Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: The Lost Brothers - So Long John Fante

It's rare to find a collection of songs with Johnny Cash and The Everly Brothers as the cornerstone of influence. Even rarer still to find it delivered with such purity and acumen, that you may mistake it to be their long-lost contemporary. So Long John Fante, by Irish American duo The Lost Brothers, is such an album. Eleven beautifully crafted songs, which would grace any artists cannon. Make no doubt about it, this is a folk masterpiece. Mark McCausland and Oisin Leech's beautiful harmony vocals are warm, nuanced, and breathtaking. Whilst the instrumentation is exquisite from the get go.  This is unsurprising as The Lost Brothers, drafted in Richard Hawley's band to accompany them. 

There's a picket fenced 50's innocence and joy of spirit on tracks like "The Goodbye Kid", and a Folsom feel to tracks such as "Oh Brother". Whilst "Bells They Won't Ring" is a vivid tale of what might have been. With a stirring orchestral backing mixed with haunting pedal steel.  "Hollow Call" sees the album turn towards a more sombre Simon and Garfunkel, style of duetting, with intricate acoustic guitars providing musical accompaniment. The Lost Brothers, excel at this style of delivery, which continues on "Golden Dawn".

Released at the tail end of 2011 "So Long John Fante" missed the "best of" fanfare it truly deserved, as you will struggle to find many better albums released last year. Hopefully it will get the recognition it deserves as award season rolls around later this year.

The Lost Brothers, play The Odessa Club on February 23rd. and support The Felice Brothers in The Academy on March 15th.

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