Rory McNamara with The Ring Of Truth Trio – Dangerous Business
The Trio, which hails from Santa Rosa, California, first came into existence in 2008, worked steadily for about a year, released a cd, SO FAR, SO GOOD in 2009 and then went into semi musical hibernation. Over the next few years, Henry and Rory continued to perform together occasionally with a rotating cast of bass-players and other instrumentalists. The Ring Of Truth Trio appeared whenever they had time away from other projects. In January 2014, the very talented multi instrumentalist, Roxanne Oliva joined and the trio began a new lease of life. December 2014 saw the release of DANGEROUS BUSINESS, the trio's second cd.
Eory McNamara arrived in the USA from England in the 1970's and became part of San Francisco's folk music revival. Over the years he has been a member of (including The Mild Colonial Boys) several touring ensembles and released 5 albums. Though he retains his British accent, his style has pure American roots. "Rory has a voice akin to aural comfort food – congenial, emotionally satisfying, full of soul and pleasing to the ears. A voice you want to listen to over and over again."
Henry Nagle is an ace pedal steel and guitar player who excels at unwarranted hypothesizing. He is featured in many ensembles including Chelsea Set, The Spindles, Eight Belles & Killer Views. He is a charter member of The Ring Of Truth Trio
Roxanne Oliva, the newest member of the trio is an accordionist, composer, and Celtic music teacher. As a multi-instrumentalist, Roxanne has appeared on over 30 albums with various luminaries including Paddy Keenan and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Tom Waits.
1. Dangerous Business - 2. Rachel - 3. A Fool Such As I - 4. Walk Downtown - 5. Foolish Heart - 6. The Blue Box Waltz - 7. I Bet You Still Get Blue - 8. Things Have Gone To Pieces - 9. The Governor - 10. Beneath A Shroud - 11. The Far Side Bank Of Jordan
Rory McNamara (guitar, vocals) , Sarah McNamara (vocal) , Henry Nagle (guitar, pedal steel) , Ray Austin (pedal steel) , Warren "Bubba" Stephens (guitar, fiddle) , Buddy Whittington (guitar) , Peter Lacques (harmonica) , Roxanne Oliva (accordion, piano, harmony vocals) , Lonesome "Homesick" Jones (bass, harmony vocals) , Aram Doross (bass) , Chuck Mayo (Hammond organ) , Joe Weed / John Caulfield (fiddles) , Kevin Brennan / Mark Wilson (harmony vocals) , Gonzalo Trevino (drums)
1. Based in Santa Rosa California, Rory McNamara has a lengthy pedigree stretching back to the sixties. There’s a full account on his website but he was playing in the London folk scene with Dick Gaughan and Mick Softley and travelling Europe before moving to the States in 1974. Recording for Kicking Mule Records and playing with the likes of Mike Wilhelm he eventually formed a band called The Mild Colonial Boys who were the focus of a San Francisco Irish scene. Along the way he was involved with the late Billy Marlowe whose album we reviewed here and Dangerous Business features four songs from Marlowe, two co written with McNamara.
Dangerous Business is a warm and laid back stroll of an album with McNamara’s voice conveying his years, not dissimilar to Chip Taylor or David Olney (whose Walk Downtown is covered here), it’s worn but worn well. With fine support from The Ring Of Truth Trio (Henry Nagle on guitar and some sublime pedal steel, Roxanne Oliva, accordion and LH Jones on bass) there’s a Texas feel to the album, dusty ballads in a Guy Clark style while Oliva’s instrumental Blue Box Waltz is a particular delight. On the sublime Marlowe song I Bet You Still Get Blue one is reminded of Mike Nesmith’s seventies heyday and Leon Payne’s Things Have Gone To Pieces is given a tremendous outing. The opening title song, again written by Marlowe, is a strong and moving meditation that recalls Townes Van Zandt without his frailty and Townes is again brought to mind on the gentle country skip of Jim Ringer’s Rachel with Peter Lacques’ harmonica a highlight here.
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