Beware of Trains is the latest album by Irish singer songwriter Paul J Bolger, he recorded this album in Nashville at The Henhouse studios with Steve Dawson and Gus Barnett behind the desk. He was joined in the studio by David Jacques, Jamie Dick, Siobhan Maher-Kennedy, Hugh Christopher Brown, Alex Soikans, Colin Shananhan and Sarah McDermott.
The album opens with All By Herself that has a great organ sound, that the bluesy guitars are on top of, as this song about the need for some help, so he is able to accept some help, can get by, so she doesn't have to keep on running all the time.
Breathless is about a lover who always leaves Paul breathless, taking away all the darkness, as Siobhan Maher-Kennedy duets and makes clear just how Paul is the other side of that coin, making them the perfect match, as the voices intertwine as completely as the guitars, this is a sophisticated song for the star-crossed unsentimental lovers.
Far From Here has a sparing brushed beat, to take you away from all the trouble back to some nice clear water. Can he escape all his troubles with a shuffling beat, closure might come if you believe all the therapy speak, leaving town seems a safer option allowing those acoustic guitars to ease his pain away.
Chains Of Jealousy is seeking freedom from the all-consuming arms of a super jealous lover, gently looking for a way out, to stop the recriminations, the never being allowed to do anything without be questioned. Plangent guitars accompany Paul as he finds a way to find a new easier life.
Heather Road opens like it's been recorded onto a crackly old 78 that gets stuck allowing the full band to come in so Paul can tell tales of what used to happen back in the day on Heather Road near to where he grew up on the "Mean Streets" of Waterford, all the folks that wanted him to leave town and stop tearing the place up, this has a cool country ballad feel that would sound great on the radio as the beat gently pumps away.
Dance To Where You Stand has a super slow feel as deep vocals intone another dark story of heartbreak, pain and sorrow are never far away, so carefully illustrated as the swelling voice of angels backing vocals added by Sarah McDermott sound like they were sung church style from high above as he hopes to avoid an early grave.
What We Did Wrong is a question we all ask ourselves at some point or other, you wonder what happened for the love you had to dissipate like that, can you avoid singing another heartbreaker, well in the country tradition of course you can't, this is full of bitter regret that you laid everything out in that song, like George and Tammy always did.
The album closes with Watering Hole for anyone who needs to drown there sorrows away, hoping to arrive long before they get locked in, has he got enough time to drink enough to get rid of all the pain or not, carefully picked guitars aiming to find a way through it all, is there light at the end of this tunnel or not.
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