Tony McLoughlin “True Native” (Fuego, 2019)

Irish veteran Tony McLoughlin has something of the late Jimmy LaFavre about his delivery and style, particularly where his grizzled, hardscrabble vocals are concerned. However, despite his songs also being the sort that haven’t brushed the dirt of their boots (a good thing) they all tend to the slightly chugging; solid but not particularly remarkable. Populated with outlaws, lost highways, wide-open spaces and the like they sit snugly in the Americana furrow but have little to truly engage the listener about them and when the opening pair extend to more than ten minutes in total it becomes rather too much of a good thing.

All are originals apart from a disappointing cover of Butch Hancock’s ‘If You Were A Bluebird’ is disappointing which adds nothing to the original. A little variety is provided by the mid-paced ‘The Colour Of Spring’ and the slow picking ‘Mercury’ which ends things on an appropriately downbeat and slightly mournful note. Producer Phillip Donnelly does a decent job and also plays some fine slide guitar to help things out but ultimately there’s not really any spark here to make the set stand out.

Solid but not particularly remarkable
5/10

Author: Jeremy Searle

Deputy Editor & Videos Editor at Americana UK, promoter at Greenbird Promotions, writer for R2 and Maverick magazines, possessor of more CDs than is entirely decent and inveterate hoarder.

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