The Winter Codes are an Irish folk duo featuring David Walshe and Barney Murray…..yes that Barney Murray, the original legendary signer of Blood or Whiskey, here joined by David Walsh another ex-Blood or Whiskey man. It’s been 20 years since Barney’s last outing with Blood or Whiskey. Now there have been a few crumbs dropped over the years, an appearance on Shite’n’Onions volume 2 in 2003 and a digital EP a few years back. I’m happy to report Barney still has a voice that could strip paint at 50 feet though the music has moved away from Celtic-punk to a more traditional base – think Luke Kelly/The Dubliners or even Damien Dempsey with an attitude. Yeah, the Barney Murray attitude is still there.
“I’d rather die all alone in a bedsit off the North Circular Road than go back to you” North Circular Road
There are 14 tracks here of attitude-filled contemporary Irish folk with an edge. Highlights included the aforequoted, North Circular Road, an f-you break-up song. Troublesome Girl, was originally on Shite’n’Onions volume 2, it’s more polished here with folk singer Lisa Loughrey guesting on lead vocal. The Irish folk with horns, Friend in Tullamore, about coming back from rock bottom. The Fenian rebel song Erin’s Lovely Lee and Ovidstown about the men of 1798 keep the green flag flying high. In all, a very good album and it’s good to have both lads back.