copyright 2000 CP2-002
Connie Doucet & Paul McGraw
56 Mirview Drive
Miramichi, New Brunswick E1N 4R1 Canada
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/00
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
Authoring nearly three quarters of the tracks in their latest offering, a nautical-themed release, Connie Doucet and Paul McGraw prove that their writing talents are on a par with their solid singing and musicianship. They especially display the knack for settling their lyrics into instrumental backing that enhances the overall effect and enjoyment of each song.
This New Brunswick-based duo display engaging voices that blend together well and McGraw especially moves adroitly from tender to robust, sometimes within the same song.
"The Alexandra," elevated by McGraw's animated vocals, could easily be believed as borrowed from the Stan Rogers sailing tune songbook, as could "The Old Man" be mistaken as one that Rogers penned.
"Back to You" features a sweet fiddle flourish that dovetails well with the emotional content of the lyrics. The enchanting "Maid on the Shore" has an especially nice touch with Doucet following a beat or two after McGraw, repeating the first two lines of the chorus.
Michael Smith's "The Dutchman" is given an enjoyable rendition, featuring McGraw's lead vocals and harmonies with Doucet.
This is less of a celtic music-flavored release than their previous offering although "Nancy Whiskey," "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye" and "america (the promise)" still fit that bill. "america (the promise)" has a soothing fiddle opening and closing, bookending a touching story containing a surprising twist. Briefly featured as the fiddle opener and closer on "america (the promise)," the "Miramichi Waltz," follows in its entirety as a hidden cut.
More a regional set of performers, Doucet and McGraw offer a musical craftsmanship that deserves a wider audience. This is an enjoyable collection of professionally presented songs.
Doucet on vocals, penny whistle and bodhran and McGraw on vocals, lead rhythm guitar and bodhran are backed by Kevin Evans on banjo, mandolin, synthesizer, piano and penny whistle; George Hebert on lead guitar and synthesizer; Jody Ribichaud on bass; Jim MacDonald on drums; Melani-Line Richard on fiddle; and Tom Roach on percussion.
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