Dempsey Broughton’s Off By Heart: track-by-track

Dempsey Broughton’s Off By Heart is the duo’s third album and is released on 19 January 2017. Track notes by Joe Brougton (JD) and Kevin Dempsey (KD).

RESSURECTION JACK (Dempsey/Paterson)

I came across this powerful anti-racist poem, that was written by Irish poet Evangeline Paterson, in a book, ‘The Ring Of Words’ edited by Roger McGough. The words scanned like a song so I decided to write a simple tune to go with it. The tune was written in France, at our fiddle and guitar summer school, La Moreau, Bercloux. KD


A Traditional Irish song with a lot of political references that are of course as relevant today as ever. We heard this sung for the first time in Cincinnati by Rosie Carson and Simone Westerkamp. KD

THE POST-TRUTH REEL (Broughton/Dempsey)

I’ve heard it said that we are living in the “post-truth era”. Given the incredible amount of utter crap that people believe these days I can understand the sentiment.  The piece has slightly angry bits, some positive bits and a bit of reflection. Perhaps the notion of “post-truth” rather understates the fact that so many people in power and in the media just constantly lie but whatever you call it, we are certainly living in worrying times. The tune is really good and not depressing though… honest. JB

JUST BEFORE THE NEWS (Broughton/Dempsey)

This is a slightly curious tune we were working on just before we got the news of Ernesto de Pascale’s untimely death on February 13th 2011. KD

DE PASCALE (Broughton/Dempsey)

A tune written for our good friend Ernesto who was a well-known Italian music journalist, independent producer, composer, musician and founder of “Il Popolo del Blues”. He was a hugely influential presence on the Italian music scene and across the world, loved and missed by many. KD

At various times Ernesto inspired me, rescued me, gave me opportunities, introduced me to great music and great people (Giulia, Michele and others) and I think about him often. JB

WICKED POLLY (Trad) With Additional Violins by Paloma Trigas

A Traditional song from the Ozarks, collected by Vance Randolph. This is the oldest collected American folk song and is clearly rooted in Puritan theology. Polly rejects the warning of her friends, asserting she can turn to God when she is ready and he will no doubt save her! KD

LA MOREAU PARTS 1 & 2 (Broughton/Dempsey)

There are two parts to this piece because sometimes in life there just are two clear sections to things. We don’t always want things to change but life is full of surprises, good and bad. We wrote this tune in honour of one of our favourite places and for some amazing people. The two sections are really just two versions of the same tune and I guess that’s the point, some things remain the same even in times of great change. The past doesn’t disappear just because you’re not there anymore.  JB


A beautiful traditional song from Sussex, although some say its origin is Irish. I heard this sung by Bob Copper on the album Song for Every Season with the title ‘My Love Has Gone’. Although I recorded this song with Swarbs Lazarus on the album Live and Kicking in 2007, I always wanted to record a studio version. KD

THE RECOVERY SHUFFLE (Broughton/Dempsey)

As soon as I heard Kev play this riff I loved it and wrote a jig to go with it. At the time we recorded this Kev was recovering from a court appearance for speeding, hence the title. This track and a couple of others were used from the session on that day because, funnily enough, all the tempos happened to be spot on.  JB

Off The Heart was recorded, Mixed and mastered at SAE Studio by Joe and Kev. Joe’s violin and mandolin made John Langstaffe. Kev’s guitar is a Taylor 815 CE. All tracks arranged by Dempsey/Broughton. Photography and Design by Tom Chapman.

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