Tupelo – The Hearts Bloodline

Album Review | Crashed Records | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 4/5

Rocking Alt Folk Band Tupelo from Dublin and Mayo in Ireland produce music with rock grit and punch. “Break Loose” is a jaunty track, infectious chorus, folk rap and screeching guitar. “Cotton to Silk” is soulful with the feel of an early mellow Meatloaf piano ballad tempered with a sweet fiddle sound. “Joyous” and “Nursery Rhyme” are a sweet folk pop numbers with the warmth and soul of The Hothouse Flowers. James Cramer is a considerable vocalist and on stripped back tracks like “Queen of the Vale”, “The Shriven Dust” or “Rivets in you, he and Julia Haile” really smoulder together. The doubling of the two voices is really something on an ending that blends Celtic fire with Eagles’ harmonies. Cramer also delivers on “Always Take the Gold”, a southern rock burner with the torque and spark of Lynyrd Skynyrd or Kings of Leon. Final track “Solid Ground” distils together everything that Tupelo do well, huge Hammond organ sound, heavenly chorus, spiritual vocals from Cranmer and that Celtic soul Van Morrison does so well. When this album gets it right, it’s gets it very right and magic crackles from the speakers. Tupelo present a pleasing mix of rock grit, Celtic sparkle and heavenly gospel piano soul ballads that surprises right to the end.