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Turn Your Face To The Sun, I Draw Slow (Compass, US)

Superior Americana from Dublin five-piece.

In almost the same manner that Clapton, Jagger/ Richards, Jeff Beck and others sold the blues back to American audiences in the ’60s, a growing number of Irish acts – like Lost Brothers and the Henry Girls – have been doing something similar in the country and roots genre. I Draw Slow are another – the surprise on hearing them first is that they aren’t from the southern states of the USA.

Inspired by the North Carolina sound and the scene that gave us Chatham County Line and Ryan Adams, they’re also clearly influenced by more traditional bluegrass acts, like Nickel Creek and Alison Krauss & Union Station.

Mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitars and double bass are the main instruments on Turn Your Face To The Sun, but it’s how the band weave the sound into something original that really impresses. Adding just a faint hint of “Irish-ness”, they veer from the jaunty, driving rhythms of ‘Tell The Girls’ to the enchanting balladry of ‘Don’t Wake The Children’.

With sweet harmonies and an infectious melody, ‘Maria’ is not unlike Swedish sirens First Aid Kit, while the finger-picked guitar on ‘Carolina’ is spellbinding.
You can spot influences, but I Draw Slow still sound distinctive – no mean feat given their physical distance from the American south.