Union Duke – Golden Days

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

The third album release by Toronto-based five-piece Union Duke, once again showcases the band’s raw exuberance with a sound that comes as close to a live performance as possible, before an audience of just the production personnel. The thirteen songs are all originals, written variously by four of the five musicians and delivered in a contemporary indie-rock/bluegrass/country style, with some delicious vocal harmonies, very much their own. “Heavy Wind” is a perfect opener, imbued with an urgency in its delivery, which effectively paves the way for such accessible tunes as “Bird on the Wing”, the uplifting “Chasing Headlights”, the banjo-led “Fare Thee Well” and the title song “Golden Days (I’ve Been Down).” If “Coffee/Whiskey” shows off the band’s informed bluegrass chops (there’s even a ‘yee-haw’ in there somewhere) and “Torn in Two” is possibly as Country as it gets, then the pop sensibility of “Reminder Song” should ensure the band plenty of radio play.