- 06 Apr 20
IRISH BLUES GUITARIST OVERDUE CREDIT AT HOME
Storyteller is the seventh album from Eamonn McCormack, globe-trotting Irish guitar-supremo and songwriter. It comprises eleven original tracks written by McCormack himself, fleshed out with a basic trio line-up with McCormack taking care of voice and guitar duties.
The opener ‘The Great Famine’ is a dramatic and angry retelling of an ignominious chapter of Britain’s colonisation, with McCormack’s voice repeatedly demanding an explanation while his guitar wails in anguish. In contrast, the theme of ‘Gypsy Women’ is a mere retread of a lyrical cliché and is saved only by McCormack’s expressive guitar and harmonica. ‘Tie One On’ rattles along in top gear, his voice in natural storytelling mode as he pleads, with no little humour, for rescue in his hour of need. There’s a no-nonsense ZZ Top feel to ‘Cowboy Blues’, a cheeky tale about a guy who set out to be a country act but ended up as a bluesman. The slow and lumbering ‘Every Note That I Play’ positively smoulders, a convincing love song that evokes memories of Phil Lynott. Storyteller ends with a raucous ‘Make My Move’, the band full of bluster and spirit, with McCormack firing on every cylinder in his artillery, his finger-blistering guitar owing a debt to Rory G.
Under the direction of producer Arne Wiegand, who adds deft keyboards along the way, Storyteller depicts an artist pouring body, mind and spirit into his music, so it’s hard to fault McCormack’s commitment to the cause. He’s also ably supported by the rampaging bass of Edgar Karg and Max Junge-Poppe stoking the engine on drums. The album comes on like a live-in-the-studio romp, its admirable lack of studio finessing offering itself as a sharp contrast to to-day’s over-polished norm. But given how well ‘The Great Famine’ works, it might be worth his while undergoing further application of the blues in an Irish context.