Eamonn McCormack – Storyteller | Album Review

Eamonn McCormack – Storyteller

BEM Records


CD: 11 Songs, 51 Minutes

Styles: Guitar Monster Blues, Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, All Original Songs

At heart, every blues artist is a Storyteller. Some snarl sentences on shredder guitar. Others expound on electric keyboards, dole out descriptions on drums, and pontificate on piano. Dublin bluesman Eamonn McCormack proves himself as eloquent as Cormack McCarthy, albeit in musical fashion. On eleven original numbers, he waxes poetic on topics ranging from “The Great Famine” to the lure of “Gypsy Women” to the reasons why he’s “South Dakota Bound.” Eamonn is Ireland’s answer to Walter Trout. He possesses a similar pounding drive, in-your-face style and relentless intensity, taking no prisoners. Surging instrumentation often overpowers his vocals: a shame on pensive tracks like “Help Me Understand.” Other songs benefit from this imbalance. The album’s overall vibe is loud, proud, and rock-endowed. What more need be said?

Born in Ireland’s capital city, Eamonn was raised on a north-side suburb. He started out on the acoustic guitar at six years old, prompted by the acoustic performance of his school classmate Gerry Leonard (David Bowie, Susanne Vega). His earliest influences included Slade, Cat Stevens, Neil Young and Rory Gallagher. By twelve he was singing along with his guitar and performing at folk masses. At sixteen, Eamonn performed live on a national Irish radio show.

The last decade saw a younger Eamonn play, tour and record with many of his earliest guitar influences such as Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Jan Akkerman (ex. Focus), Pat Travers, Walter Trout (!), Brian “Robbo” Robertson (Thin Lizzy, Motöread) and Nils Lofgren. Another highlight was Eamonn and his band’s unforgettable performance at the Parkpop festival in Holland to an audience of around a half a million people, sharing the bill with Robert Plant and more. Eamonn also got to play the prestigious Rockpalast in Germany, sharing the bill with Lynyrd Skynyrd & The Band, that was televised and broadcast across Europe.

Joining Eamonn (vocals, guitars and harmonica) are Edgar Karg on bass guitar and Max Jung-Poppe on drums and organ. Arne Wiegand guest-stars on piano and organ.

The two best fast songs here are “Tie One On” and “Cowboy Blues.” The former is a glorious, gritty, gleeful monologue about yearning for “the hair of the dog” after a long night of partying: “I need to TIE. ONE. ON!” The latter is the most hard-driving and danceable, whether at the bar or in your car. Tap a drum rhythm on the floor or the steering wheel. “I’m just a cowboy lost in the blues,” Eamonn says, though his home country is as far from the American West as possible. The best slow song is “In a Dream,” featuring a melodic guitar intro and melancholy musings.

If you’re in the mood for a guitar blast, pick up this Storyteller’s album fast!

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