Reviews:: Eamon McGrath Peace Maker

There are certain artists that can grab a guitar and transport you to a city you’ve never been. Springsteen, Fallon, Wilson; these are guys that can channel the mood, attitudes, and even the climate of their hometown so effortlessly that you feel like you grew up with them.


For some reason, there aren’t too many current Canadian artists that are able to focus in on a single location and the emotion and heart that drives it. Sure, Joel Plaskett was able to write a touching tribute to the city he refuses to leave, but his songs tend to reach from coast to shimmering coast. When I hear Brian King scream and howl, I feel Vancouver raging through my veins, but that’s directly related to the years I spent there and if you’ve never seen the lower east side you might be wondering how Japandroids could be born from such beauty.


I’ve never spent more than a few hours in Edmonton, and outside of Jofa helmets, Gizmo Williams and beef I don’t really know anything about what makes the city tick. However, when I listen to Eamon McGrath‘s new record, Peace Maker, I feel the alienation of life in small Alberta towns praying the cheques keep coming in and the heat and whiskey make it through till morning. I feel the freedom of youth - punk riffs, love that burns hot and fast - and the prairie pride that proudly presents itself through timeless country and folk songs that demand you to sing along. Unlike another of my favorite Alberta ex-pats, Nils from The Rural Alberta Advantage, McGrath’s stories aren’t speaking for one Alberta adolescent, they try to speak for all of them.


Whether it’s the warming chug of “Cold Alberta Nights”, the heartbreak of “Headless Horseman”, the buzzsaw guitars of “I am the Deer” or the working class, folk poetry of “”Dark End Of The Street”, McGrath never loses sight of his audience. He sings about the people, for the people; an idea ironically forgotten by most folkers in today’s music scene. It wil certainly provide a bit of warmth or excuse to down one more hard one on those cold, cold nights.


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MP3:: Eamon McGrath - Cold Alberta Nights



Tags: Eamon McGrath

This entry was posted on Monday, July 19th, 2010 at 8:48 am and is filed under 2010, Canada, Edmonton, Music, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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