Thursday, January 16, 2014

D. B. Rielly - Cross My Heart + Hope To Die (2013)

After hearing Love Potions and Snake Oil in 2009, an album full of very eccentric and very dark humor interspersed with more traditional country songs and ballads, I couldn't have been more impressed with D. B. Rielly. His combination of upbeat zydeco, blues, soul, and country, had most people who heard him wondering why he is virtually unknown. His anonymity proves once again that there is no justice in the music business.

Not much has changed on Rielly's new album, Cross My Heart + Hope To Die, except that his humor is far less vicious. This means the ten song set is a bit more accessible than it's predecessor but not enough to lose the edginess that is always required of any artistically successful Americana record.

"Roadrunner" is a less than happy saga about an unreliably restless young woman who takes to the road, leaving the protagonist behind, yet its relentlessly danceable arrangement propels the song out of the doldrums. The humorous "Wrapped Around Your Little Finger" is pure Louisiana Cajun music starring Rielly's vibrant accordion work. It's about a girl the singer is so smitten with that he'd even help the mother of his heart's desire take her cat to the vet. "Fiorchroi (True Heart)" conjures up a definite Celtic mood because of Rielly's melancholy penny whistle.

The New York resident wrote everything else on the album except for a top notch cover of Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" and there is not a bad apple in the bunch.

Cross My Heart is for anyone who likes their country music with a little attitude and genuine emotion.

Rielly is almost a one man band. In addition to supplying all of the vocals that perfectly fit his songs and playing his squeezebox, he includes acoustic guitar, washboard, banjo, Hammond B3, tambourine, and more. He is ably assisted on most of the tracks by a small supporting cast including a guitarist, Hiromasa Suzuki, who contributes some excellent, earthy, slide work on "It's Gonna Be Me."

Read the full review of Love Potions and Snake Oil here and listen to Rielly's music at his website.

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