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Post-show in Halles, Austria - September 09
Post-show in Halles, Austria - September 09

Joe Hurley & Colum McCann
Hurley/McCann late night, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich - post show improv

Joe Hurley & Colum McCann
Sound checking at Le Petit Palais Paris

Joe Hurley & Colum McCann
Le Petit Palais Paris - Joe soundchecks, Colum gets mic'd up pre-show

Joe Hurley & Colum McCann
Hurley/McCann Montmartre, Paris

Joe Hurley & Colum McCann
McCann/Hurley in Montmartre, Paris being filmed for French television September '09

Joe Hurley & Colum McCann
Hurley at Berlin Literature Fest
* photo by Ali Ghandtschi

Joe Hurley & Colum McCann
Hurley/McCann - Joe's Pub show with The Gents - CD release of Let The Great World Spin - The 2 comrades in arms singing the encore, Slade's "Merry X-mas Everybody."

Joe Hurley & Colum McCann
McCann/Hurley - Joe's Pub 12.08.09
CD release concert for The House That Horse Built

McCann & Hurley writing at Gibson, the songs for Let The Great World Spin
* photo by Mike Mullin

Colum McCann & Joe Hurley make the front page of the ASPEN TIMES - love the Headline, so old fashioned - 'OUT ON THE TOWN.'
Kind've expect Fred Astaire to be dancing behind them
* Photo by: Lynn Goldsmith

Hurley/McCann writing The House That Horse Built (Let The Great World Spin) at Gibson, NYC

The Legendary Tami Lynn singing "Let The Great World Spin" at Hurley/McCann CD release Joe's Pub.

All photos above (except noted) by Gina Herold


With Joe Hurley (vocals & guitar), the CD features an all-star cast of musicians including many of The Gents: Tony Shanahan - bass (Patti Smith Band), James Mastro - guitar (Ian Hunter Band), Kenny Margolis - piano (Cracker), Dennis Diken - drums (Smithereens), Matt Sweeney - guitar (Johnny Cash, Bonnie "Prince" Billy), gospel great Tami Lynn (Rolling Stones, Dr. John), soul singer/film star Antonique Smith, Joe McGinty, Faith Hahn and 6-time Grammy winner Paddy Moloney of the legendary CHIEFTAINS. The CD was produced by Don Fleming (Sonic Youth, Pete Yorn) with Joe Hurley at Think Tank, NY.


"Joe Hurley has always been a superior songwriter. He is also a singer of distinction, a great vessal of lyric poetry, a man of attitude and once upon a time a drinker of proportions epic enough to encompass visions of human grandeur in the simplest gesture of lust, punch in the face or hairline fracture of the soul. He has drawn upon all these motley talents to conjure a vision of faith in the thralls of despair on this remarkable song cycle, "The House That Horse Built," based on Colum McCann's novel "Let the Great World Spin."

Hurley's cracked, gut-spilling vocals take us through the pride and degradation of a New York street prostitute -- "My Name Is Till (You Can Call Me Sweetcakes)" -- brought to ruin at The House That Horse Built, yet still capable of understanding spiritual transcendence in the wrenching hymn "Let The Great World Spin."

Somehow a vision of Philippe Petit's gravity-defying tightrope walk between the two World Trade Center buildings becomes a prayer, a metaphor of transcendance for Till, who hangs herself from the pipes in the Tombs as her method of escape from the House That Horse Built.

"I was of this earth, and I had worth," goes the chorus. McCann and Hurley make us contemplate 9/11 as the backdrop of this morality story. The haunting music, Hurley's voice and the ethereal choir make us all root for Till as she floats away to her fate: "Let the great world spin, let me back in, let my heart swim away from the house that horse built."

John Swenson (Rolling Stone Editor, UPI syndicated music columnist, Co-author of Rolling Stone Record Guide, author of 14 music biographies including John Lennon, Bill Haley, and The Who)

"On the surface it’s a bleak tale, but the undercurrent of hope throughout is magnificent and reflected in the music."

Dan Aquilante, NY Post, 3 & 1/2 stars out of 4 - CDs of the Week

"A phenomena... lyrically compelling, wondrously sung and superbly produced by Don Fleming"

Nick West, Nick West Publisher/Music Editor of UK's Bucketfull of Brains Magazine

"Incredible! Joe Hurley is a brilliant songwriter and a truly charismatic performer."

Paddy Moloney of Ireland's legendary The Chieftains

"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 steroscopic 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, 2009 National Book Award Winner for Let The Great World Spin & best-selling novelist of Everything In This Country Must (made into Oscar-nominated film), Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness, and others.

"The CD is great. The first line of the hook is perfect!"

Ian Hunter, (Rock legend).

"New York Singer-Songwriter Joe Hurley is set to be one of the highlights of this year's Feile Festival, as his Bank Square Marquee appearance will be the first time he has performed in Belfast. The legendary artist will be entertaining fans old and new with his classic hits along with songs from his latest album "The House That Horse Built" (Let The Great World Spin). This latest release is a unique collaboration with Irish novelist Colum McCann, inspired by McCann's award-winning novel 'Let The Great World Spin'. The album features a guest appearance by iconic troubadour Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains, highlighting Hurley's Celtic roots, while fans can enjoy the usual eclectic mix of piano ballads and stinging rock & roll ."

Belfast News, (Cover Story).

"Hurley's songs are edgy, harrowing and moving, much like his muse and protagonist in this most unusual project."

Steve Rosenfeld, (NPR, ASCAP).


Recording THTHB - Mucking About in Studio with Hurley, McCann, Don Fleming, & The Musicians

The London Launch - Bloomsbury House Boat on the Thames-McCann/Hurley

Deauville Film Festival, France-Hurley, McCann, Andy Garcia, Stephane Bern

Closerie Des Lilas, Paris - Documentary Wrap - Hurley sings 'Spin' & standards with Walter, genius pianist. with McCann, Francois Busnel,
Ingunn Egset

Hurley/McCann HAMBURG FESTIVAL - It was on the good Ship...