The Prodigal Sons

Raggles to Riches

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Having dropped the gender references from their moniker (formerly Prodigal Sons & Marcy d'Arcy), the Prodigals' new recording also reveals discernible changes from their 1995 debut, The Anvil. While The Anvil contained all but four traditional numbers, this album relies heavily on originals. New member Kenny Miller (who splits bass and guitar duty with Mike Garden) wrote three solid melody-driven songs -- "These Things," "What Goes Around" and "Bound with a Strand." Those, coupled with Garden's own writing and covers by respected contemporary Scottish songwriters Andy Stewart and John Martyn, make for a strong second effort by the group. Eddie Hanson's fiddle and vocals by Nuala McDermott and Sarah Lynch still figure prominently into the Prodigals equation, but this time with decidedly modern leanings. Rather than resting complacently on the success of their debut record, Mike Garden and company have forged ahead and created another distinctive collection of songs. Even the original compositions possess classic-sounding, almost familiar pop and rock hooks. To their credit, pinpointing the imagined origins of their catchy melodies proves fruitless and can only be attributable to excellent songwriting and arranging.

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