Joe Hurley | The House That Horse Built(Let The Great World Spin)

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The House That Horse Built(Let The Great World Spin)

by Joe Hurley

These 3 tracks shiver, simmer and shake their way through a stunning delivery of near-psychotic verbal riffing over revved-up folk rock, sliding their way into bluesy verses and sweeping gospel choruses firmly laid on a bed of stinging R&R, before descending into a heartbreaking climax- with Hurley's trademark vocals throughout, deep, seductive and haunting-A collaboration between best-selling Irish Novelist Colum McCann & NYC's acclaimed songwriter Joe Hurley
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. My Name Is Till (You Can Call Me Sweetcakes)
1:57 $0.99
2. Let the Great World Spin(I Am Of This Earth)
4:24 $0.99
3. Hanging From The Pipes(Leaving the House That Horse Built)
5:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Called 'The best singer of vowels in rock since Shane Macgowan' by NY's VILLAGE VOICE, and "One of the greatest singer-songwriters to emerge on the NY scene in the last 20 years"-UPI, the critically acclaimed musician JOE HURLEY has collaborated with the best-selling novelist COLUM McCANN to create a glorious 3-song 12 min epic, "THE HOUSE THAT HORSE BUILT"(Let The Great World Spin). Sprawling across the wastelands and heartbreaks of a prostitute's life in 1974 NYC, The CD-EP was inspired by a chapter in McCann's breathtaking new novel, 'Let The Great World Spin' (Voted Amazon's #1 Book of 2009), and the songs shiver and slide their way through the darkness and into the light amidst a stunning musical and lyrical landscape of grit, defiance, humor, the search for unconditional love, and ultimately, heartbreaking surrender.
" A phenomena...lyrically compelling, wondrously sung and superbly produced by Don Fleming"-NICK WEST, UK Americana Music Editor
With Hurley on vocals and guitar, THE CD-EP features an extraordinary all-star cast of musicians including Tony Shanahan-Bass(Patti Smith), James Mastro-Gtr(Ian Hunter), Kenny Margolis-Piano(Cracker), Matt Sweeney-Gtr(Johnny Cash, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, the Rick Rubin-produced Neil Diamond), Gospel Great Tami Lynn (Stones, Dr John, Dylan), Soul-singing film star Antonique Smith & the young Ingenue Faith Hahn as the Gospel Choir, Joe Mcginty-Organ(NY's famed Loser's Lounge) Denis Diken-Drums(Smithereens) AND on the Uilleean pipes, 6-time GRAMMY WINNING PADDY MOLONEY of Ireland's legendary THE CHIEFTAINS.
The Limited Edition CD was produced by DON FLEMING (Pete Yorn, Sonic Youth, Hunter S Thompson...)with Joe Hurley, and recorded by Matt Azzarto at Think Tank, NY. Mastered by Warren Russell-Smith at Magic Shop, NY
This CD is the first part of Hurley & McCann's recording project that will ultimately see a full-length CD based on the book released in Spring 2010.
McCann's Novel is now a National Book Awards Finalist 2009, and the two writers recently returned in October from a sold-out month-long tour of Europe where they launched both the Book and CD to rave reviews in their performances together, everywhere from London to Paris, Hamburg to Berlin, Zurich to Vienna.
The CD's music, dripping in the diverse sounds and feel of 70's NYC, sleazy guitar licks meshing the blues with shimmering violins, gorgeous stray piano lines and extraordinary sweeping gospel choruses,all framed on the pure essence of R&R,  dips and dives, digs and cuts deep into the 'House' as the character's (The prostitute Tillie) life is exposed to all the elements-From her ranting to a 'john' in the first track, to her somber and occasionally humourous reflections on her tragic  life 'on the stroll' in the 2nd, to her proud and fruitless search for a better life ,and finally, in the 3rd and closing track,as the great Paddy Moloney's Uilleean Pipes add to the melancholic mood, her heartbreaking decision to leave this world, but with dignity-She is sung 'home' with  spine-chilling vocals from the gospel singers, wherever home may be. And were left with just a glimmer of hope,the feeling that she just might find it.
ONE FINAL NOTE ON THESE SONGS- Although they are 3 individual and unique tracks,and can be thoroughly enjoyed as such, they were also written and recorded to be played all the way through as one 'epic', so we highly recommend the listener do this in order to fully capture and feel the harrowing story and music the way it was meant to be heard- ie listen to the tracks the way they are presented, in order,from 1-3, for maximum pleasure.

NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF CD JAN 12/2010 3 1/2 Star Review (out of possible 4 stars)

JOE HURLEY “The House That Horse Built (Let the Great World Spin)”

*** ½

* Over the years, Joe Hurley, one of the leaders in New York’s Celtic movement, has written a number of standout songs such as “Amsterdam Mistress” and “Shut Up and Drink.” But he’s never before attained the kind of writing level he has on this concise 12-minute EP, presented as a three-song cycle. With lyrics penned by Hurley and his pal, 2009 National Book Award winner Colum McCann, he recounts the life of a prostitute, circa 1970s NYC. On the surface, it’s a bleak tale, but the undercurrent of hope throughout is magnificent and reflected in the music.

Read more:

Widely heralded for the highly emotive quality of his deep, gravel-tinged baritone, and for his poignant and cinematic storytelling, Joe Hurley is the leader of two NYC bands, Rogue's March and Joe Hurley & The Gents. A London-bred, Irish-blooded New Yorker, Hurley has recently been the featured guest vocalist with THE CHIEFTAINS, and has sung and/or recorded with a highly eclectic mix of folks-The Nick Drake Orchestra, Playwright Sam Shepard, Marianne Faithfull, Judy Collins & Jimmy Webb, Laura Cantrell, Shane MacGowan, PJ Harvey, The Waco Bros, The Sinatra-appointed "Queen of Cabaret" Andrea Marcovicci, and her heir apparent, Maude Maggart, Nellie McKay, Broadway's Michael Cerveris, Sally Timms of The Mekons, Christine Ohlman, Annie Golden, Kristeen Young, Amy Rigby, Steve Wynn and many more.
Hurley has been produced on recordings by the legendary Tony Visconti, PJ Harvey, Jim Harry, James Mastro among many.
CD Baby also carries Hurley's CDs 'Never Fear' & 'Chaser", both with his band Rogue's March
For more info, rave reviews and upcoming appearances on McCann
For More info on Joe Hurley
"Joe Hurley is one of NY's most entertaining frontmen-his distinctive vocals can be raucous as all get-out and as sorrowful as a baritone can be" -VILLAGE VOICE
"Outstanding concert performances...Best of all was Joe Hurley's rumbling bass-baritone version of 'Send In The Clowns'- NEW YORK TIMES Oct '09
"Joe Hurley shakes the Irish out of the Irish-and brings us all back together again. He's an old seanchai in a rock star's shoes, a poet of microcosm with a stereoscopic vision, a balladeer with a whole lot of landscape in his voice. He sings out from the anonymous corners where the best stories are told. Chalk one up for the old songs, newly told...Hurley is one of the great songwriters of our time" -COLUM  McCANN- Best-selling novelist, author of 'Dancer', 'Zoli', and Amazon's #1 Book of 2009 'Let The Great World Spin'

The House That Horse Built(Let The Great World Spin) Copyright 2009
All Music written and arranged by Joe Hurley- Joe Hurley Music ASCAP
All Lyrics Hurley/McCann



to write a review


Can't wait to hear this!
Heard the clips and this sounds like some cool stuff!


must hear
Joe Hurley has created a mini masterpiece equal to the novel by which it was inspired. Brutal, poignant, and honest. It is rare in today's music to find perfectly written lyrics. Not since Lou Reed's "Street Hassle" have I been this entranced by a song cycle. Hurley captures the magnificent images of Colum McCann's novel and takes them to a new level. One can only hope a full length is in the works.


This album is an incredibly ambitious effort that works musically, lyrically, and as a narrative. Hurley's powerful and raw delivery takes us to the depths of the characters he sings about. Very rarely is music created of such gravity and honesty.