Barry McLoughlin
by Johanna J. Bodde

BARRY MCLOUGHLIN   "Pieces"   (Narrative Music)

The name of Barry McLoughlin's residence Sioux Lookout (in the NorthWest of Ontario, Canada) speaks to the imagination! However, Barry was born in the Irish city Dublin and grew up in Toronto. These various influences and those of his big rolemodels Harry Chapin, Gordon Lightfoot and Kris Kristofferson are noticable on his striking folk album "Pieces". The fourteen self-penned songs are dressed up semi-acoustically. Barry himself plays guitar, he has a musical miracle next to him: Mike Dillon, who adds acoustic and electric bass, bodhran and drums, electric guitar, dobro, harmonica and ocarina. Drums and electric guitars stay modestly in the background by the way, this is skilled mixing!
The sound of Barry's voice can be described as a relatively light tenor, with pleasant timbre and range including falsetto. The Irish undertone is also obviously present here, in a certain always audible optimism. The songs are sincere before anything, dealing with the various aspects and stages of love in well chosen lines. Immediately after starting the CD I already heard an example: "Do you still stare out your window at the snow / Like a Juliet who has lost her Romeo" and I knew it couldn't go wrong anymore! "The Most Wonderful Girl In The World" is for a daughter who lives with the ex and in "Thing Called Love" a girl takes the train from Sioux Lookout on a cold Winter evening. "I Want To Be There" is inspired by the native inhabitants of the North American continent. The most beautiful track is yet "5th Avenue", about a secret relationship. Barry himself is happy with the attention for his music: "The international response makes me feel like a fine wine!"
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.