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Review: 'Bolger, Paul J'
'The Hard Truth'   

-  Label: 'Pillar Stone Productions'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '29.4.22.'-  Catalogue No: 'PPCD002'

Our Rating:
Hard truth is the second album by Paul J Bolger who comes from Waterford in Ireland, this album was recorded in the borderlands between North and Southern Ireland and produced by Dave Molloy. Paul has also just released a graphic Novel Hound that he did all the illustration for and co-wrote with Barry Devlin from the Horslips, that's out now from Dark Horse Comics.

The album opens with The Start Of It a bluesy pop song about the start of the latest slide into whatever your led into, in places this recalls the best bits of The Beautiful South, the guitars roam across the speakers coloring the lyrics nicely as he tries to make sure he's at the start of the right thing.

Godforsaken has more of a plaintive sound as Paul pours out his soul and we figure out where he stole the guitar line from and what sins he's committed to feel so Godforsaken, I have to say that he may believe no one will remember him once he's gone, but with songs like this surely, he will be remembered fondly and hopefully won't be leaving anytime soon either.

Hard Truth is more in the spirit of Jackie Leven and features some Bodhran and Violin on this rather reflective song of hope that the Hard Truth will help you find your way through.

See Love Shine is a nice song of love and hope with some wonderful interplay between the guitars and sparsely effective drumming.

Testify is driving blues gospel shouter, only Paul's vocals are never a shout more gently insistent as Della Mannion's backing vocals help take this to the more upbeat end of the church, as they both strive to let the love in.

Light Of My Life has a gentle yearning to make sure he tells that special person just how special they are and to never forget that they are indeed the Light of My Life without sounding too soppy thankfully.

Lady Love & The Cavalier has a burnished old time feel to it and is a very carefully played dance between Lady Love & The Cavalier that we wonder how it will turn out and if they will live happily ever after or not in this latest episode of the country love blues.

Different Sky is the song on the album that most reminds me of Paul Brady and it has that gentle Irish country blues feel down to a fine art.

Believe You Me could easily be a list of the things Paul's Ma used to preface with this songs title, or he could have just heard one more ranting Irish politician helping to keep the sectarian divide alive, but over this gently expansive blues backing it feels heartfelt. That title shouldn't be putting the fear into you either as you marvel at the guitar solo.

The album closes with Not Too Long A Walk is one of those phrases my other half hates to hear from my mouth, as it often ends up being more like a two hour trek, but this song feels like it might actually be that short stroll to the place you can both feel special together, as once more Paul and Della's vocals wrap around each other like lovers entwining together.

Find out more at https://www.pauljbolger.com/ https://www.facebook.com/pauljbolger https://pauljbolger.bandcamp.com/

  author: simonovitch

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