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Review: 'Paul J Bolger'
'Paul J Bolger'   

-  Label: 'Wolfe Island Records'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '16.6.20.'-  Catalogue No: 'WIR 018-2'

Our Rating:
This album has been sitting on my review desk since the end of January when I saw Paul J Bolger play a showcase gig in Hoxton. At that point the album didn't even have a press release. Originally due out in April because of the virus the album is now finally coming out at the end of June but I believe you can order a copy now.

This is the first record Paul J Bolger has put out in 25 years as most of his artistic focus is on set design, writing and drawing for graphic novels which may be why the cover of this album almost looks like a portrait of me.

The opening song Swim sounds like it was made to be played endlessly on college rock radio stations if they were still a thing and has that familiar feel to it from the first time I heard it back in January.

How Many More Tears? Has shared vocals with most of the band and sort of sounds a bit like CSNY but with some female vocals and it also has a great organ part as they wonder how it all went wrong. This song has seemed to become more pertinent as the year has gone on as we all try to find a new way to carry on.

Wedding Gown is a slow eulogy to the woman who used to wear that Wedding Gown with some carefully picked mandolin and some lovely pedal steel.

Pillarstone is more of a country outlaw rocker like the more focused end of Ryan Adams or a bit like Johnny Cougar but with a bit of an Northern Irish twist and some superb playing that will make you hear different things in it most times you play it and it is as Horslips put it Bog Gothic.

Two Wrongs has a very familiar tune as the argument of a song unfolds and Paul gives his apologies for his part in the tiff and I hope this song works to repair any damage he did.

All Those Things is a sad lament and another apology for everything he may have done to you that for some reason makes me think of Jim Croce and that's not someone I think of often.

Unkind is a laid-back gentle advice song telling you the things you might not want to hear with some plangent Organ and pedal steel that feel like a gentle caress.

The album closes with I Believe that sounds like it really wants to break out and rock like hell but manages to stay restrained as Paul declares his love a beautiful way to end the album.

Find out more at www.pauljbolger.com https://www.facebook.com/pauljbolger.art.film.music https://wolfeislandrecords.com/pauljbolger/
  author: simonovitch

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