"Grabs hold of the listener and clasps until the end" Brian Witt

"Seize the Moment" is the first solo recording for Kildare musician Derek Byrne. It is a personal, introspective work, one of a man who is finding the joys of life in the hand dealt to him. Byrne wrote ten of the twelve tracks. Byrne is primarily a banjo player, and he utilizes various styles of the instrument to very good manner. It is his songwriting and his voice which make this album work.
His opening number, "Between Love and Home", talks of the choices immigrants have. "Seize the moment" was written for his wife, in a search for time together. "Rhythm of Falling" talks of stealing time in quick meetings in airports, when he was on the road with Riverdance. The highlight of the album is "Save Tara", about the proposed highway that would impinge on the ancient Irish capital. Byrne's a cappella singing opens with "Seal a na mbo na mbo" and proceeds on to a litany of the legendary heroes of the island's past. His performing partner, Cavan dancer Sean Beglan, provides impressive foot percussion, in this eerie and impressive song.
The three instrumentals go from the traditionally based "Edirian", a somewhat dark jig, to the bluegrass - based "Hawaiian Pigeon Breakdown", to the theme for the movie, "Running on Fumes" a strident, yet evocative bit of music. The final tracks are the weakest, "Red is The Rose" and "Marie's Wedding", performed live. They are well played, but after Byrne's original lyrics and music, they tend to pale compared to the rest of the album. "Seize the Moment" grabs hold of the listener from the start, and clasps until the end.
Photo courtesy of Sean Gleason