Along with the strong historical, political and social ties between the USA and Ireland, there exists an inseparable cultural one which seeps right to the core of the musical roots of both nations. Dublin based outfit Lucky Bones are the latest band to seek to cement the link and their new album, SOMEONE’S SON, is a gratifying dose of Emerald Isle Americana sprinkled with a little bit of Texas dirt.
This follow up album to 2011’s TOGETHER WE ARE ALL ALONE sees Eamonn O’Connor and the boys once again team up with Texas producer Stephen Ceresia to create a record that’s rich in stimulating songs underpinned by a mixture of string and keyboard sound. The album tips it hat to the power of the melody and is an excellent example of how a profound approach can produce a sound that captures the spirit of the lost highway.
The eleven tracks contain occasional bursts of frenzied activity yet the underlying vibe is a more passive one where waltz like ballads guide you through the subject content of O’Connor’s mind. Examples of the more upbeat content include ‘Baby Please Don’t Pull Me Down’ and ‘Born to a Holy Land’, the latter invoking a more passionate style of song delivery. However you get the impression of the band being more drawn to a softer sound especially with ‘Forever with Wings’ and the pair of melodic back to back country feeling efforts ‘Someone’s Son’ and ‘Passion Played’.
O’Connor is joined on this record by Leon Kennedy on bass, Conor Miley on keys and assorted guitar from Peter O’Grady. Together they ensure a powerful vocal clarity decorates a collection of songs containing pockets of inspiration amidst a wealth of engaging singer-songwriter staple. ‘Broken Love Song’ with a mixture of prominent guitar and keyboard has a commercial feel to it that could open doors but the soul of the album lies within an immense climax that sees the record leap forward into ‘what next’ mode.
This climax starts to evolve in the tender sad song ‘Won’t Be Coming Home’ before maturing into the inspirational gospel-esque anthem ‘Who’s Gonna Follow Me Down’ with its sing along tendencies and ability to raise the hairs on your neck. Just when you thought the album had peaked, the closing number, ‘The Usual Places’ springs upon you as the stand out track. The introduction of fiddle to this great tune and melody really hits the spot as the band manage to bring all their sounds together to leave you desiring more. Therefore it ranks as almost the perfect final number.
Despite waiting 44 minutes until the album’s truly outstanding moment, SOMEONE’S SON is not a difficult listening experience. In fact there is sufficient instant appeal from a band successful in populating an alt-country template to warrant seeking it out and explore further the continual transatlantic liaison between the two lands of Ireland and America.