Exciting Micah P Hinson for Róisín Dubh concert

Micah P Hinson, who describes his latest album as 'a modern-day folk opera'.
Micah P Hinson, who describes his latest album as 'a modern-day folk opera'.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

Micah P Hinson is the type of songwriter whose work stops you in your tracks, thanks to the combination of his sombre voice, fascinating guitar style and his unique turn of phrase. The Tennessee-born, Texan-raised singer comes to Róisín Dubh on Friday, October 6, when he will be drawing from his album The Holy Strangers, which has just been released.  It’s an ambitious project with a narrative thread that takes in a love story set in a post-war world.

Not your standard record then and it took Micah over two years to complete the album, which he has described as ‘a modern folk opera . . . of a war-time family, , , spanning all the strange and glorious places life can lead’.

“This record has taken longer than any other one has,” he says. “I went into the depths of my soul to make it, but I don’t know if people will get that. To them, it might just be like any other record I’ve made, or anyone else has. I don’t have any control over that.”

There are melodic gems on The Holy Strangers as well as more sparse offerings, including a seven-minute spoken-word piece. Micah drew on a lot of material to make the album and much of that ended up on the cutting-room floor.

“What’s on the record is not the whole story,” he says. “There’s still another ten songs, and the songs on this record are actually shortened versions. At Christmas, I thought we’d release it digitally and it would have all the extra songs and all the extended ones. But it would have been over two hours long, and there was no way that would have been viable.”

This is Micah’s ninth album and he has built up a cult following since his 2004 debut. Fans who pre-ordered his latest work were rewarded with a 36-page book that the boundlessly creative singer put together.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.