The Saw Doctors have been making great Irish folk/rock music for 20 years. During that time, they have released seven albums, but most people say that none of the recordings meet the excitement and uplifting nature of seeing the band live.
That seems apparent to me even in the bonus footage included in the new Deluxe Limited Edition of The Further Adventures of the Saw Doctors, which is being released on March 13 in the U.S. (The original recording of The Further Adventures… was released in 2010.)
But whether the album recordings live up to the live performances or not, this release is a very pleasant listening experience. Some songs lean more to the rock side, like “Hazard,” a song about being unemployed and “back on the rock and roll,” and some lean more to the folk or even country side, like “Somebody Loves You Just the Way You Are.” That song, and “Be Yourself” offer very positive, uplifting messages.
The opening track, “Takin’ the Train,” is an uptempo song with a catchy sound. “Friday Town” and “Well Byes” provide a bit of social commentary. “Well Byes,” by the way, are people who sell merchandise out of the trunks of their cars.
“Last Call” is a song in praise of a bartender, “the only one that makes it right.” The next song, “As the Light Fades,” is also set in a bar, but is a more thoughtful observation of the people who take their comfort there.
“Indian Summer” is a bouncy little love song, while “Songs and Stars” and “Goodbye Again” show the tender side of the band.
In the bonus footage, which mixes interviews with band members with studio and live performance, it is clear to see the attraction between the band and the audience and the easy interaction between the band members in performance.
Overall, this CD is melodic and sweet, though given an edge by Davy Carton’s slightly raspy voice and the solid drumming of Eimhin Cradock. Hopefully, this new release with the bonus footage of the band in action will gain more recognition for it in the U.S.