Dave McCann and the Firehearts “Dixiebluebird” (Independent, 2009)
Timeless American rootsy rock’n’roll
Start with some Counting Crows, add a little Tom Petty, possibly a smidgen even of Dave Matthews, throw in plenty of Lynyrd Skynyrd, stir well and you’ll have Dave McCann and the Firehearts. Produced by Will Kimbrough, their fourth album its perfect music for driving to, whether you’re on an eight lane freeway in Texas or a dual carriageway in Croydon. While it may lack ambition – broken hearted angels, driving all night, darkest ‘for the dawn (sic) all make appearances alongside a dozen more similar staples – it’s done with pizzazz and vim and the appropriately named Firehearts sound like the battle-hardened road dogs one imagines them to be while McCann has that battered vocal style so familiar from the likes of John Mellencamp that’s perfectly suited to this sort of music
There’s no real standout track but the self-mythologising “Fireheart” is much better than you’d expect while the lengthy and lovelorn “Broken Bugs” swings along full of country regret and the fuzzy guitars of “Standing In the River” are worthy of Neil Young. All in all, this is good honest no-nonsense rootsy rock and roll probably best heard in a slightly seedy bar in Texas but in the absence of such an establishment this album is a more than adequate substitute.
Date review added: Saturday, February 06, 2010
Reviewer: Jeremy Searle
Related web link: Artist website