I found out last August that Great Big Sea, officially my second-favorite band, were going to take at least a year of mostly hiatus, so that its members could rest, recuperate and engage in other musical ventures. I saw Sean McCann last October, and concluded that his solo act was amazing. I told him that he was the only side projects of any of my favorite bands who I’d see again, no questions asked, though who knows when he’ll be back solo south of the border. Then I saw Kevin Hearn and Thin Buckle, and the Jim Cuddy Band, and I still haven’t processed the latter three months later. Besides the fact that OMG EPIC CRUSH AND HE KNOWS.
Anywho, sometime at the end of March I received an e-mail saying Alan Doyle finally put out a solo album and would actually be coming to Boston on tour. Well, Johnny D’s, which is Somerville. I bought two tickets without thinking and knew I’d somehow find someone to go with. And use prepositions to end sentences with. I did a bit of research and found information about the music, including some of his collaborators…like Jim Cuddy. Should’ve known – they’ve sung together before and work with the same charities and things like that.
The two of them singing a duet together? MY FAVORITE SONG EVER. OMG OMG OMG OMG. It’s called “Northern Plains,” and the harmonies are so incredible that I want them to be permanently stuck inside my ears. The song’s written by Alan and Hawksley Workman, and I would be thrilled to hear it in concert, especially with the original singers 😉 I’m not sure, but I’m hoping that I like it because I find the harmonies pretty and not because I find the singers attractive. I wish I learned how to write harmonies that sound like that when I took music theory. When I sing along, I sing the harmony, because Jim’s in my vocal range (Alan’s far too low for me). I keep wanting to say age range, but the guy’s old enough to be my dad!
Anyway, I should probably write a full-on review, but I absolutely love the entire album. I’m surprised that Alan managed to have a part in writing every song, and that he got so many amazing people to work with him. My second-favorite song on the album is “Lover’s Hands,” with Maureen Ennis as his duet partner. Somewhere, I have an Ennis Sisters album, though I’m not sure if they sing together anymore. I didn’t like “I’ve Seen A Little,” the first single, until I heard it on the album, and now I like it. I think the best thing about the record is that I don’t have an epic crush on him so I don’t feel pressured to love every single song, and I do at least like every single song. (For comparison, I still hate “Everyone Watched the Wedding,” and I don’t want to lie about it, “Bulletproof” makes me want to throw things at someone’s head. I’m better with “Pull Me Through” after hearing it played solo at a piano.)
So, I’m pretty sure that no one reads this, and I’m perfectly fine with that, especially since watching other people drool over Jim Cuddy makes me laugh, and watching other people drool over Alan Doyle makes me cringe, but in case anyone else is reading this, please, go buy “Boy On Bridge.” It’s a mixture of musical styles, and it’s amazeballs.
Holy crap, I can’t believe I just typed “amazeballs.” And again.