Tuesday, 10 February 2015
WORKING ON LOVE - Niall Toner's new album
Press Release from Niall Toner
WORKING ON LOVE is Niall Toner's fifth all-original album and was recorded in Nashville with producer, Keith Sewell and a stellar line-up of musicians including Samson Grisman (The Deadly Gentlemen/ David Grisman Band) on bass , Justin Weaver (Wynonna Judd Band) on mandolin and guitar , John Mock (Dixie Chicks) on harmonium and whistles, Keith Sewell (Lyle Lovett Band/Dixie Chicks) on guitar, fiddle and mandolin, and Scott Vestal (Sam Bush Band) on 5-string banjo. Niall played mandolin and banjo, and sang all the lead vocals, with harmonies by Wendy Buckner and Keith Sewell. The sessions were cut at 16 Tons Studio on Music Row, and mixed and mastered at the Toolshed Studios in Mount Juliet, TN. Engineer was Michael Esser.
This is basically an Album of Love Songs, and it seems appropriate that it should be released to coincide with St.Valentine's Day, the annual celebration of LOVE.
Working On Love is, as the title suggests, an up-tempo song about a couple working continuously to improve their relationship. Josie's Reel is a glimpse of innocence, and paints a picture of a somewhat clumsy man trying to make an impression on a dancing girl. I Know What Lonely's About is a love song about the loneliness of separation (though with a happy ending). Old Tyme Love is another old-style love song which tells the story of a touring performer on the road wanting to get back home as soon as possible. When Tomorrow Comes is one of those up-tempo style Bluegrass songs which has, at its heart, a story of break-up and separation but none-the-less expresses its emotion over a hard driving rhythm. The Mountain and the Sky uses that metaphor to describe a relationship on the very edge of crumbling. Walk On Water is a full-on Gospel song co-written by Niall and Terri Lynn-Weaver which draws its inspiration directly from the Bible parable about Jesus walking on water. Bill Monroe's Mandolin (Niall explains) is "(as far as I know) the only love song ever written about a mandolin, and a fairly special one at that! I first recorded this song in 2001, but I always harboured an ambition to re-cut it in a more 'story-telling' version, so here it is!" The only instrumentals on this album are takes on two traditional Irish themes/styles; Planxty Coolasnaughta is so named because it is in the style of the great Irish harpist, Turlough O'Carolan and The Flower Of Liffey Hall is Niall's version of a traditional hornpipe. The People Wondered is an acapella song performed in Shape Note Hymnal style, based on the concept of the 'Doubting Thomas'.