Bob Bradshaw’s seventh studio recording is a tribute to the time this Irish-born singer/songwriter has spent absorbing the music of his adopted home in the United States.
For this project he is joined by guitarists Andrew Stern and Andy Santospago, James Rohr on keyboards, fiddle player Chad Manning, bassist Ed Lucie and drummer Mike Connors. Britt Connors and Annie Lynch provide harmony vocals.
Though originating from Cork, Bradshaw is a storyteller in the classic Americana tradition incorporating elements of country, folk, bluegrass and the blues.
While pursuing what he calls a "migratory lifestyle" he busked in the streets of Europe and the U.S, has been in cover bands, bar bands, and in his own San Francisco band, Resident Aliens.
He moved to New York City in 1989 and after a period in California, eventually married and settled in Boston. The result of all this experience is condensed into a dozen original compositions which present an affectionate portrait of the American way of life.
He is a self-taught player but decided to broaden his musical horizons by enrolling at Berklee College of Music as a mature student. He ascribes "the more complex, layered sounds" on this album to what he learnt as part of the Professional Music degree course.
However, aside from a some jazzier arrangements on Call It What You Will and My Double And I he sticks to fairly conventional structures. Weight Of The World is the only track that strays in Rock'n'Roll.
"I'm using the song-form to explore matters of identity and communication", he says and this explains the two tracks exploring the writing process: Workin On My Protest Song and Material For The Blues.
The album is a genial and genuine collection with enough variety to hold the attention although none of the songs really stick in the memory.
Bob Bradshaw's website