artist: Cian Nugent
title: Childhood, Christian Lies & Slaughter
released: 2008
artwork: Wouter Vanhaelemeesch



1. I Will Take The Top Of A Tall Cedar And Break Off A Tender Sprout
2. First Time Away / The Wagoner's Lad
3. The Emerald Tablet
4. Baka Danse
5. Knots
6. Abyssal Plain
7. The Ceremony
8. Initiation

Cian Nugent is a 19-year-old guitarist from Dublin, Ireland who ‘s compositions incorporate squicky pre-war blues, Appalachian string band music, modern classical and the Takoma school of guitar playing. His music boasts an orchestrated and fully instrumented sound that is playful and eerie at the same time.
November 2007 in Dublin, Nugent recorded what was only his fourth live performance. AudioMER released “Childhood, Christian Lies and Slaughter” in collaboration with Jozef Van Wissems Incunabulum label.
Included on the album is Cian’s version of “Wagoner’s Lad” by 1920s Appalachian folk singer Buell Kazee, and a highlight performance of the bouncy “Baka Danse,” with its ragtime and early jazz styling. An allround impressive set that prompted many to place young Nugent along giants like Leo Kottke, Bert Jansch and Robbie Basho.

Begin oktober vond Het Time Of Rivers Festival plaats in de Space Gallery in Portland, Maine. Dit festival bood een staalkaart van het huidige muzikale avant folk-landschap. Begenadigde gitaristen als Jack Rose, Matt Valentine en Glenn Jones, die hun inspiratie deels bij de Noord-Amerikaanse folkgeschiedenis halen, werden hier afgewisseld met ander goed volk dat zich meer op drone folk concentreert: Fursaxa, Visitations, Zaimph en Steve Gunn. 
Tussen deze klinkende namen, waarbij zeker Jozef van Wissem en Joshua Burkett niet mogen ontbreken, prijkte die van ene Cian Nugent.
 De negentienjarige Ier mag nu al tot het legertje van gitaarhelden in de lijn van Robbie Basho en John Fahey gerekend worden. Childhood, Christian Lies & Slaughter is een live registratie van het vierde concert dat Nugent ooit speelde.
 Nugent hanteert een stijl die uitermate verhalend is en waarin de melodieën elkaar subtiel opvolgen. Het resultaat is nooit te druk of te overladen. Daarnaast integreert Nugent de stilte als element in zijn speelstijl, wat overpeinzend aandoet. Ondanks hun eenvoud hebben Nugents nummers een rijke textuur, die zich bij iedere luisterbeurt meer prijsgeeft.
Het hoogtepunt van dit eerste officiële werkstukje is Abyssal Plain, een nummer waarin de melodie nog wat beklijvender is dan de rest van Childhood, Christian Lies & Slaughter. Als blauwdruk van Nugents talent is dit alvast een imposant schijfje.
Hans van der Linden

Psychedelic Folk
This is a live recording of Cian Nugent and with a closer listen I am still amazed of the rich melodic range, with freeing rhythm played tunes of his, a rich world. I'm not sure where the title refers to, but receiving this after having finished my lecture on the heritage and causes of Christianity it fitted there well enough (the lecture meant to me a freeing myself of some inhabited and controlled processes of experiencing and thinking). Cian Nugent himself sounds to me like a free spirit with his guitar playing, controlled, contemplative, descriptive and above all very natural. Highly recommended: he deserves to be considered amongst the greats, in a modest way of being there, to create space for a timeless zone of contemplation.

Downtown Music Gallery
I find this disc to be consistently superb and often sublime. 
Cian writes contemplative, melodic and somewhat bluesy songs that 
always ring true. The one cover, Baka Dance, has more of an older, 
folky theme, but all of the songs have an organic, human quality that 
feels just right. If this was released in the mid-70's, it would fit 
perfectly in the Takoma catalogue with John Fahey and Leo Kottke. 
Pretty great company for a young whippersnapper like Cian Nugent.

We first heard Cian Nugent on the recent volume of Tompkin Square's Imaginational Anthem series. For such a young newcomer (he's still a teenager!) to the ever crowded solo acoustic scene, his track was a highlight among the more seasoned performers like Steffen Basho-Jungens and R. Keenan Lawler. Childhood, Christian Lies & Slaughter documents a live performance (his fourth ever!) in Nugent's home town of Dublin, Ireland. Released on Jozef Van Wissem's Incunabulum imprint, the performance showcases the talent that has folks turning heads. Sweetly beautiful melodies that swing and swirl into complex and melancholic knots. Of course the Takoma influences are ever-present but they lean toward Leo Kottke rather than John Fahey in using early American song-form structures. Yet Nugent's playing also draws from Davy Graham's folk-blues raga style as well as Balkan gypsy rhythms that offer something slightly different than we've heard before. Something wonderously ineffable that we can't quite put our fingers on, but makes us ever curious to hear more.

Other Music
A stunning live set from this 19-year-old Irish guitarist, just one lone acoustic guitar and the weight of history riding lightly on his back. Nugent is strongly influenced by Fahey and early folk, blues and traditional English and Irish music, and in his nimble fingers the six-string fairly sings with its past and its possibilities. What else is there to say? Spare, simple playing that is rich with emotion and truly beautiful.