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Wonderful tempered energy has the duo open this 6-track EP, and with their own acoustic, electric guitars (Caolaidhe Davis) and fiddle, mandolin (Megan Davis) aided by Brian White (bass), Patty Dougherty (drums) and Tom Verratti (banjo) the listener is supplied with a series of thrill-filled songs. Combining elements of American folk country with Irish folk roots country act The 19th Street Band has a lot going for it, and with their ability to sweep the listener away from everyday life they lack little when it comes to the art of lifting the spirit of the listener and at the same time deliver a story. With them having performed as support and otherwise at The Birchmere (as support to western swing band Asleep At The Wheel), The Washington Folk Festival and Tootsies Orchid lounge in Nashville and with country acts Chuck Mead, Craig Morgan and Rodney Atkins among others.


For the past twelve years ‘Cally’ Davis has lived in America. He emigrated from Holywood, Northern Ireland in 2005, and on looking for a fiddle player for his first band he met his now wife, Meghan and had her audition. The rest as they say is history. Soon afterwards they were living together on 19th Street in Arlington, Virginia, and from there the album title comes for this wonderful set of work! If you like the music of Cahalen Morrison, Jim Miller and Ethan Lawton in the country band, Western Centuries you will love the opening track “Jump In The Water”. Megan plays some inspired fiddle as Cally sings wonderful lead, such is the tune I can imagine they will have a few takers regards people wanting to cover it. If they don’t quite repeat the heady heights they come near on the bustling number “Trouble” (pushed on by mandolin) and with mandolin in the mix Megan sings a fine lead on the uptempo “Set Me Free”; one where probing fiddle, banjo and fine work on rhythm is prominent.


Caolaidhe pledges his love on the familiar sounding, closing cut, title-track “The Things That Matter”. Superb! “Long Runs The Fox” is a good song, and if wasn’t for the five-star quality of the first and last songs on the record it would be in contention as their best effort! “Trouble” likewise isn’t without its credentials as Megan to the sound of busy support sings a warm lead. It is only on “It’s True What They Say” they struggle, but one less than welcoming from six is most reasonable.


                                                                Maurice Hope              

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March 2018

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