I really like this album a lot. It seems to have been made for the right reason which is simply to get a set of good songs out into the world. Danielson is a powerful singer-songwriter who wrote all the songs here some written over a number of years others written just before they were recording. Danielson has a voice that remind s me of a number of singers like, for instance, Robert Earl Keen. The producing by Andy Dee, formally of my old favourites Molly and The Heymakers, is spot on tough and tender as need be. Danielson calles his music soulbilly and that as good a description as any for his from the heart songs. He recorded in his native Kentucky and in Minnesota and these songs have heart and a heartland and never feel forced or unnatural they feel like song from a man who has lived a little and loved a little - even when he lost that love. She Won't Say Goodbye sums that up so well with its tender backing of nylon string guitar and lap steel. This is followed two songs later by Start Out By Saying Goodbye a song deliver with feeling over another understated backing with pedal steel from John Ely of Asleep At The Wheel. More full on and rockin' is Your Guitar wherein Egon wishes he was a particular girl's guitar - well why not. By way of contrast The Girl In The Yellow Cotton Dress is more acoustic/bluegrass in style. One Rock At A Time is funkier with some swirling organ leading the ensemble getting into a groove. There's not a bad song here and Egon Danielson is a well worth checking out and as his website has the songs as MP3 you can listen or download as is you preference but either way have a listen. I don't think that you will be dissapointed. www.egondanielson.com
This UK band make a rather good racket. This five piece have delivers a very credible album of original songs that hit the alt.country/country-rock buttons. They add harmonica, banjo, violin and keyboards over the bass, drums and guitars bedrock and as all members sing have a varied and lively vocal presence. Some songs like Refrigerator Blues have a more bluesy sensibility that nicely contrasts with the more country Wasting Time. Cumberland Breeze could be equally be about a breeze in England's North East or one coming from the river that runs through Nashville. Either way it's one of the albums stand-out tracks with a relaxed harmonious vibe. We Can Fly has a uptempo west coast (UK or LA) feel with a strong melody and some fine guitar. Credit to Nick Beere for his production skill in creating a sound that has a full feel despite what I would imagine would be a relatively minor recording budget. Jesus In A Box also utilizes a darker voice that has shades of Edgar Broughton. Harmonies and organ abound on Come My Way's full sound. The album closes with the west coast harmonies of Black Cat. A versatile and varied album that easily fits under the roots rock/alt.country tag but one that is more harmonious, melodic and life affirming that much that falls loosely into that category. The Snakes have bite and along with the likes of Hank Wangford are making music that should be given credit for being something that draws for a source that is largely from the USA but one that is filtered through music that was part of the fabric of musical forms on this side of the Atlantic too. www.the-snakes.com
On there new album, with a revised line-up, this acoustic band draw as much from traditional folk songs that were at the heart of the music that became bluegrass in America as from the original songs. Songs written in the main by Pat McGarvey who has been central to the band and its development since they founded. A former member of the Coal Porters this project is darker and rooted in the life of working communities. McGarvey's banjo is the key and leading instrument on many of these songs. Previously they were seen as a bluegrass styled band but here the folk tradition of parts of the UK would seem to be a viable influence. The acapella Those Little Grains Of Sand would be a case in point. Indeed the vocals are a vital and primary component of the music here. It always has , of course but here it seems to have become earthier and less tied to a outside source. A direct tie to the land is expressed in songs Like TA9. This is undoubtably the best album they have produced and one where they further their own identity and sound. The album was recorded in a more spontaneous setting which gives the music an edge a vibrancy that is both simple and ruggedly realistic. A new play for today. The musical skills of these musicians many who have come from a legacy of folk bands is never in doubt. Rather it is a potent mix of all the elements that brings together numerous strand in a potent whole. I may be a dark whole but its is one that resonates.
This new album find the Irish songwriter in the capable production hands of fellow artist Ben Reel. Have made previous album in the US this album was recorder in Monaghan. The end result is a slice of powerful roots rock. Songs with a kick and some substance. The title song was co-written by McLoughlin with Tommy Womack, while other songs were written with Reel and the closing Treeline is a co-write with Sergio Webb. All are topped with a hearty vocal delivery by McLoughlin over a soild backing that includes Ben Reel on acoustic and electric guitars with locals Ronnie O'Flynn on bass, Michael Black on drums, John McCullogh on keyboards. McLoughlin also shares the guitar playing duties. This is grown up robust music that draws from several music forms to create an album that has balls. The songs are memorable, the more so with repeated play. Tony McLouhglin has been around for some time making albums that his fans love but have never really made waves outside of that which is a pity as he is an artist with quite a bit to offer. He may not be as know as Henry McCullough and heaven knows Henry flies under the radar too but this album will likely appeal to those who like Henry's similar blend of blues, r 'n'b and country. A healthy roots stew that should give satisfaction to those who like the music with some age and dirt on it.