The Remedy Club is an Irish husband-and-wife Americana/roots duo comprising K.J. McEvoy and Aileen Mythen. Lovers, Legends And Lost Causes is their debut album, and proves iconically-titled to set out their stall straightaway. Theirs is a classic, rich and wholly authentic country-roots sound, with vocals to die for. Their aim with this album, Aileen says, was “to create an album of music that we would like to hear ourselves while also paying to homage to musical heroes”. Right-on! For on each of the album’s three sub-themes (exactly as stated in the album title), the couple prove big on musical honesty and accuracy – and a genuine affection for the genre.
Lovers is Aileen and K.J.’s strongest suit; they’re to the fore on the gorgeous, lush twang and pedal steel soundscape of I Miss You (what a stunning opener!), the string-backed crooning of closing lullaby-cum-ballad This Is Love, the well-upholstered, gently chugging duet Come On and the softer-phrased Last Song, while the Lovers category might be said to overlap with Lost Causes on the feisty, decidedly Dolly-Parton-like Sweet White Lies. Lost Causes also naturally figure large on the wonderfully forlorn Get Away With It and the desperate end-of-the-road vibe of Bottom Of The Hill. Finally to the Legends, those musical heroes, who receive knowing tributes that are (all too?) easily signposted with the track titles. The itchy noir of When Tom Waits Up takes up the fevered imaginings of Waits’ mind and rides along through the gravel and grit of a spaghetti-western set; Listening To Hank Williams brings us back inside ourselves in that lonesome melancholy honky-tonk barroom mood; and Django (= Reinhardt) is invoked in the style of a cheesy and not entirely convincing gypsy-bossanova. OK, I guess some may find these knowing musical tributes just a touch self-conscious in the end; but hey, there’s no disgrace in wearing one’s heart right on one’s sleeve, especially in the country of country.
There’s no disputing the special talents of the Remedy Club duo – Aileen’s wonderful voice and K.J.’s superlative guitar skills, and the pair’s so-very-together vocal harmonies – but a good measure of the success of this album is also down to the musical backdrops conjured by Grammy-award-winning producer Ray Kennedy and the contributions of a hotshot support crew including Podge Kilbride (keyboards), David Murphy (pedal steel), violin and viola (K.J.’s sister Eleanor McEvoy) and trumpet (Aidan Kelly). Yeah, go join the Remedy Club for a stylish and largely effective cure; you won’t regret meeting the membership fee.
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