CD Review | Keegan McInroe – Uncouth Pilgrims
Album | Uncouth Pilgrims
Artist | Keegan McInroe
Label | Self-Released
Release Date: 27th May 2016
Texan troubadour Keegan McInroe came up with the concept for his fourth album ‘Uncouth Pilgrims’ after reading Mark Twain’s travelogue ‘The Innocents Abroad’ which coined the phrase he’s borrowed for the title, but its not pilgrimage in a religious sense that he’s dealing with here, rather it’s the the path to love. And a very craggy thoroughfare it turns out to be for our modern-day traveler.
The 14 songs on this album are imbued with a gritty sensibility conveying longing, world-weariness and defiance. The opening track ‘Country Music Outlaws’ is a homage to Waylon, Willie and the rest, and their echoes are heard on several of these well-crafted numbers, but there are influences from Folk, Country Blues, Bluegrass and Rock music. He effortlessly blends these styles and creates a sound that manages to be both contemporary and rooted in heritage.
The production quality is excellent and allows the assembled band of talented musicians to shine – Roger Ray on pedal steel guitar; Gary Grammer on harmonica; Ginny Mac on accordion; Darrin Kobetich on mandolin, and Austin Smith on fiddle combine to create a rich, rootsy sound.
Keegan’s powerful vocals predominate throughout though, skillfully adapting his style to nuance of each of the tracks.
‘Uncouth Pilgrims’ stands out as a fine collection of original songs deftly performed by an artist who knows his roots.
He’s about to embark on his fourth consecutive European Summer Tour, these are the confirmed UK dates (in London and the West of England so far), but check out his website as new gigs are still being added.
Tue 17 May – The Blues Kitchen, Camden, London
Fri 20 May – The Lighthouse, Battersea, London
Tue 24 May – The King Arthur, Glastonbury
Fri 27 May – The Queens Head, Box, Wiltshire
Sat 28 May – The Castle, Swindon
Mon 30 May -The Rolleston Arms, Swindon
Keegan will also be playing shows in Ireland and mainland Europe.