Patrick McGinley
& Family Style,
Patrick, Family & Friends
(Blue Flame, 2001)

It's a fairly simple recipe. Take a bit of the blues, add some folk and blend. The end result is some beautiful music, and that is exactly what Patrick McGinley and Family Style have done in Patrick, Family and Friends.

As for the musicians -- well, there are but the four of them, Patrick McGinley, Goldrano, Franco Limido and Marco Limido. They all play well, but I am not guessing who plays what even if there are pictures to give hints. The music is solid and a pleasure to listen to -- you have the guitars going and the harmonica slides in now and then. Not much more you could ask for.

The CD starts off with "Ordinary Man," a strong blues tune that paints a picture of a hero. This is followed up by a story of a less fortunate man in "Blue Wing." Then comes "Atlantic City" with a steady beat and subtle blues flavouring; it could be folk or blues depending on your mood.

"Big Yellow Taxi" is followed by "Paradise" -- some of the same imagery is used in both songs and they fit together hand in glove. And then they do it again, sliding a couple of love songs back to back. First comes "Love From Afar," which sets a mood that they match with a quiet blues feel in "Right in Time."

They serve up a beautiful slice of the ordinary in "Mille's Stop and Dine." There is a strength in the music that adds so much to the lyrics. "St. Patrick's Isle" is a driven folk song that sends a chill up my spine and shows what it feels like to find home. They go right back to the blues in "She's Roving Away" and as the song fades away you just want it to keep on going. They then walk the line between folk and the blues with the dark edges of "A Thousand Times."

"Queen D'Ville" is a rolling fun song that picks you up and goes. "West Texas Wind" comes drifting in full of melancholy and sorrow, the softness of the music emphasizing the mood of the song. They follow that mood into "One Way Street," a blues song that keeps on going and slides into the last track. The CD closes off with "Templo Honey/The Weight," which boasts some of the best music on the CD. The music is so smooth after so much good music, leaving you with a sense of ", now they're done."

This CD is well worth the listen. The music keeps coming and never lets you down. Patrick McGinley and Family Style have created a masterpiece of music with Patrick, Family and Friends.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]
Rambles: 19 April 2002