‘Stone Walls and Street Lights’ New Road - fresh as today’s sunrise, sharp as a butcher’s knife(August 26, 2016)
The roots of tradition run wide, deep and far, crossing boundaries and finding common ground all over the world. Proof if any were needed of this assertion lies in the music of New Road, four guys that take their inspirations from Irish traditional and Appalachian music, mixing together and combining with touches of blues and old-time to produce an album a fresh as today’s sunrise and as sharp as a butcher’s knife.
‘Stone Walls and Street Lights’, includes originals and traditionals, jigs, reels, slides and songs, the result is an album that engages from the first and holds until the last. Along the way there’s striking tune sets like ‘Road to Lisdoovarńa/ Keep the Old Ark Rolling’, ‘Errigal Braes/ Cam Ye By Athol’ and the emotive ‘McCaigue’s Waltz/ The Orphan’, deeply involving songs like the ‘Greasy Coat’ flush with low down and dirty vocals, and a heavily blues tinged take on ‘Galway Shawl’ coupled perfectly to three reels. The high energy journey continues with fine arrangements of some classic tunes ... ‘Johnny O’Leary’s‘I’d Rather Be Married than Left Alone’ with ‘Willie Ready’s Favourite’ coupled to ‘Padraig O’Keefe’s Slide’ before they run through some tunes from celebrated names in Irish traditional music ‘Tommie Pott’s Hop Jig/ The Rocky Road to Dublin/ John Kelly’s Hop Jig’ and a superbly different take on Robert Burns’ ‘Now Westlin Winds’ with vocals by Seamie O’Dowd.
New Road are Leonard Barry (Uilleann pipes,whistles) Rick Epping (harmonica, concertina, 5-string banjo, Jaw harp, vocals) Andy Morrow (fiddle) and Seamie O’Dowd (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, vocals) with guests Cathy Jordan (vocals) Johnny “Ringo” McDonagh (bodhrán) and Shane McGowan (guitar).
Find New Road and their music here: www.newroadmusic.com
Review: Tim Carroll