Bat Kinane & The Whole Hog Band 'Ordinary Days' - Voodoo Bones

This Irish band play roots and country songs that have been mainly written by guitarist and vocalist Bat Kinane who also produced the album. Lead vocals are delivered by Kinane and, on the songs he wrote, by bassist John Treacy. Both have an warm, easy vocal style. The trio are completed by Gavin Murray on drums. They are joined by guest players Paul Kelly on fiddle and mandolin, banjo player Martin Cooney, backing vocalist Lorraine Willoughby and Percy Robinson on pedal steel. It was a good move by Kinane to bring in these skilled additional musicians as they add a texture and depth that otherwise would not give the album such a well rounded sound.

The songs are all memorable enough to allow repeated play. Kathmandu is about considering following an errant partner to that fabled location if they felt they could win the person back. Given that the partner took his money to get there in the first place is fairly generous an attitude. Never Trouble Trouble Till Trouble Troubles You takes a logical expression into the centre of the song's chorus. Summer Song has a some nice evocative steel from Robinson. Are You A Beatle Or A Rolling Stone? notes that "sure enough I'm getting old but I'm not to old to rock and roll and I'm not as old as a the Rolling Stones" Well there still rockin' so why not you. An observation that will ring true for many. Let's Go Dancin' written by bassist Treacy is a request for his love interest to get out on the dance floor and cut a rug, as they say.

There are times when you might wish for a little more grit in the delivery but overall this is an easy album to like and show the trio are capable of developing their sound and songs. The album ends however with something of a explanation of the genesis of this music on Honky Tonk Man, not the much covered Johnny Horton classic, but a song that tells how Kinane saw his future on the stage in such a place after stepping into a similar location himself some time back and realising this is where he wanted to be no matter how hard it may be to do so. It might seem somewhat lacking in ambition, but not everyone is going to be Garth Brooks, and what he and his fellow band members have set out to do is what they have achieved here. Kinane formally played and toured with rock band Glyder and had doubtless, in that guise, seen music from another viewpoint. This is a different kettle of fish (or whole hog perhaps) and is deserving of encouragement. Ordinary Days will help you get through them with a smile on your face.