Liverpool-based Irish duo Seafoam Green pull out all the stops on Martin’s Garden. A stylishly produced and mixed bag of tremendous music.
Release date: 1st June 2021
Label: Mellowtone Records
Format: CD / LP / Digital
The popular duo of Dave O’Grady and Muireann McDermott Long fill every aspect on the spectrum of Americana on their second, and latest album, Martin’s Garden. Blues, rock, gospel with country and Celtic influences all run through the album.
They can be hard-hitting, soulful, intimate and sometimes, even with minimal accompaniment, delightfully harmonious. The powerful opening tracks For Something To Say and House On The Hill are rollicking riff-filled rockers with blues and honky-tonk touches too. Having set a lively tone, a soulful Mine All Mine gives us a breather and an introduction into their diversity. Mellow ringing guitar opens the ballad Maggie; similar tones and simple keyboard chords providing a stripped down backing to some wonderful mournful vocals.
Whether Dave or Muireann take the lead, the vocals are always strong and on Whiskey, we are treated to both of them as solo and perfectly aligned when together. A much lighter mood ensues during Swimming In Paint where the catchier country rhythm does not lessen the musical quality. This well-balanced song shows the value of not over producing and despite every instrument and voice getting light touches in the mix, the sound is full and rich.
Powerful rockier riffs return with Winter’s Getting Warmer and typifies the diverse use of keyboards throughout the whole album, enhancing the eclectic nature of each track and adding power, subtlety and colour when needed. The warm acoustic guitar, soothing vocals and melodious accordion on Working Man prove you don’t have to be brash, rhinestone sparkled and cheesy to produce quality country sound.A simple droning accompaniment allows the haunting harmonies to come to the fore on the Auld Triangle where homage is paid to their Celtic roots and the words of Irish poet Dominic Behan.
Finally, the album concludes with a tranquil harmonic ballad My Oldest Friend. Seafoam Green are going to make lots of new friends with these highly diverse songs. Many country artists can be quite one-dimensional but not these two. Whatever your favourite style of Americana you prefer there is something for everyone on this highly entertaining multi-styled album.
Listen to House On The Hill from Seafoam Green below. And you can read Seafoam Green’s homage to Little Feat in the Why I Love column they wrote for us, here.