Album Review: The East Pointers’  What we leave behind’

 

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The East Pointers:  What we leave behind.

This is the second instalment from these Canadian folk rockers and while they’re full steam ahead with their plans for world domination this album seems to be two albums in that just about every second song is an instrumental track. One could argue that variety is the spice of life but this logic retards the momentum a little. But let’s put this behind us because the album is overflowing with great playing and well written songs.

For those who are unfamiliar, The East Pointers are guitarist Jake Charron, banjoist Koady Chaisson and fiddler Tim Chaisson. They have produced an organic, well spaced, variety of folk instruments fused at times with polite electronica.

The East Pointers follow traditional folk form which generally challenges the listener not to be sloshing beer over their flannelette shirts and their oversize beards – especially when seen live.  But at times ”What We Leave Behind” ice skates between pop country and trad folk (in the best way). The convict/settler dance-y stuff is quite endearing – even if it’s not your thing it would be if you saw it at a festival or were camping. Its folk, but in a modern frame and it feels a good fit.

There are only only 11 tracks on this offering – which is a North American thing – so that  if there are co writers so everyone gets a decent cut, but the overall tapestry is rich. Folky Irish homeland fireside songs such as “Tanglewood”, “Party Wave” and “The Crossing” will have us all dancing the jig as if we were partying with Ned Kelly hisself, but on the flip side the big single “82 Fires” is dirty blues on the banjo in an almost Kenny-Wayne Sheppard style.

No Bridge Too Far” is one of those “Twiddle Dee Dee” tracks but very  very clever, it has more chops than a butcher shop then all of a sudden there are Gospel piano lines infused among the ragtime mode THEN it becomes a different song again by switching to new country. If you want different – here it is, this song is like folk/prog rock and it turns on you like a wraparound skirt. Woo hoo!!

Of honourable mention: “Hid in your Heart” is a guitar ballad with vocals – great vocals, it’s a “we just broke up and its your fault” song – and you can never hear too many of them now can you?

So hey, if you’re into the Irish folk, New Country, sloshing beer at festivals, Keith Urban, Storytellers and Corb Lund, this is the band for you just so long as you can get your head around the convict music every second song.

Make sure to catch the band at Queenscliff Music Festival in November they’ll be playing and its a set you won’t want to miss.

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