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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
Cape Breton 5-piece, Pretty Archie recorded their latest album, Hanging On in Sydney, Nova Scotia. It is the band’s fifth record, and a most impressive sound they have. Long time friends Brian Cathcart on lead vocals, guitar, Matt McNeil on mandolin, guitar, Colin Gillis on harmonica, bass, vocals, Redmond MacDougall on banjo, percussion, vocals and Scott MacLean guitar, mandolin produce a sound rich in flowing melodies, seamless harmonies and a generally pleasing on the ear kind of music. Awash in intelligent instrumental arrangements, and ever inviting lyrics that people will instantly attach themselves to. Of the nine tracks, old tyme fashioned gospel leaning opener Ain’t No Saving Me which reflects on school days, and other past times sets a high benchmark. Backed by the likes of the mandolin enriched Stay The Same and of another nature as boundaries and moods are crossed, Nightlife Love with its gritty feel, fury and general impassioned relentless probing Pretty Archie score heavily.
Accomplished in all quarters, Pretty Archie aren’t only a fine Canadian band, but one worthy of recognition among Americana bands worldwide. Other songs of note include This Whole Town, that speaks of young love and need to move away. While with mandolin to the for You Better Run speaks of a soft hearted woman, and man who was a good loving man before his personality changed. The mood of the song sees a foreboding feel take hold as the lyrics become ever darker. Sometimes is an easy paced love ballad, that gives the message that you should follow ones heart. Staying with a theme of young love, No One To Blame enjoys a warm flowing melody, as the descriptive lyrics take the listener across town on a rainy night. Nice work boys.
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