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Music Review - `Kieran Ridge and the Moonrakers` by Kieran Ridge (lz)

Keiran Ridge-- Kieran Ridge and the Moonrakers   (click on image to watch )

 11 Oct 2021

 

Black

Kieran Ridge & The Moonrakers offer a generally unpretentious, down-home sound that appears equally suited to a communal back porch gathering or the populist appeal found in a festival-style setting. Although they’re relative newcomers in terms of the broader Americana scene — Ridge’s last album, Nothing Left To Lose was released in 2005 — the band’s new self-titled offering indicates they’ve caught up quickly.

The band — Ridge himself on guitar and vocals, Liam Dailey on mandolin, banjo and vocals, Hannah Rose Baker on fiddle and vocals, drummer Patrick Hanafin and bassist Michael Harmon — are an agreeable bunch, a group adept at purveying homespun melodies with an easy, unobtrusive flair. “Killing Time,” “Wasted” and “Blind in Time” all provide ideal examples, all perfectly pleasant narratives about doing nothing more than simply taking things in stride, free of dictates or distraction. Likewise, “Somewhere on the Edge of Town” maintains a quiet drift that further reflects an unhurried happenstance. “Straight to the Heart of Love” comes across with a casual caress as well, doing so in a way that allows for reflection and respite in stress-free environs. Here again, it’s a sound that’s carefree and comforting in equal measure, fully indicative of the band’s rural and wistful approach.

Not that Ridge wholly abandons more serious circumspect. The slow and steady “To Get Back Home” maintains a more deliberate drive, while the steady thump of “The Last One to Know” suggests a general need for further awareness of one’s general circumstance. On the other hand, “Three Sheets to the Wind, Five Miles from Home” puts things in clear perspective, sharing a message that when life takes us where it will, the best we can do is simply go along for the ride. “No one said it was easy,” Ridge insists. The final track, “Close Your Eyes,” follows suit, suggesting that at times, it’s best to let things lay.

Ridge’s dryly stirred vocals reflect his carefree attitude, adding an approachable element to the effort overall. It proves especially effective on the otherwise emotional entreaties shared in songs such as “Fear of Flying” and “Your Drifting Heart” in which the object of his affection seem somewhat elusive and out of reach. Nevertheless, there’s no urgency or immediacy dictating Ridge’s response, simply a matter-of-fact attitude that’s as engaging as it is enticing.

Ultimately then, that’s the pure pleasure that comes through overall. In this troublesome and tumultuous world, we all could use more music of this soothing sort.

 

 Lee Zimmerman

 

Lee Zimmerman

To Read All of Lee's Reviews, Click Here

 

 

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