Wednesday, August 17, 2016
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: KEITH MULLINS - THE HEART OF EVERYTHING
Mullins took Cape Breton to Cuba on his last album, but this time he stays home to craft a straight-ahead, unabashedly catchy and pleasing folk-pop album. It's as warm and warm-hearted as can be, full of strong sentiments, relaxing grooves and welcoming melodies. If the album was a book, it would be in the self-help section: The Power of Positive Singing.
Apple Of My Eye is a chipper, happy-go-lucky tune, like McCartney doing old British music hall numbers, complete with whistling. Oh No is more in the tough love vein: "You said boy, get off your ass." Big Spruce puts a more positive spin on the life of travelling back and forth to Alberta for work: "My girl is holding the fort while I'm up in Fort Mac/She's waiting for me and I can't wait to get back."
Mullins is one of the most adept musicians on the East Coast, often working as a percussionist for several name performers,as well as an educator and workshop leader, plus a multi-instrumentalist. Aside from the fiddling here, and help from Gordie Sampson and friends on the Big Spruce track, he played and sang the whole album. Here, his good vibrations are infectious, and it's easy to be won over to his optimism. It's an 11-track group hug.