Kieran Kane

Kane Welch Kaplin

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Picking up where their last collaboration left off, the trio of Kevin Welch, Kieran Kane, and Fats Kaplin are not simply mailing it in as might be the case with other trios resting on the strength of previous efforts. The slow, barren "Ain't Gonna Do It" has Kane leading the way with Welch providing distant harmonies for a fine result. Meanwhile, Welch shows his prowess during the stellar "I Wish I Had That Mandolin" that glides along thanks to Fats Kaplin adding accents on an electric sitar. It's a song that even a great songwriter like Steve Earle would curse with envy. Perhaps the biggest compliment is that all three let the songs work regardless of who is doing what. The simple story Kane relays of checking into a hotel room during "Red Light Blinking" is probably the first early highlight, but there are many more to come. A few bluesy or Delta-tinged rags come into the album such as "Callin' You" and "That's What I Got" but these pale greatly in comparison to "Last Lost Highway" that Welch nails beautifully. The same can be said of "Highland Mary" which has some subtle Celtic touches guiding it along and the powerful "What Are They Doin' in Heaven Today?" The only miscue is the spoken word delivery of "Dark Boogie #7" which sinks like a stone very quickly.

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