. His latest release ‘Refuge’ is indeed that… a refuge from the noise, the anger, the confusion and the fear that surrounds us so often in this turbulent 21st century.

We are treated to a rare privilege – privy to the private conversations between a voice and a guitar. An intimate performance of some new tunes and some not-so-new.

Tracks include a reworking of Luka’s own City of Chicago, breathing new life into a song masterfully recorded most famously by his brother Christy Moore. A tribute to his ‘teacher’ Leonard Cohen and a haunting performance of Wayfaring Stranger are matched by new songs that deal with subject matters ranging from war, death, loss, Native American protests, a musical tribute to cellist Jaqueline Du Pre, an uplifting story of an Australian indigenous artist and activist Miriam Rose and my favourite, I Still Believe in Love – a sublime conversation between Luka’s honey coated voice and the distinctive (and beautifully recorded) Lowden guitar.

This IS a refuge …. and a special place that I hope to visit often.

Formerly Presenter/Curator The Blue of the Night
Currently Course Director MA Songwriting Irish World Academy

The Irish Times - March 2018


The very embodiment of the folk singer, Luka Bloom has that deep sense of social justice with an uncanny ability to distil contemporary life into the pithiest and most alluring combinations of lyrics and melody lines.

Last year’s album, Refuge, put a finger on the fractured nature of so much of what’s happening in our world today, from homelessness to war to climate change.

His voice is still as open and honest as it was over 30 years ago, and his guitar finds chord combinations that are all his own. Passion, playfulness and pause for thought: a hearty combination in any gig.

The Irish Times.

© Rena Bergholz - Luka Bloom Page