Aengus Finnan

North Wind

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Born in Ireland but raised in Canada, singer/songwriter Aengus Finnan has fully come into his own with his sophomore effort. The winner of the 2002 Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Award proves his worth as a writer with sharply imagined vignettes, all with a rural Canadian theme, like "Ruins," where an aging farmer, forced into bankruptcy, begins to destroy he property he loved for so long, or "Last Dance," about a girl leaving the farm, with big dreams of success as a ballet dancer, now stripping for money to earn the fare home. Perhaps the idea of lost rural dreams and simplicity isn't new, but it's rarely been as well phrased. In addition to his own excellent material, Finnan has a good ear for the songs of others, like Bill Caddick's "One Hand on the Radio," about a trucker's soundtrack through the miles, or Slaid Cleaves' Paul Bunyan-esque "Sandy Grey." But pride of place has to go to the wondrous "O'Shaughnessy's Lament," a gut-wrenching a cappella tale, and the song that justifiably won him the Kerrville award. It's safe to say that Finnan has become a force to be reckoned with here and that his name deserves to be written large in the not-too-distant future.

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