|Genres||Celtic rock, Folk rock|
|Years active||1981 to 1985
|Past members||Christy Moore
Moving Hearts is an Irish Celtic rock band formed in 1981. They followed in the footsteps of Horslips in combining Irish traditional music with rock and roll, and also added elements of jazz to their sound.
The group was formed in 1981 when Dónal Lunny (bouzouki) and Christy Moore (vocals and bodhrán), of Planxty, wanted to explore the possibilities of linking contemporary music to Irish traditional music. They initially intended to form a trio with guitarist Declan Sinnott, but then expanded the group to include established Irish musicians Keith Donald (alto sax), Eoghan O'Neill (bass), and Brian Calnan (drums), and prodigious newcomer Davy Spillane (Uilleann pipes). During their first year together, Moving Hearts performed to packed audiences during their three-night-a-week residency at the Baggot Inn on Baggot Street in Dublin.
This laid the basis for a powerful and unique Irish sound, which was coupled on the band’s first two albums, Moving Hearts and The Dark End Of The Street, with songs with explicit political engagement, often concerned with the situation in Northern Ireland. The band was organized as a cooperative effort, with all profits and costs borne by the seven band members and three members of the road crew.
Moving Hearts played many prestigious gigs including the Montreux Jazz Festival, Bottom Line in New York and the Lorient Festival in Brittany, and the line-up with Hanly was recorded on the 1983 album Live Hearts. They also played on two tracks on Van Morrison's 1983 album A Sense of Wonder.
For a period after the departure of Mick Hanly, Flo McSweeney and Anto Drennan came in on vocals and lead guitar. The following year the group performed as an instrumental group, recording the acclaimed album The Storm. At this point the line-up consisted of Davy Spillane and Declan Masterson on uilleann pipes, Dónal Lunny on bouzouki, synthesiser & bodhrán, Keith Donald on sax, Noel Eccles on percussion, Matt Kelleghan on drums, Eoghan O'Neill on bass and Greg Boland on guitar.
The group ceased touring in 1984, appearing only at occasional festivals such as the Preseli Folk Festival—now the Fishguard Folk Festival—in 1986, but in 1990 sold out Dublin's Point Theatre for a farewell concert, with Flo McSweeney on vocals.
In 2007 the band re-formed, announcing concerts in Dublin and at the Hebridean Celtic Festival in Stornoway. This more recent line-up is Dónal Lunny, Davy Spillane, Eoghan O'Neill, Keith Donald, Matt Kellaghan, Noel Eccles, Anthony Drennan, Kevin Glackin and Graham Henderson.
- Moving Hearts (1981)
- The Dark End of the Street (1982)
- The Storm (1985)
- Live Hearts (1986) (recorded 1983)
- Live in Dublin (2008)
- The Platinum Collection (2007)
- Moving Hearts Biography. Page at Tara Records website.