Sixth album from Texan Troubadour resonates with its stories and musicanship.
Within the ruins of the Chisos Mining Company, Keegan McInroe has discovered a rich songwriting seam. Recorded in a mud brick church (Santa Inez) in the ghost town of Terlingua, he and co-producer Bill Palmer have used the region’s imagery to great effect on new album ‘Agnes’.
Opening track ‘Old Road’ written with fellow bluesman Matt Tedder, is heavy with harmonica and tequila-soaked vocal chords. McInroe states: “The whole damn thing is just circles and cycles”. ‘Agnes’ is a lovely song that Kristoffersson would be proud to call his own. The church’s namesake inspired McInroe to craft something that highlights the album’s overall theme: “one of the more unfortunate aspects of the human condition is the seeming inability to leave the pure, be it nature or the individual, unmolested” he laments in his notes.
Some songs are bang up to date with their message and politically relevant. ‘Then You’ll Know’ is one of two tracks co-written with teenage prodigy Jack Barksdale. Using a Native American proverb it highlights the environmental destruction ongoing in the US: “Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realise we cannot eat money”. ‘Talkin’ Site Unseen Blues’ uses humour to highlight the very serious threat to communities from those buying property for the purpose of Airbnb. ‘La Puerta’ tells the story of former Presidio County sheriff Rick Thompson. This is the Texas found in books by J Todd Scott. Other highlights are ‘Stoned and Broken Hearted’ and the final Dylan-esque track ‘Chisos Mission Blues’.
The location’s feel has definitely been captured by McInroe on this album and the musicianship is just about excellent. It sounds like these nine tracks were easy takes and everyone enjoyed the recording process. It’s well worth a listen and a visit.