|Thom Moore is probably best known as an Irish songwriter, with hit songs for Mary Black such as Carolina Rua and Prayer for Love, and for Maura O'Connell the likes of The Scholar and Saw You Running, as well as such generally-recorded classics as Cavan Girl. What is probably less well known, except to aficionados, is that his first two records (LUN 001 and 011 on the fledgling Mulligan Records of the 1970s), Pumpkinhead and Midnight Well, were rave critical successes at release and have become cult classics in Irish music circles. His first real recording since those days was STARC Records' Gorgeous & Bright (SCD 1294), a collection of songs composed mostly in Russia, where Thom lived with his wife Lyuba and taught English at the Udmurt State University in Izhevsk until November of 1995, when they moved to Ireland so he could return to full-time songwriting and performing.|
|Gorgeous & Bright was released in Ireland in October 1994, and its eleven songs attest to Thom's unflagging reliance on the song as a legitimate mode of poetic expression, from its opening theme of fatal disappointment (Now High, Now Low, Now Found) through the fever-haunt of imminent consummation (Love on Her Own, The Answer) and the joys of passion of various kinds (Gorgeous and Bright, Lacomcaliu, Queen Love, The Navigator) to the legacy of childhood in each of us (The Babe Inside), with sidetrips along the way to a synoptic view of the Cold War (Comes the Comrade and The Underlord) and to the ancient mystery of the days of the week (Moon Noon). Thom is joined on the record by friends who represent the best in musicianship in Ireland: the guitarist Des Moore on a variety of stringed instruments, the late and much-missed Dave Early on drums and percussion, Brian Connor on piano and keyboards, Brendan Power on harmonica, and a host of luminaries and geniuses the likes of Brian Kennedy, Mary Black, Seamus Begley, Pumpkinhead's Sandi Miller, Midnight Well's Mairtin O'Connor, Maire Breatnach, Cormac Breatnach, Paul Moore, Garvan Gallagher, Kenneth Edge, David James, and Kevin Murphy.|
|Gorgeous & Bright was recorded in January of 1994, following a seventeen-year hiatus in Thom's recording history, with the notable exception of Dreamer in Russia, a nine-song recording done in one evening at the Sun demo studio in February of 1990 and released in CD and cassette by Sound Records of Sligo. During that period Thom was working as an interpreter for the U.S. government On-Site Inspection Agency at the Permanent Monitoring Site near Votkinsk in Russia, as part of the cold-war-busting INF treaty, the one that got rid of all Europe-based and Europe-targeted missiles. Before that, from the beginning of 1988 to the end of 1989, he had been working as an interpreter-escort on the other end, facilitating Soviet inspection teams in the U.S. on the same treaty mission.|
|Until the signing of the treaty, however, Thom had been working as an instructor of English grammar and punctuation at a college in southern California, which job he had obtained in the course of coming to terms with some fateful events in 1979 and 1980, including removing from Ireland back to the States in pursuit of bigger and better things on the advice of his then-manager, Paul McGuinness. In the absence of any regularly-defined market for the kinds of songs he writes, and under pressure to meet some serious hospital bills, teaching English became the logical thing to do for a renegade poet with a serious background in grammar and linguistics. When Thom first came to Ireland in 1971 and got stuck into music there, he was turning his back on a five-year education in Russian and other Slavonic languages and literatures. No one was more surprised than he was when he found himself once again using the language, after the advent of Gorbachev. While stuck in California in the 1980s, he had kept his hand in music by playing with a local Irish band, Train to Sligo, and writing at the glacial pace of about one song per year. It was in this period that he wrote Pontchartrain, No Clouds, Michael Michael, The Fog in Monterey, Carolina Rua, Believe Me Sligo, and Sonya and Amy in Grey, all featured on the Dreamer in Russia album, and The Babe Inside and The Navigator of Gorgeous & Bright.
Rough Diamond Promotions
PO Box 15
|Any questions, comments, or requests can be directed to Thom at|