- 01 Feb 19
BEGUILING FOLK FROM IRISH SINGER-SONGWRITER
Ever since Cork-bred tunesmith John Blek parted ways with the Rats, he’s been on a one man mission to make as much music as possible. Thistle & Thorn is the prolific singer-songwriter’s latest opus, and it’s his most hook-filled, consistently enjoyable work to date. Recorded in Clonakilty and Kentucky, boasting collaborations with his partners-in-crime Brian Casey, Davie Ryan, Joan Shelly and Nathan Salsburg, it’s a sweet and seductive opus, full of widescreen stories and relatable tales of life and love.
Inspired by Irish, British and American folk, Blek’s fingerpicked guitar style is front and centre throughout, with the likes of ‘Colours Rising’ and ‘Rise Up’ evoking early ’70s Fleetwood Mac. For all the charm of those tracks though, it’s his duets with Joan Shelly that are the undisputed highlights. In particular, country-peppered ballad ‘The Body’ features magnetic performances from both singers, while the playful and poetic ‘Lily In The Garden’ is impossible to resist.