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Joe Chester
Juliette Walking in the Rain is genuinely breathtaking; and the haunting "Valley Of Tears" is truly transcendent. A hugely rewarding album. - Hotpress Magazine

Chester's fifth album is yet another reason to wonder out loud just how and why he isn't much better known. Chester's stylistic traces have rarely been better outlined. Dark Mornings is melody incarnate, brimming with chiming guitar chords and wistful lyrics, while Valley Of Tears is as beautifully sorrowful as the title indicates. The pleasures of the remaining tracks unfurl somewhat more slowly, but are no less rich or rewarding. - The Sunday Business Post

With some heavy-duty guests, including cellist Vyvienne Long, in tow, the respected Dublin producer's fifth album, an exploration of faith, love, discovery and belief, is deep, personal and intriguing. - The Evening Herald

Archbishop McQuaid, Julliette Binoche, the "national razor" and the Swastika Laundry all get mentions on Joe Chester's haunting new album, The Easter Vigil. "Spy Wednesday" bristles with lyrics worthy of Elvis Costello. The Easter Vigil is his most profound and moving work yet. - RTE

Renowned Irish singer, songwriter, and producer Joe Chester released of his 5th studio album, The Easter Vigil, for February 24th 2017. The album was preceded by the lead track, Juliette Walking In The Rain on January 6th.

One of the most critically acclaimed contemporary singer-songwriters and one of the most in-demand producers around ("A legitimate giant of Irish music." - Hotpress), Joe Chester has been nominated for both the Choice Music Prize and the Meteor Irish Music Awards for his own work (his debut album A Murder Of Crows was included in the books 101 Irish Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, by Tony Clayton-Lea and Buried Treasure Vol. 2 by Dan Hegarty).

Meanwhile Joe has written, played and produced for numerous acts, including The Hedge Schools, Hozier, Gemma Hayes, Shane MacGowan, A Lazarus Soul, The Waterboys and Sinead O'Connor to name but a few.

'The Easter Vigil' was released on the newly formed Bohemia Records who will also re- release Joe's albums The Tiny Places Left Behind, She Darks Me, and Hope against Hope.

What started as rough mixes, after a lengthy period of reflection and writing, very quickly became the foundation of the album. Within a few days - less than a week in fact - piano, guitar and vocals, all relatively raw and unfiltered, made the cut. Joe asked friends and long time collaborators to lend their talent to the project. Cellist Vyvienne Long and violinist Steve Wickham add a subtle flavour foregoing superfluous embellishment.

Joe explains some of the themes of the songs:

"The album begins with Spy Wednesday, continues through Holy Thursday (Like A Rose Tattoo), through to The Easter Vigil itself and finishes on Easter Sunday (Not A Christian Anymore). It's about the rewinding of a man's faith. The loss of belief, almost a perverse enlightenment told through the story of the passion.

"Juliette Walking In The Rain is about the night myself and my wife saw the legendary French actress Juliette Binoche walking across a deserted square in Dublin. Just a very poetic moment - magic realism."

"The Valley of Tears is an area of clifftop on Inis Mor in the Aran Islands. When the islanders were forced to emigrate they would travel by currach to the mainland where they would then board the ship for America. This ship would then shelter in the Gregory Sound awaiting favourable weather for the voyage. The ship would lie close enough to this particular clifftop that you could almost reach out and touch your loved ones who were leaving the island, never to return. It was these scenes of heartbreak that gave it the name, Gleann ne nDeor, the Valley of Tears."
twitter : @joechester_