Longtails Pawtucket Blues

Paul Loughran's reflections on life, love and the world in general are expressed in an
Almost non-stop rap-style of singing on this c.d. His Dublin accent lends appeal to the scenes as he paints them with his descriptions.

I find each song tells a story as you are taken on a tour of Irish heritage, historical events and plain ‘oul p….ups which is very much the order of the day, when you're young with no cares or complications. For me, certainly no spring chicken, it resurrects happy memories and on listening to the easy-going tempos or rich sensual ballads of this band I feel an urge to return to some of the wonderful places and locations in their lyrics, if for nothing else but to reminisce!

I'll start with the wonderful soft and melodic ballad, 'Mathematical Formula' since it is probably my favourite song. This piece of music involves a lot of Mandolin, which is intricately filtered through after each verse, with lyrics combining philosophy, history and praise for those peoples, races and tribes who fought to keep their heritage alive. Tales of heroism are portrayed in the deep, profound and dramatic words.

Reading their blog on 'MySpace', I learned of this band's input into the efforts to keep the hill of Tara and its valley alive and can just imagine how amazing the occasion must have been, with the sounds songs and stories expressing such lovely timeless musical genius as is performed here on this c.d.

'Starry Dublin Night' is started with a beautiful catchy guitar intro. There's a choppy drumbeat and still this number is laid back, with sweet acoustic guitar chords throughout.
There are a few nice riffs filtering through, with interesting lyrics depicting a happy scenario of a bunch of lads, knocking about up at the Wicklow Mountains. With a bag of mushrooms?! These days of enormous drug seizures off the Irish Coast, it actually sounds really innocent and funny!

They reminisce together and are all loving the sense of adventure. For me, the remarkably outstanding characteristic of 'Longtails' noticeable in this number has got to be the lead singer's ability to keep his Dublin accent, making the story even more charming!

Then you're brought to a completely different scene; Talk of the 'Black Stuff' and 'St. James's' transport you to the Dublin City we all know and love. You can almost see that big black wooden gate, smell a pint of Guinness and feel a lump in your throat as you hear this recount of 'sailing down the Liffey'.

The chorus is easy to sing along to and you've a magic finish with mandolin riffs and a big resounding guitar chord to take you to the end of your trip!

Comparisons are something I tend to avoid when I'm listening to a band, to review them since I believe each band has an individualism that should set them apart, if they are worth reviewing! However in certain instances, I hear a tiny resemblance to a song by 'The Saw Doctors'. Perhaps I'm wrong and open to argument on this point! Anyway a very sweet and extremely good piece of music is 'All I need'.

This is a rap-style song which sounds like a love song, with one or two wind instruments doing gorgeous background music throughout the chorus. Is it FLUTE or OBOE? Both perhaps!

Whatever they are they create a wonderfully full and dreamy sound! I love the harmony in the chorus sung by a beautiful crisp female voice to perfection! There's a lovely solo by the wind instrument once again to build up to the final chorus where you get a combination of choppy drumbeat and contrasting romantic flute/oboe riffs, almost angelic in beauty and drama!

Last but not least I left 'Pawtucket Blues' till last because it is the theme song of this c.d. and requires quite a lot of listening to really get the gist of it! This is yet another rap-style song a little like a Bob Dylan number. However, there are some lovely chords, changes in pace and remarkably unique touches to give it a stamp of originality!

Paul Loughran's amazing breath control as he rolls out line after line of fast-moving foot stomping lyrics has to be commended here. Bassist Garrett (Gar) Concannon's input is constant throughout this number and makes it particularly special. The gentle rhythm guitar and choppy drumbeat (sounds like bongo) give an interesting effect. A nice cheeky STOP in the second verse, followed by echo-style background vocals adds mystery!

There's a sustained note sung by Paul in the middle eight and then the use of rhythm and that unfinished line, leave you guessing what's next and there's a little bit of wit if you're paying attention! The last bit of this number is done with sweet melodic chords, Paul finishing with the phrase 'The Blues' like a (wolf howling at the moon)! That's the only way I can think to describe it but it's that catchy use of words to great effect, along with strategically placed music breaks, that to me give these lads an advantage over most bands trying to blaze a trail in the music industry. On top of all this of course is the fact that new and refreshing instrumentals are played to perfection creating a backdrop for them, so that they can tell their tales through lyrics or sing a heartfelt love song!

Review written by: Angela Macari-O'Looney --

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