Irish crooner Keith Harkin makes his solo debut with his 2012 eponymous album. A member of the all-male variety show Celtic Thunder, Harkin has showcased his laid-back vocal style across the globe, and his debut release fits well into the show's template. While he is a singer/songwriter in his own right, here Harkin focuses primarily on cover songs that make the most of his naturally burnished vocal twang and romantic surfer-dude persona. These are slick, expertly produced songs that walk a fine line between adult contempo, modern country, and Celtic-inspired pop music, with an obvious emphasis on 2010s-style radio-friendly production. Such cuts as Harkin's duet with Colbie Caillat on Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You," his reverent take on the Fred Neil-penned Harry Nilsson classic "Everybody's Talkin'," and especially his rambling version of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" should appeal to fans of current Top 40. Often compared to the similarly mellow Jack Johnson, Harkin's own compositions, like the lighthearted "Orange Moon" and the uplifting "Take It Away Boys," actually have a bit more of a country vibe, and in that sense bring to mind the crossover stylings of artists like Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum. Ultimately, Harkin has a pleasant voice, and the easygoing quality of these productions makes for relaxing afternoon listening.
Performance CreditsKeith Harkin Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Foot Stomping,Knee Slaps
David Foster Piano
Charlie Bisharat Fiddle
Dean Parks Guitar,Slide Guitar
John "J.R." Robinson Drums
Chris Walden Conductor
Colbie Caillat Vocals
Jochem van der Saag Harmonica,Percussion,Piano,Keyboards,Bottle
Barry Kerr Flute,uillean pipes
David Bakey Guitar
Technical CreditsFred Neil Composer
George Harrison Composer
Bruce Hornsby Composer
Marc Jordan Composer
Tom Waits Composer
Jeremy Lubbock Orchestral Arrangements
Van Morrison Composer
Vartan Art Direction
William Ross Orchestral Arrangements
Chris Walden Orchestral Arrangements
Brian Byrne Composer
Steve Sulikowski Composer
Jorge Vivo Engineer
Stephan Moccio Composer
Colbie Caillat Duet
Keith Harkin Composer
John Barrett Pro-Tools
Johan Fransson Composer
Tobias Lundgren Composer
Jochem van der Saag Composer,Programming,Engineer,Orchestral Arrangements,Sound Design
Steve Price Engineer
Tim Larsson Composer
Barry Kerr Whistle
Don Hensley Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Keith Harkin based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
By far the most exciting tracks on the CD for me are the ones Keith wrote himself. I’ve listened to his songs before, so I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. “Daisy Fields” is catchy and true to Keith’s style, but it isn’t my favorite. I much preferred “Don’t Forget About Me,” a song that is both reflective and forward looking. With its upbeat, joyous attitude it is a great choice for a first single release. Keith knows that audiences love songs they can sing to, so he gave this tune a great hook. If you listen to it a few times I promise you’ll find yourself humming it as you go about your day. “Nothing But You & I” is an honest love song about discovery and longing. The way Keith delivers it, with genuine need and vulnerability, will touch your heart. “Rosa” has a lullaby feel to it – and I admit, I’m a sucker for a good lullaby. Keith’s sincere vocals and the gentle piano will pull you into that tender moment when a father watches his baby girl sleep, knowing he has to leave her for a while. It is an intimate, touching song, reminiscent of Don Henley’s “Annabelle” in a very good way. I believe “Orange Moon” & “Take It Away Boys” are also Keith’s own writing (I don’t have my CD yet, so I’m basing that on his website that said 6 of his songs made it onto the album). I really enjoyed these two as well and thought they were a great addition to the album. Just a couple of comfortable country toons that give a lot of insight into who Keith is as a musician and singer. Let me start by saying that Keith takes on some big landmarks as cover tunes go, especially Henley’s “The End of the Innocence.” I am a diehard Henley fan, so this was the cover song I most anticipated. I have to say Keith definitely makes it his Irish own. The pipes and whistle fit in so well that it becomes a fresh, unique version of the tune, but remains as powerful and convincing as the original. The other song I really wanted to hear was “Have I Told You Lately.” Keith and Colbie are a credible, balanced duet. David Foster’s influence