The McKrells - Better Days

Better Days

The McKrells

Woods End Music Group
Greenfield Center, NY 12833
(518) 584-4421
wemg@aol.com

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by
Jim Zimmerschied
(banjoz@aol.com)

Better Days is a pop/celtic CD played on traditional bluegrass instruments. The songs are all original - thirteen written and sung by lead vocalist, Kevin McKrell, and one lonely instrumental. Joining him are Chris Leske on banjo, mandolin and dobro, Craig Vance on lead guitar and backup vocals, and Joyce Andersen on fiddle and backing vocal. The songs mostly have a "lost love" theme. The celtic influence (besides the name of the band) shows up in a rapid fire, many words per verse style that may be associated with some modern celtic groups. One song, Donegal, obviously has Irish roots.

The singing is pleasant to listen to although it is not always easy to hear the lyrics (they are written out on the jacket for your convenience). There is variety in the flowing Darling Boy, the waltzy Katie's Waltz, and the country style of It's Not Me. There is even an instrumental, Atlanta, which gives the band a chance to flash their instruments. The guitar breaks on several songs such as Dark Dreams are well done. McKrell's voice pretty much dominates, and he does a nice job on the vocals.

Better Days is not for the bluegrass diehard, nor is it strictly speaking, celtic. There is something here for those who like acoustic pop with a little Irish Mist.

Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz
(rschwartz@oeb.harvard.edu)

Copyright 1999, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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