Ruairi Hurley: Quiet Intensity

Hurley Ruairi Summerfest 2006 online

One of my favorite Cleveland musicians, Dublin native Ruairi Hurley is a staple of his adopted city’s music scene. Dude has appeared regularly with a couple of different lineups, among them the famed Pitch the Peat and Fior Gael, more than a few sit-ins with The Portersharks and any number of pickup sessions with some of Northeast Ohio’s most talented musicians.

Tough to say where he’s more supreme, his guitar or vocals. When he’s on both you’re in for a hell of a ride. Whether he knows it or not, he’s established his signature the past few years with a driving version of “Black Vincent” that’d make Richard Thompson think Ruairi wrote the damn thing.

This is a B&W film scan from the last edition of the now defunct Irish Summerfest back in 2006 at Classic Park in Eastlake, Ohio. Hurley was performing with the talent-heavy-to-the-tipping-point Brace Yourself Bridget. The shot’s a bit soft; it was a challenge working with the light (or lack thereof) inside a tent and shooting through a Sigma 300mm zoom.

Still, I like it – because it capture’s the man’s quiet intensity. Whenever, wherever and with whomever he performs, Hurley never disappoints.

– TMulloy