Keys and Chords Magazine

From his home in North Carolina Rob McHale observes the American society. Intelligent observations that bring you to secluded spots along dusty fields, roads, or in towns. Stories that take you to the battlefields of the Civil War lead in songs like ‘Surrounded Again (General Custer), “in which the author directly addresses the legendary warrior. “Irons and Chains” tells the terrible fate of the Afro-African slaves in the nineteenth century, in the chorus Dred Scott listed as born slaves tried this man through civil lawsuits in vain from that hopeless situation to escape.

‘The Castlebar Races’ is also a story about the desire for freedom, but situated in Ireland . ‘Fast Movin Train’ is also about to escape, leaving a familiar environment or consider. “Have you ever run away on a fast movin ‘train with nothin’ in your pocket but your name.” “Back Home”, with a cozy campfire harmonica in the background is again a melancholy ode to the security of a warm home, as well as the tender piano ballad “Mother’s Love” and the beautiful title song.

Poetic musings wrapped in folk tinged acoustic tunes. Mc Hale’s soft humming tenor and fine guitar playing is supported by the harmonica brother Pat and sporadic electric strings and slide-game of his guitarist Mike Alicke. The trio is completed for the occasion with a rhythm section and piano. Also fiddle, whistle and beautiful vocals alternately Marie Reid and Valorie Miller flank McHale’s vocals and occasionally we hear Debrissa McKinney and Marie Calabro in the background. ‘Fire and the Guns’ recalls something from the early years of Gordon Lightfoot and should be seen primarily as a sincere compliment for this excellent story teller.

Cis Van Looy
Keys and Chords Magazine

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