The Remedy Club – Lovers, Legends & Lost Causes
High Flying Disc Records – 8 October 2017
Formerly trading as B & The Honeyboy, Irish husband-wife roots duo The Remedy Club comprises Aileen Mythen and KJ McEvoy, the latter being a guitarist of some note and also the brother of Eleanor McEvoy, who contributes here on violin and vocals.
Featuring backing by an assortment of Irish musicians, among them David Murphy on pedal steel, Mythen says they wanted to pay homage to such heroes as Tom Waits, Hank Williams and Django Reinhardt and, indeed, all three feature in song titles.
First up is old gravel throat on the melancholic six-minute When Tom Waits Up (the video recently premiered on Folk Radio UK) with its twangsome guitar Spaghetti-Western intro before the gentle jog rhythm takes over. The upbeat putteringly rhythmic Django rather predictably follows a Gypsy jazz sway with Spanish acoustic guitar, violin and Aiden Kelly on trumpet. Equally naturally, there’s a gentle country jog to Listening To Hank Williams, sung by McEvoy with honky tonk piano from Podge Kilbride.
If that’s the legends, then lovers provide the basis of album opener duet I Miss You with its chiming melody line, undulating drums and keening pedal steel. That lovers theme continues on the glorious cascading rush of Come On, The Last Song (another train time country rhythm duet) and, pedal steel again to the fore, late-night dreamy album torch-smouldering closer This Is Love.
While dealing with matters of the heart, I reckon the lyrics of Sweet White Lies, on which Mythen channels her inner Dolly telling her cheating lover to get gone, is more of the ‘lost causes’ category. The third element of the album title also pertains to the Cash-like stomping boogie Big Ol’ Fancy as McEvoy bemoans how living the high life has come back to bite him on the ass.
Likewise, it underpins McEvoy’s mid-tempo screwing-up, falling off the wagon themed Bottom of the Hill and, with chiming guitars back on the agenda, Get Away With It, on which Mythen singing the verses and they duet on the soaring choruses. They don’t push any envelopes or break any boundaries, but they’re still well worth taking for the cure.
The Remedy Club will tour through Autumn 2017.