Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Brian McDade hails from Scotland. He has been writing and singing songs for over 30 years. Perhaps this is where the ease of performance comes from for Brian. His career is really just getting started despite numerous previous releases. The music industry is just starting to really notice this talented Scot. Featured on his new CD are 15 songs performed by Brian and company; Jeff "Stick" Davis on bass and backing vocals; Barry "Byrd" Burton on guitars and lap steel; Michael Webb on Hammond organ, piano and accordion; and Bryan Owings on drums and percussion. These talented Nashville regulars build the backing for the wide range of songs Brian has put together for us to enjoy. With styling from alt-country to blues, folk, and rock comprising what Brian has coined "Scotlana", you will enjoy every tune. Here are some of my picks from this wonderful CD:
The CD opens with "Houselights". A song from the road of a performer, Brian tells the story of a musician's travels from one stage to the next. A perfect blend of keyboard, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums and bass, the minor keyed musical accompaniment compliments the song perfectly. Byrd uses fills throughout and brilliantly accents Brian's vocals. A beautiful short organ solo by Michael rounds it all out.
Descending slithering slide guitar reaches a slippery rocking backdrop for "Two Hoots". Byrd's guitar work shows his versatility as he moves between a Clapton-like tone/style to slippery slide. Brian tells the tale of a girl who can't be pinned down and is just taking men for a ride.
The large soundstage of "Paris" is enhanced by Michael's piano blended perfectly with Brian's acoustic guitar. Brian's vocals bounce on top with a story of a dream of Paris and a girl he loved.
Rhythmically inspired by perhaps Bo Diddley, "Repossessed" reveals the perspective of someone whose possessions are just about to be collected by the lenders. It slides right into "Sunset [Over Bargeddie]" a beautiful song whose music backing reminds me of Dire Straits.
"Promises" has a lighthearted feel with a marching country snare setting the beat on top of countrified guitar and a bouncy piano. As Brian tells the story of broken promises it is softened by the tongue-in-cheek musical stage.
"Santa Ana Winds" bounces with acoustic guitar, a well placed organ, Spanish inspired guitar fills and precise drums. Brian's story of remembrance of a time in the past in Santa Ana with a girl. A beautiful set of solos by gut-stringed guitar and organ accent the song.
The whimsical feel of "Missing Miss Someone" is lighthearted as Brian stretches out vocally.
The bluesy "Blue Moon And A Mississippi Girl" opens with slide and picked electric guitars on top of precision piano, drums and bass laying out the blues. Brian spins his tale of a warm night and his girl.
"People In Grass Houses" is a story weaving memories of a difficult life beginning with a girl he married in Vegas. After awakening in Mexico with a hangover his life erodes as they are busted and she left with the money. His search for her ends sadly.
Each listen of Brian McDade's "Love Bayou" reveals added enjoyment. I love the intricate construction of each song. The lyrics are well crafted and Brian's delivery is perfect. I highly recommend this Scotsman and his own style of music, Scotlana. You can find out more by visiting Brian's website here. You can find your own copy of "Love Bayou" here.
~ steve ekblad - audiogrid.com
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