Pierce Turner
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Pierce Turner


Band Spoken Word Singer/Songwriter


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"It's Only a Long Way Across" BMG/Beggars Banquet
"The Sky And The Ground" BMG/ Beggars Banquet
"Now Is Heaven" Beggars Banquet
"Snakes and Ladders" soundtrack BMG
"Manana in Manhattan Live" Virtual
"Angelic Langauge" Baltic
"Three minute World" Punctual
""action" EP
"The Boy to be With"
"Fading Away" single
"Julie London" single
all are downloadable




Pierce Turner may not be a household name. But in the houses where he is known he is the Boss and his recordings are considered to be treasures. These people will all come out in their Sunday best to see this man that transports them into both a romantic sanctuary and a rip roaring fit of excitement.

He’s not doing too badly for himself really. He will have made a good few bob from Irelands number one solo artist Christy Moore covering his songs. And then the ultra hip HBO show The Wire used a huge chunk of his extremely original version of “Dirty Old Town”. His affiliation with the legendary New York Composer Philip Glass hasn’t hurt either, Glass produced and arranged strings for two of Turners BMG albums and topped it off by donating a Baldwin piano to His talented Irish protégé. That collaboration resumed to full strength this year (Feb 2010) when Mr Glass invited Pierce to perform at the prestigous Tibet house benefit at Carnegie Hall, also performing on the bill were Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Regina Spektor. The New York Times were inpired, "A piano playing Irish songwriter with tinges of opera and Joni Mitchell sang his “Yogi with a Broken Heart” joined by Mr. Philip Glass on keyboard." Mr Glass has since recorded the song as a duet with Mr Turner for his next album.

In the Turner documentary “The song for the year” made by Colin Murnane, the Irish Film Director Jim Sheridan went so far as to say seeing Turner live gave him the strength and inspiration to make the Oscar winning “My Left Foot”
Pierce Turner’s following grows steadily in the underbrush of savvy society. And having sold out Joe’s Pub, Manhattans premier performance space, the last nine times, Manhattan has become a solid base for this award winning Irish solo performer of the year.

Many of Turner’s themes come from his early years in Ireland and subsequent experiences in America, but it is his ability to transcend any notions of parochialism that gives his music a relevance far beyond the streets of his native Wexford or his adopted home in Manhattan. His work is indeed the musical embodiment of James Joyce’s dictum that in the particular is contained the universal. All of which is, of course, well-known to Turner’s longtime fans – including such luminaries as Christy Moore and Brad Pitt – who were not at all surprised when the Rough Guide to Ireland described him as one of the 50 things to love about the country

But it is in live performance that Turner always seems to strive for and attain another level of communication; one minute, for instance, reducing his audience to pin-drop silence with the desolation of All Messed Up, the next leading them through a rollicking Musha God Help Her. Expect the unexpected is amongst the hoariest of clichés, but when it comes to Turner’s live performance, nothing could be nearer the truth. Programmed percussion, rambling yarns, acoustic ballads, blaring brass, string quartets, hymns dredged up from childhood, surprising cover versions, table-dancing mayhem, bits and pieces of Latin and Gaelic have all, at one time or another, featured in his live shows.
Irish Times Review August 9, 2010
· Pierce Turner
Telling stories and singing songs at the KAF
Laurence Mackin
Over the first weekend of the Kilkenny Arts Festival, two acts in particular stood out. On Saturday evening, while Robert Fisk was delivering the Hubert Butler lecture in St Canice’s Cathedral, Pierce Turner was ripping it up in Kilkenny’s Parade Tower with his blend of singing, storytelling and more than a touch of vaudeville.
Turner divides his time between Wexford and New York and here, with accompaniment from Karen Dervan and Lynda O’Connor on viola and violin respectively, he bounced between piano, guitar, and a bit of xylophone, and interspersed his set with various stories relevant to his songs. His show opener was a narrated short story with some projected images about two men enjoying a marvellous conversation. The set was exciting stuff, with plenty of humour and skill and a real traditional feel, in that the audience wasn’t so much listening to a series of songs, as been told a long story, with all the different elements interlinking along the way through song, spoken word and even the odd few shapes that Turner was throwing on stage
So where do this unlikely pair meet? Well, Turner’s show was not entirely solo whereas Friedlander was, but both were crossing a lot of boundaries with these concerts. There was a modern, multimedia element to both, but the beauty was in the very act of telling stories, using music and sound, film, video and instruments, in a very naturalistic and accomplished way. Many performers get up to sing their songs and think it is enough – and in many cases, it is. But in these two acts we have performers, from very different places and very different backgrounds, who go a step further in bringing their message out into the open, an