Review on 'Go The Road' from NPR's Tom May

 

For more than a decade, Canada's "Tiller's Folly" has made some of the most listenable, intelligentcountry/ folk/ americana  music to be heard; always with a splash of humor and unusually polishedinstrumental prowess to accent Bruce Coughlin's prolific songwriting.

 

Their new album  "Go the Road", takes this already high standard to new heights.   Produced and recorded in Victoria,  the essential  trio of Bruce Coughlin, Laurence Knight, and Nolan Murray are augmented in Nashville, Edinborough and Los Angeles by A-list studio players John Cowan (the Doobie Brothers) Sam Bush , Phil Cunningham and other luminaries.

 

The result are arrangements where the strings fairly sparkle;   the energy of the project drives from the dynamic title track though to the memorable closing song, always uplifting the songs  while highlighting the crystalline clear vocals.  There is no filler on this album; every song stands on its own.   Varied tempos and instrumental colors keep the listener engaged with the alternatively thoughtful, loving and playful lyrics.

 Of particular note is "As I Walk Down This Road", an anthem to a life as a musician, or any occupation that fully engages one's heart and soul.   The aforementioned title track   "Go the Road kicks  off the album with bluegrass intensity reminiscent of the finest of Nickel Creek or Ricky Skaggs.   The closer piece "If I Pass This Way Again", as well as the eminently singable "Forever on my Mind, are songs I expect many country/bluegrass groups to eventually cover and record.

 The Tillers Folly band continues to tour the U.S., Canada, and overseas, working hard and always striving for the next level.  "Go the Road" is the testament to that dedication, determined focus on the integrity of the song, and respect and appreciation of their audiences.   This album is a landmark achievement for them, and an extravagant gift to the folks that love their music.  I predict it will also reach many thankful listeners who have not yet had the opportunity to hear them. 

 

Tom May

producer, "River City Folk"

nationally syndicated on public radio and Sirius/XM;   27 years of "Music that Makes a Difference"