Paul McClure “Songs For Anyone” (Rutland Troubadour / Clubhouse Records, 2016)

"Paul McClure - 2016"So it’s roundly acknowledged that McClure is one of the nicest men in music, and my experience is that’s difficult to disagree with, the Rutland Troubadour returns here an album of exceptional quality, which is nice. McClure is a terrific Ray Davies style songwriter, I love the female vocals that are all over the album as well, and the Eagles feel, a bit of a lazy analogy but it is so true, it is that West Coast, Laurel Cannon feel, sun drenched road music.  ‘Unremarkable Me’ couldn’t be further from the truth, wonderfully structured as a record, the kitchen sink nature of the themes in his songs and deftly record mean this should be pn many a listeners best of 2016 list.

If you want lovers’ tales, good times spent with friends songs, McClure has it – a really positive feeling record, and it induces that in the listener.  It uplifts, he just makes you feel better, and he’s embraced that Bobby Gillespie mantra of “Give out but don’t give up”.  There are some striking similarities to Gillespie elsewhere on the record too, that period of Primal Scream where they jangled indie-pop style.

It is nice to hear the harmonica used on a record properly, not to fill space or worse to cover inadequate guitar playing, and being of one of the UK’s coolest labels Clubhouse suits McClure, cool is the watch word for everything here.  Plus as a fan of male millinery he has a great song on why we favour a stingy brim pork pie – although it’s not one to play your kids.

An album that has plenty of contrast, light and shade, and even the title tracks similarity to Pink Floyd can’t put me off; it’s a marvellous skip through the mind and the mind-set of the modern songwriter.  As the man says “drop the needle and we’ll be gone”………….

Author: Rudie Humphrey

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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