Old Salt Union – Old Salt Union

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

From the opening this album bursts apart with glorious harmonies, upbeat melodies and that dancing western swing violin jazzy guitar interplay. Opening tracks “Where I Stand” and “Feel My Love” are so infectious and so familiar, slipping into your consciousness like faded comfortable jeans, you are convinced they are covers. The tracks are of course strong assured band originals, polished sparkling pieces of radio friendly pieces of Pop Country. So right that they feel fully formed and years old. The band powers through a tight, dazzling fast footed set of musicians. “Bought and Sold” is a slower more considered number, all rich harmonies and the warm keening of a pedal steel. This band can do furious and smooth with equal flair. The cover of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” is a glorious frolic. It is to Old Salt Union’s credit that they own it completely. The Graceland 80’s favourite is reborn completely as an Old Salt Union Country classic. “Tuscaloosa” perfectly marries finger picked banjo, John Brighton’s fiery fiddle and those smooth harmonies. “Flatt Baroque” is a fast instrumental with the bands chops and prowess as a dance band well and truly on show. Gypsy trills on the mandolin, atmospheric handclaps and infectious music. “Closer Here and Off My Mind” is a sure footed fast tempo stormer. The band get a real groove going with some call and response vocals, kazoos and a kind of timeless hillbilly freak out on the fade. Big hearted music that whether slow or fast warms you and raises a smile.