1. Blackberry Time
2. The Hungry Ghost
3. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
5. Rainbow Warrior
6. Water Ballerina
7. Holy Ground
8. Cool Breeze Of Love To Come
In the centre of Ireland, there is a lovely town called Birr. Birr has two rivers (the Camcor and the Brosna), lovely architecture, and the best trees in Ireland. During 1995 I spent many weeks there, writing all, bar one, of the songs on this album. So my first thanks must go to the fine people of Birr, who made me feel at home. Great town. Many thanks.
When eventually I arrived at the point where the songs were ready for commitment to tape. I contacted my pal Paul Barrett, who had produced The Acoustic Motorbike for me. After much research, we decided I should go home to Kildare to record my performances of the songs. The Liffey Arts Centre is an old mill near Naas, Co. Kildare. Beautifully brought to life by one of Ireland’s heroes, Eoin O’Toole, the Mill was a total joy for us to be in January 1996. Thank you Eoin, Bill and Keith, keep the wheel turning.
We did some work in STS, Dublin, and then took an unplanned break. The songs seemed to be saying “Leave us be for awhile”. So we did. Some months later Mattie, my manager, introduced me to Peter Van Hooke. The songs were saying “Let’s go to England for a while”. So the songs and I went to England, where we worked in Rod Argent’s lovely home for the month of January 1997. This was a great thrill, made very easy by the hospitality of Rod and his family. Thank you all. During this time we added “Water Ballerina” to the collection. This song I wrote in Ballyvaughan, my favourite port of call, between the Burren and Atlantic.
Finally we made our way to London, where Peter and his pals blended the various ingredients together in Abbey Road. Never did I feel so at ease in a studio. Thank you all, especially Ann Breen, who treated me like I was a King.
On the long road from Birr to Abbey Road, the pace always seemed right, as did the places, and all the people involved. Everybody who worked on this album is named elsewhere on the sleeve. I thank you all for gracing these songs with your gifts.
There are also those who are not actually on the album, but whose work, friendship, and inspiration is totally precious to me: Mike Nolan, Ozone, Paul Kelly, Trevor Hutchinson, Paul Byrne, Sinead O’Connor, Paul Ashe-Browne, Paul Scully, Martin Wright, Colm Reid, Clare O’Grady-Walshe, Bernie, Geraldine and Mary in the office, Dave Murphy and the International Brigade, Irja, Jan Whalen, Pete Short, Frank Merriman, Derek Nelson, Ciara, Katherine, Phelim, Pat Howley, Aoife, Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh, John Crocker, Brigid Murnaghan, Ronnie Nolan.
Musician Inc, Paul Charles, Adrian Bohm, Frank Riley, Solstice, Cairde Bride, John O’Donohue, Saskia. To all my family and friends who have guided me through this lengthy passage, thank you, especially my son Robbie, the main man. If I’ve left anyone out, I owe you a pint, or a coffee.
Salty Heaven would simply not have happened this way were it not for the conviction of one man.