July 2001 saw the release of David Nigel Lloyd's EP, Cúchulainn Alive!. And it's very much a portrait of Lloyd's life, summed up in story and song. It begins with the wryly autobiographical "M'Zee's Blessing/Poor Little Englishman," that proclaims "it means he will grow up one day to be a famous folksinger, and he will never sully his hands with money." (Well, let's hope that's not entirely accurate.) It's a shame it has some of that fingers-slipping-on-the-strings sound in the recording, but that's one of the hazards of a live performance. To counterbalance that, Lloyd is in full clear voice, and sings out heartfully. "In the Fog Appointed Darkness" is a song from his young manhood, of his feelings while traveling to meet his estranged father. It's a bit melancholy, yet very evocative. Another live performance hazard is an audience that, though invited to sing along on the title song "When Cuchulainn Went to Bakersfield," doesn't quite get into it. Could have done with a couple of folks to join in louder on the chorus, but audiences are sometimes self conscious about participating. Luck of the draw, there. It's an original song, though, with interesting lyrics. Lloyd intros it with the story of his physically stressful bus journey from Canada to California, and his introduction to Celtic folklore and the rather grim tale of the original Cuchulainn, followed by his subsequent happiness and that brought up the observation that "nobody wants to be happy, because then you have something to lose." He lost the happiness, wound up in Bakersfield, and wrote the curious epic that turned into the song. So for a taste of David Nigel Lloyd's storytelling, and highlights from his life in lyrics, Cúchulainn Alive! is the sampler to get.
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AllMusic Review by Murrday Fisher