Eamonn McCormack - Storyteller
This is the seventh album from Dubliner Eamonn McCormack, one of Ireland’s finest guitarist singer songwriters who has played, toured and recorded with legends such as ZZ Top, Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Nils Lofgren, Jan Akkerman, Pat Travers, George Thorogood, Walter Trou"Storyteller" features 11 self-penned songs. An album that will take his appeal to a much wider audience and make his International mark as one of the most exciting Irish artists around today. Sticking again to his tried and tested three-piece format (with some keyboard/piano guesting from his producer Arnie Wiegand.) this new release is about to rock the very foundations of the Blues-rock market. If you are expecting 11 X 12 bar blues forget it! This goes way beyond that….
Starting with one of the darkest chapters in the history of Ireland, The Great Famine is a dark and deeply patriotic tune that leaves no doubt about where the home for McCormack is. Powerful lyrics coupled with haunting melody give that uneasy feeling when you listen to the song. Which seems to be a good thing because we shouldn't forget the past and remember it till the rest of our days, do everything we can to prevent the repetition. This sets the tone of what had been one of the most anticipated releases of the year. McCormack's vocals carry everything you need for a song like this to do well - the confidence, emotions and a delivery close to perfection. Not to mention the musicianship which is a true delight for the ear.
Gypsy Women changes the tune slightly but maintains the somber tone as the song talks about heartbreak from love, a curse put on a man as he tries to find the way to get rid of it. The singer is desperate, refusing to put up with the situation he finds himself in. There are some fine guitar solos in the song that leave no doubt about McCormack's abilities and his experience. You can truly feel the years ofhard work put in.
Help Me Understand calms everything down and brings a classic blues in. The lyrics seem prettz appropriate to recent times, such as "who are they to tell us what to do", "who are we to judge one another", " i pray for the crazy crazy world we endure" The singer is looking to higher power for guidance but in the end, it's upon us as humans to deal with our fate and to take the path we feel is the right one.
As listen on, there is a nice mix of styles on the album, from aforementioned blues classics ( In A Dream) to heavier stuff (Cowboy Blues). For some, mixing various genres might not be a good idea but for Eamonn McCormack it feels natural and he can switch between anything he fancies and everything sounds like it was meant for him. We can find a slight lyric departure in Every Note That I Play where he confesses a love for a girl in a way that he shows her his affection by playing music, doing what he loves most but never forgetting her and realizing how much she means to him when he's away on the road.
With No Way Out tells quite a different side of a relationship, McCormack calls the girl here "a nightmare with no way out" and also " bad news follow everywhere she goes". The guitar solos are really worth extra attention here.
Storyteller stays true to its title. A fine album by fine musician, a real treat for all blues lovers.