‘Pickin’ n Clickin’’ - Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys - leaves you wanting more(November 11, 2013)
Mention any music style and opinions become predictable. Roots or folk, bluegrass or country, rock or blues, each one forms an image, visual or aural. Then along comes Canadian band Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys with ‘Pickin’ n Clickin’’. Definitely old-time but there’s everything else too – you name it from the list above and it breaks through somewhere in their repertoire. Add to the blend a penchant for rockabilly energy, lamenting ballads, spirited reels, enough drive to move mountains and you have a fair idea of what to expect from ‘Pickin’ n Clickin’’.
The range style, influence and adaptation that’s on-tap across ‘Pickin’ n Clickin’’makes it a hard task to pin down. There’s the fiddle-driven headlong rush of ‘Champagne Polka, the bass punch of ‘Gonna Get Out’, and the scintillating fingerwork on ‘Old Joe Clark’ from cover to original to tradition, this album sparkles. Pure depth of feeling pours out of MacKeeman’s fiddle through ‘Jim’s Lament’, while the mournful resignation of ‘O’Halloran Road’ is disturbing and at the same time inspiring. With 14 tracks ranging far and wide across their musical landscape ‘Pickin’ n Clickin’’ takes you on a journey that will leave you ready and waiting for the next outing.
Adding their talents to ‘Pickin’ n Clickin’’are Gordie MacKeeman (fiddle, vocals) MarkGeddes (bass, drums, percussion, mandolin, banjo) Thomas Webb (bass, banjo, guitar, pedal steel guitar, vocals) and Peter Cann (guitars, vocals) with added instrumentation from Nathan Wiley (12 string guitar, lap steel guitar, drums, percussion, keys, harmony vocals) Dale Desroches (drums) Meaghan Blanchard and Hannah Rose (harmony vocals) Michael Prendergast (accordion) Jon Matthews (low D whistle) and Mike Dixon (backup vocals).
Reviewer: Tom Franks