Saturday, May 20, 2006

Curing What Ails Me

I'm a bit under the weather this morning. And so I do what always works so well for curing my illness. I walk downstairs, find my laptop, and listen to The Waterboys. Specifically, I play Room To Roam, their 1990 release. Mike Scott and his band of wayfarers sound so good, reminding us how good an Irish band can sound, bringing back the beauty of the mandolin, infused into the perfect mix of true folk and youthful rock n' roll energy. I'm feeling better already.

Rhapsody music writer Chad Driscoll describes them much better:

Restless as the seafaring nomads whose chanties and airs they borrowed from, the Waterboys called no one style of music their own, but roamed the oceans and passage of time for sources of inspiration. Mike Scott and his ragtag troupe of aging folkies, pub buskers, and salty punks crafted with an artisan's care scrappy Folk-Rock that resonated with romantic, vaguely new age themes. Fisherman's Blues (1988) -- containing interpretations of Van Morrison, the Beatles, and W.B. Yeats -- captures them at their most adventurous. On the title track, Scott's tearful whelps and scotch-scorched vocals reach a fevered emotional pitch that infects the entire album. At a time when rock 'n' roll had brought to the brink of extinction instruments like the mandolin, bouzouki, and accordion, the Waterboys repopulated music with them, giving their songs a timeless quality. The results were never less than majestic.

- Chad Driscoll

Incidentally, ex-Waterboy Karl Wallinger brings his World Party to Nashville's Mercy Lounge this Sunday night. I'm feeling like it's the early '90s all over again. Old friend and fellow record store employee Kirk Anderson turned me onto the beautiful sounds of The Waterboys back in '91. We would hang out at his apartment after work and listen to so much music each night. A few beers and so much music. Because of him, I know The Waterboys and World Party. I know Luka Bloom and Billy Bragg from listening to their tapes and CDs on his stereo. I haven't seen him in years but I think of him every time I hear these artists and bands.

Here's to great music, influential friends, and feeling better as the day goes on.

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