Billy O'Dwyer,
The Time Has Come
(Studio Fiona, 2002)

The time certainly has come for Billy O'Dwyer to have a wider audience. Without a distribution network, there are thousands of listeners who would enjoy this singer-songwriter being deprived. Unfortunately, the albums are available only at gigs or by post via e-mail. His work has a raw sincerity that will prick the conscience but is also a joy simply to hear.

"Til You Walk a While in Someone Else's Shoes" is one track that sums up this artist. He has a spirituality that is far from being the usual earnest and devout turn off. Here is a writer of songs that reflect a true feeling for our fellow man: "You should never tell some how they should live their lives."

Although based in rural County Tipperary, Ireland, his vision is international. His composition "Nothing Has Changed" brought me back a few decades to when I read Dee Browne's Wounded Knee. He sings a poignant refrain for the victims of that massacre as he reflects on our childhood games when "the good guy was the cowboy with the big shiny gun."

He does romance very well, too. This is epitomized on the beautiful "The Wind in Her Hair." I am particularly impressed by the optimism of this performer, although some of his songs are dealing with inhumanity. He has a great positive spin, as on "Another Day in Paradise," where he sings "I walk around and look around and hear the silence of the sound."

In the 10 songs on this CD, O'Dwyer packs in more good music and thoughtful lyrics than many double albums. It may take a bit of effort to get, but make the effort; it will be well worth it.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 17 September 2005