Reviewed by Dave Brassington
Live Issue are a fine four piece band from Ireland, playing a brand of high quality modern country music. Their music is certainly on a par with similar offerings from the States, all the more incredible when they are still only part time, but justly considered of such a high standard as to be included on the bill of last year's International Festival of Country Music when it came to Ireland. The band comprises of Colin Elliott, Roy Dreaning, Carl Sands and Sam Armstrong, who between them play guitars, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, piano and drums/percussion. A very catchy track opens the album, "Can't Help Myself", which had me scratching my head with frustration until I realised it was set to the tune of "Wanted Man" a track from the smash Johnny Cash album of the late '60s, the seminal 'San Quentin' album! A bevy of fine songs follow with "I'm Listening For The Call", "Crying On Your Shoulder" and the very thought provoking "Somebody Bigger Than You And I", before we are treated to a version of the Hollies classic "He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother" which the group say goes down well at their live shows. I particularly liked the very snappy "Jesus Is The Only One For Me". "The Other Thief" is a really thought provoking song but then the album closes with a track I initially didn't like, a re-working of the old Everly Brothers classic "Let It Be Me", re-worked as "You First Loved Me". As a real fan of Don & Phil I was initially less than enthusiastic about this, but the more I played it, the more it began to grow on me. Thoroughly recommended.
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