Jackie McAuley

Jackie McAuley...Plus

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Of all the many musicians to pass in and out of the lineup of Them when Van Morrison was their lead singer, Jackie McAuley -- with the possible exception of Peter Bardens -- was the most interesting, save Morrison himself of course. Though his term as Them's organist in 1965 was brief, he went on to make interesting sounds both as part of the Them spin-off band the Belfast Gypsies, and half of the folk-rock duo Trader Horne (with ex-Fairport Convention singer Judy Dyble). His self-titled debut solo album was a minor but pleasant, versatile, early-'70s singer/songwriter record with strong shades of folk-rock, blues, and jazz. McAuley has an engagingly straining voice, and it was put to good use on varied, heartfelt compositions that can evoke a much rawer Elton John or the Band if they were influenced by "Let It Be" (the song, not the album). In different moods were the brisk country-folk-rock of "Country Joe," apparently inspired by Country Joe McDonald; the world-weary autobiographical tone of "Away"; and "Cameraman, Wilson and Holmes," which switches back and forth from a nearly baroque classical harpsichord backing to a breezy jazzy one, and rates as the record's high point. The entire album is included on the 1991 CD reissue Jackie McAuley...Plus, which adds both sides of the 1971 non-LP single "Rockin' Shoes"/"One Fine Day."

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