February 3rd is the release date for the new Eamonn McCormack album, and with a tour to accompany its release, these are the days, my friend.
This is dark music, and it’s roughed-up blues with a few rocks in it. There is a quote in this magazine from BB King’s daughter, Shirley King, who says that if you scratch the surface of any great song, you will find the blues. The blues have arrived, accompanied by lyrics about the criminogenic nature of drug prohibition and institutionalised war mongering.
I will have a talk through the album, and it starts off with “Living Hell,” an eight minute opener, slow and building up power;
“Oh is there a dark shadow on their soul / Blood dripping from their hands yeah / Oh the devils work in this living hell”
The vocals are distinctive, the production is crisp, the lyrics are challenging, and metaphorically vocally crawling through the pain. With child soldiers as a theme, the song was never going to back away from the evil we do.
“Hats off to Lemmy” is a decent heads down rocker, and then “Rock n’ Roll Boogie Shoes” lightens the mood with some good old fashioned rocking guitar, with those rasping vocals of Eamonn giving everything for this track; it literally has the kitchen sink thrown at it. It is about enjoying life and heading off to the dance floor.
“Lady Lindy,” an ode to the great aviator and pioneer Amelia Earhart, is one of my favourites; the lyrics are fantastic, and the dreamy mood of the theme makes it an easy listen.
I think I detected the Rory Gallagher influence here and there, and “Living in the Now” is deep bluesy sound, with the slower ballad offering a soulful few minutes mid album.
“Letter to My Son” he sits down to warn the boy about falling prey to the temptations of greed, disrespect, and hatred. The vocals tell his son that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as he learns from them. This smooths out any bumps that generous and unconditional love might cause. It’s a slow, thoughtful blues number, with vocals that are almost spoken in places.
The story of Geronimo is about the plight of the Apache native American tribes. This is a heavy track with a grungy guitar sound that shows why more passionate parents don’t write letters like this to their kids.
Eamonn’s humorous side and his smartphone addiction with “Social Media Blues.” Eamonn and his young rhythm department have been called a modern-day power trio numerous times, and songs like these show the diversity of the music on offer and the breadth of his appeal.
My personal favourite closed the album, “The Magic of the Slieve League,” It is gritty and determined.
Download for the album is linked here.
You need to have lived to sing the blues, and maybe you need to have felt pain to connect to it. Eamonn McCormack does not duck the pain, he embraces the mess we make. I need to listen to the album again, one play through does not do it justice. He will rip up the blues chart again and maintain the reputation he has built up in recent years.
Eamonn McCormack on tour:
20 – Hardenberg – Louis’s Blues Tavern (Solo Concert) NL
21 – Dinteloord – De Boonefooi (Solo concert) NL
22 – Spijkenisse – Murry’s Music Club (Solo Concert) NL
26 – Weert – De Bosuil NL
02 – Eppstein – Wunderbar Weith Welt D
03 – Koln – Yard Club D
04 – Offenbach / Frankfurt, – KjK D
11 – Hengelo – Metropool NL
12 – Drachten – Induna NL
16 – Straubing – Raven Music Club D
17 – Freudenburg – Ducsaal Musik Club D
18 – Fürth – Kofferfabrik D
28 – Bremen – Meisenfrei D – TICKETS
30 – Lubeck – Riders Cafe DApril
19 – Verviers – Spirit of B
21 – Oberhausen – Festival D
27 – Vienna – Reigen Club A
28 – Bratislava – Muzeum Obchodu SLK
29 – Budapest – Backstage Music Club tbc H
30 – Brno Czech Republic – Jazz & Blues Club tbc CZ
10 – Dinxperlo – Charity concert NL
22 – Dresden – Tanje Ju D
23 – Prague – Jazzdock, tbc CZ
Review By Stevie Ritson.
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