For anyone who loved the Waterboys' stripped-down approach on Fisherman's Blues, the release of another album of material from these same sessions is quite an event. In a way, the songs on Fisherman's Blues, Pt. 2 are the kinds of bonus tracks one expects to show up on a reissue. The difference here, though, is in the quality of the material. Mike Scott kicks things off on a characteristic spiritual note with "On My Way to Heaven," a gospel-drenched tune that ends with an appropriate evangelical flurry. An intense, tuneful "Higher in Time" and the soulful, searching "The Ladder" make way for "Too Close to Heaven," one of the album's highlights. Steve Wickham's fiddle adds an almost traditional feel to the tune, while Anthony Thistlethwaite's sax throws in a more urban touch. Together, these seemingly incongruous modes create a lovely backdrop for Scott to deliver a fully committed vocal. A similar effect is achieved on "Blues for Your Baby." These soulful, searching tunes lead into a bit of historical revisionism on "Custer's Blues," a musical restaging of the Battle of Little Big Horn. While the arrangements are pretty simple on the album, various combinations of guitar, piano, fiddle, mandolin, and sax keep the material fresh. Fisherman's Blues, Pt. 2 offers a fuller view of the sessions that produced the original album, and fans will welcome these treasures from what many refer to as the band's best period. A bonus CD also includes versions of "Higher in Time," "Ain't Leaving, I'm Gone," "Lonesome and a Long Way From Home," "The Good Ship Sirius," and "Too Close to Heaven."
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2