A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark Horn
If you've never heard Eileen McGann you are in for a real treat. She, along with James Keelahan, represent he finest of contemporary Canadian folk music, whose talent is on par with its heroes of the past. Those who are familiar with her earlier releases "Elements" or "Turn It Around" will find Journeys to be everything they could have hoped for. This release will substantially increase her growing popularity in the United States.
Journeys contains a blend of many elements, inspirational anthems, love songs, political satire, traditional songs, and social commentary. McGann blends these elements into an album that is solid from beginning to end. She seems to embody optimism in the title cut "I See My Journey" followed several cuts later with "Reservations." Eileen shows her concern for the changing culture of her beloved Canada in "Rolling Home Canadian" my personal favorite. "Too stupid for Democracy," a delightful lesson in political science that is sure to be picked up and covered by many other artists. References plutonic political thought in "Too Stupid for Demopcracy" and classic mythology in "Kassandra" betray her past career... this is what happens when you put a guitar into the hands of a treacher.
Few artists today seem to have a strong sense of their musical traditions. McGann shows her commitment to finding and recording obscure wonderful ballads such as "Bonny Pormore" and "Braw Sailin' on the Sea." The environment is an important part of Canadian identity. "In the Silence" and "Windigo's Coming" are excellent expression of that commitment.
McGann has an inviting and accessible voice whose pure tones are reminiscent of Judy Collins. Her guitar playing is simple and clear. Accompaniment is equally basic and stays out of the way. Production is professional, engineering and mixing well done.
Journeys establishes McGann as an artist whose career has very long legs which will ensure her a permanent position on top of the Canadian folk scene. You can't travel the Canadian Pacific from Toronto to Vancouver anymore, but you can traverse this wonderful expanse of Canadian culture.
Booking information is available from
The Murri Agency,
Hadley, MA 01035.