Some songs – they get to you from the first listen. Sometimes its a hard rocking punch that lifts and energises and informs and sometimes its the capture of an emotion so familiar it is as if someone has been rooting around in your soul. ‘Tomorrow’s had Enough of Me‘, as you might guess from the title, is one of the latter. James Houlahan inhabits an empty weariness that’s shot through with regrets over wasted times, wasted efforts and the endless exhaustion of not quite achieving. He sings “endless hours on the road, where I’m busy being free” and it is exactly how it feels to have gone one drink further than you planned to. A song doesn’t get to be so perfect by accident, and you’ll quickly note the presence of the unmistakable Scarlet Rivera who’s violin gives some additional ache to the song. Other notable names are drummer Danny Frankel. ‘Tomorrow’s had Enough of Me‘ comes from the new album ‘Ordinary Eye‘ which was produced by Fernando Perdomo – who has previously worked with the younger Dylan. ‘Ordinary Eye‘ is released on November 20th. It’s an album that grew out of Houlahan’s touring across a divided land: “It’s such a crazy time,” Houlahan says. “The world is on fire. I wanted to write music that bore witness to what was happening—not only in the world around me, but in my head, too. It’s an album about looking around, seeing what’s happening, witnessing the present.”
So, by night James Houlahan sang a set list of songs built around his last album ‘The Wheel Still in Spin‘ and by day captured his new emotions responding to the social and environmental issues that created rifts which stretched across the USA. He doesn’t claim to have the answers – but this is what he saw.
Photo: Ronan Chris Murphy