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Mike YoungerMike Younger
Album: Little Folks Like You And Me
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 10

Mike Younger has come a long way since leaving his hometown at the age of 17. He left Halifax, Nova Scotia, and travelled through Canada as a busker, playing on street corners, parks and subway platforms. Ending up as part of the thriving New York City music scene at the age of 20, it wasn't until some years later that he caught his big break in New Orleans. Little Folks Like You And Me is his fourth album.

It's not easy to pin Younger down, musically; there's a good mix of folk, blues, country and rock and roll. The message though is a lot clearer - this is an album with a social conscience. It's great to see we're hitting a bit of a purple patch with musicians who are prepared to stand up and show a little outrage at how things are. One of the stronger tracks on the album is the perfect example. Poisoned Rivers is a sixties folk throwback, so evocative of that era that it's almost a surprise that Younger wrote it himself.

The opening and closing tracks are both full of lyrical fury, though with almost jaunty tunes to go with them. If I Was A Wheel comes across like a mix of Ryan and Bryan Adams, with a rocky edge to it, while The Living Daylights is a foot tapper with effective background vocals. These homages to the working class struggle are not the only songs with a social conscience though. What Kind Of World is a beautiful and astute track about our legacy, and what we leave behind.

Full of conviction and morality, but without ever coming across as overly or uncomfortably preachy, Folks Like You And Me is an album that shows that you can take the musician off the street, but you can't take the street away from this musician.

Adam Jenkins