steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Kieran McGee

"Ash Wednesday" CD

Drunken Cow

Genres: folk-rock, country-folk, indie pop

Art Collins Management
66 New Street
Pine Bush. NY 12566

July 8 - 15 2002

Kieran McGee makes country-influenced folk rock that appeals quite a bit to me, and will surely be of interest to fans of the genre.  At times uppity, at times touching, McGee reels through a whole number of emotions and influences on Ash Wednesday.  Nods are given to all sorts of folk and country musicians, including Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash and even some of the Beatles' work.  "Last Forever", for example, is a touching piece of folk-rock, while "Wind Up In The World" is a more traditional ditty, succeeding in being both upbeat and sweet.

Perhaps the most notable about this album is McGee's expertise for songwriting.  Throughout the duration of these twelve wonderful songs, he shows his skill for writing folk songs that are both complex and catchy.  Despite his young age, his songs reveal a musical maturity that is unparalleled by many of the older composers on the scene.  Take "Blessing In Disguise", for example.  Two guitars combine to form a beautiful, yet detailed instrumental layer.  Then, in the foreground, McGee is singing about the girl he loves.  He also incorporates seamless drumming and bass into the piece, all to wonderful effect.  Throughout the course of the track, it's obvious that McGee knows what he's doing - and how to do it well.

This, McGee's second release after 1997's Left For Dead (which he recorded at age 15!), will appeal to those who want more of his special brand of irresistible folk-pop.  Fans of Bob Dylan, Paula Frazer, and Gram Parsons will also find this to be quite enjoyable.  From start to finish, McGee had me walking through the halls of his less-than-perfect world - full of both love and despair.  Thank you, Kieran - your album is an experience I will never forget.


Matt Shimmer