Luka Bloom In-depth Biography
The younger brother of influential Irish singer/songwriter Christy Moore, Barry Moore had tired of being in his brother's shadow when he decided to relocate to the United States in 1987. Re-christening himself Luka Bloom during the long airplane ride, he took the first steps toward establishing his own reputation. A master interpreter, Bloom has continued to balance original songs with reinventions of tunes by a diverse range of songwriters. His reworking of LL Cool J's "I Need Love" transformed the song from its hip-hop origins to a brogue-inflected folk tune. His 2000 album Keeper of the Flame featured covers of tunes by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, U2, ABBA, Radiohead, and Tim Hardin.
Launching his career in the 1970s, Bloom was encouraged by his brother, who hired him to play with his groups Planxty and Moving Hearts. Although he recorded three impressive solo albums in the 1970s and '80s, he was unable to the match his brother's success. Moving to the United States, Bloom temporarily settled in the Washington, D.C., area. His first performance at a Georgetown pub led to a six-month residency, where he honed his new act. Bloom's reputation as a skilled guitarist and uplifting performer continued to grow. Accepting a second residency at the Red Lion in New York's Greenwich Village, he began to shuttle between the two clubs. By the end of the year, he had elected to make New York his home. The decision proved fortuitous when his show at the Red Lion was caught by a talent scout from Reprise, who signed him to the label. After recording three memorable albums for Reprise -- Riverside in 1990, Acoustic Motorbike in 1992, and Turf in 1994 -- Bloom fell victim to a corporate shakeup in 1995.
By then, he had returned to his homeland, settling in Dublin. His 1999 album, Salty Heaven, was partly recorded in his cottage home in the village of Birr, and completed at Abbey Road Studios in London. Keeper of the Flame, a collection of covers, arrived in fall 2000, followed by Between the Mountain and the Moon in 2002. He released Amsterdam, his first "live" record, in spring 2003, followed by Before Sleep Comes, a collection of softly played (and sung) meditations on the moments before slumber inspired by a brutal bout with tendinitus. Innocence, released on the Cooking Vinyl label, arrived in 2006, followed by Tribe in 2007 and Eleven Songs in 2008. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi