McGeehan has shown us he's not afraid of waltzes; there's three of them here. Kenny Baker sure loved a waltz; he taught me to like one, too. Ellery Marshall's banjo playing was just right all the way through, particularly on Monsac, a tune coming in at about 100 beats per minute. Pulling off a slow banjo tune is not easy. Salute.
CD: Your Love For Me Is Gold
Artist: Shane McGeehan
Artist Website: https://shanemcgeehan.com/
Label: Patuxent Music
Label Website: www.pxrec.com
So, I live in a sheltered world. I don't get out as much as I used to. If I did, perhaps I'd have stumbled across Shane McGeehan much earlier somewhere along the road. It is unfortunate for me that I didn't. In a visit to my home over coffee a couple of months ago, Bluegrass Standard publisher Keith Barnacastle handed me a manila envelope stuffed with CDs. Having to make a short road trip, which is the perfect time to listen to some new music, and without even looking, I grabbed the first four CDs I came to. One of them was Shane McGeehan's Your Love For Me Is Gold.
I listen to a lot of CDs, and the ones that really get my attention are those with original music, with a high “want to hear it again” factor, a to my ear, a unique sound that lets me hear the real artist, which is not always the artist thinks his music should sound like. These aren't so easy to achieve. Shane McGeehan did it on the first listen.
McGeehan gives us twelve songs. Out of the twelve, eight are McGeehan originals. That's 66.6%. The songs are:
1. Your Love For Me Is Gold
2. Empty Space
3. The Farmer
4. Screamin' At The TV
5. Stranger In The House
6. The Lovesick Teenager
7. Communication Blues
8. Wilted Lily Waltz
9. Don't Step Over An Old Love
10. La Danse De Mardi Gras
11. There's Always Room In Hell
If you are looking for blistering breakdowns at 170 beats per minute, this is not your CD. If you are looking for music that is not rushed, but listenable at 100-130 beats per minute, and is genuine without being forced, this just could be the one you're looking for. McGeehan assembles a host of musicians to accompany him. He mostly handles the bass and lead vocals, but gives us a great taste of his guitar playing. The musicians are: Chris Luquette, guitar; Ellery Marshall, banjo; Brett Kretzer, mandolin; Alex Hargreves, fiddle; Jack Devereux, fiddle; Christian Apuzzo, vocals; Jason Borisoff, guitar; Claire Toulemonde McGeehan, vocals. I hope I didn't miss anyone.
My favorites are Your Love for Me Is Gold, Empty Space, The Farmer, Screamin' At The TV (a peppy mandolin instrumental that wins on its own merit plus extra points for the title), Communication Blues, Wilted Lily Waltz, La Dense De Mardi Gras, and There's Always Room In Hell. Kretzker's percussive attack makes the notes just spring off his mandolin, Devereux and Hargreaves handle the fiddle admirably, but I particularly enjoyed the closeness of the Devereux's fiddle on Monsac, and Hargreave's nice touch on Wilted Lily Waltz.
McGeehan has shown us he's not afraid of waltzes; there's three of them here. Kenny Baker sure loved a waltz; he taught me to like one, too. Ellery Marshall's banjo playing was just right all the way through, particularly on Monsac, a tune coming in at about 100 beats per minute. Pulling off a slow banjo tune is not easy. Salute. Chris Luquette puts the guitar in there all the way through but particuarly on Monsac where his clear, easy playing stays right in the pocket. McGeehan's guitar playing harkens back to an earlier time on his song There's Always Room In Hell, which is just his vocals and his guitar. I was transported right back to my own mentors, hearing them in his guitar just as if they were playing right in front of me. If I had to name a most favorite, it'd be There's Always Room In Hell.
Recorded Conveyer Studios in Brooklyn, NY, and mixed at Jim Robeson Productions in Gaithersburg, MD, this CD has a round shoulder, not a hard edge, which fits the music pefectly. The listening experience was pleasureable all the way through. Salute,not only to the musicians, but also to those who capture it and make it easy on our ears.
Want to hear it again factor? It's pretty high. It's been spinning in the CD player the whole time I've been writing. Without pretending at anything, as unhurried as a catfish floating down a lazy creek, this CD still has my attention. Maybe it's the lack of pretentiousness that hooked me.
I sure do like real music.