Racing the Tide (Pub Tone Records)

The Elders 

Racing the Tide (Pub Tone Records)

"Bad Little Irish Boy" by the Elders, from Racing the Tide:

It's summer, and the Elders are making the festival rounds. The band's fourth studio album, Racing the Tide, was released locally last year but is current enough to warrant a review — because one of these nights, you'll hear that fiddle a-comin' and you'll want to know what to expect. Like the band that recorded it, Racing the Tide is a luxury vehicle, a smooth ride loaded with amenities. The tightly locked fiddle-and-accordion riffs serve as baroque adornments to the vehicle's chassis — hard-driving, melodic acoustic guitar, bass and drums. Abstract, uplifting messages pour out of the lyrical vents in a rush of oxygen and U2. Bear in mind, however, that Elders leader Ian Byrne seasons this noble gas with stock Celtschmerz, as in this immortal line from "Bad Irish Boy": In trouble he was in, drinkin' whiskey, beer and gin/Talking shyte around a hightop with McGee. This formula makes the Elders one of the region's most all-around entertaining live bands. Put Rising the Tide in the car stereo, however, and by the fifth or sixth track, you'll be asleep at the wheel.

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