is there in the pairing of their complementary styles. It was a wise choice because Colbie fans are sure to love Keith’s effortless vocal style and his guitar skills. I wasn’t familiar with the Waits version of “Heart of Saturday Night,” but it struck me as just a good old fashioned country song. Keith is completely at ease with it, which pulls the listener into that same comfort zone. “Everybody’s Talkin” is a song I knew but never really liked. I have to say I’m finding myself listening to Keith’s version over and over. In contrast, I always did like “Here Comes the Sun” (again with the big shoes to fill), so for different reasons I’m surprised to find myself listening to that one again and again too. Cover songs, by their nature, are something most people will listen to once out of curiosity. Keith picked his cover tunes well, though. Obviously they are songs he loves and he performs them with such passion that people will find his enthusiasm contagious. I think folks will find these covers are not simple do-overs of previous versions, and they will seek them out for their listening pleasure. So… I saved my absolute favorite for last. I see the wisdom of releasing “Don’t Forget About Me” as the first single, however… “Tears of Hercules,” despite being a cover tune, is not to be missed. To say it is incredible would be understating. Of all the cover tracks, I found this song truest
Where to begin when you can't find words strong enough to express how good something is? I'll give it my best shot! Expectations for Keith's first solo CD were high, it being 7 yrs in the making and it's no exaggeration to say it was well worth the wait. It has exceeded by leaps and bounds and traveled beyond my wildest dreams. Stuff this fabulous takes time, passion, sacrifice, dedication and determination to achieve. Clearly Keith has given his all, he deserves and will surely get huge success for this exceptional effort. You have covers that Keith took, stamped and made them his very own. Not an easy feat when you're talking about the likes of Don Henley, (The End of the Innocence) George Harrison, (Here Comes The Sun) Van Morrison (Have I Told You Lately That I Love You - duet w/Colbie Calliat) and more...but take them he does and while there's definite respect given and familiarity to the songs, they are somehow now uniquely Keith's. In fact, I like them far better than the originals! If that isn't a testament to what a great musician Keith Harkin is I don't know what is! His original songs (Daisy Fields, Nothing But You & I, Orange Moon, Take It Away Boys, Don't Forget About Me and Rosa) are among my favorites and a perfect match with the cover tunes. Heartfelt, longing, beautiful lyrics go hand in hand with stellar melodies and arrangements. You have Irish, folk, country, pop flavors all flowing together in perfect harmony throughout this CD. Keith's distinct, rich vocals give each song the emotion it was surely written for. You'll not only enjoy listening to these songs, you'll feel them to your core when you do. Love, joy, yearning, whimsy...the list goes on. Do yourself a favor and don't hesitate to get "Keith Harkin." It really is brilliant and will certainly stand the test of time. Am listening to it as I type this review and I am in Heaven!! Bravo, thank you and well done Keith and company!!
This is an amazing journey from this talented young man who has shown his fans what he is made of during his years with Celtic Thunder where he honed his craft. He will go far, he is only starting. Give him a listen and see if you don't agree that he is a very talented artist.
I listen to this CD every day at work, home and in my car. I have been a fan of Keith's for a long time. I was elated when this CD was released. "Nothing But You and I' is my favorite. Once you hear it, you will be addicted to it. "Orange Moon" has been a favorite of mine for a long time. It should be played on Country radio stations all over the world. "Rosa" is such a beautiful song. It's like the saying 'take time to smell the roses', you will want to 'take time to stop and listen to this song'. "Daisy Fields" will take you back in time when you were young and carefree. "Tears of Hercules", I heard Keith sing this song on Celtic Thunder's Mythology concert, and I was so glad it was included on this CD. You will definitely listen to this song over and over again. Can't wait for Keith's next CD..
I love Keith's songs and his new look. Looking forward to hearing more from him.
This CD is totally fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Buy one, you won't be sorry!!!