A Review of the Pat Maloney CD
"Perfect Oblivious Moon"

"Perfect Oblivious Moon"
by Pat Maloney

Copyright 1998
Ratrick Records
P.O. Box 1615
Dewey, AZ 86327

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 4/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Like a masterful writer or storyteller who ensconces his ideas and characters in just the right backdrop, Pat Maloney employs the power of his prolific poetic imagination to charming and entertaining effect on his third and latest release. Sometimes transparent, sometimes murky, sometimes surreal, Maloney is one of the few who truly elevates the songwriting craft with his elegant and literate mix of words and music. The result is an exalting treat for the listener.

Integrating musical styles and rhythms throughout the collection of 13 compositions, he opens with the quixotic title cut "Perfect Oblivious Moon." Backed by subdued banjo picking, Maloney sings:

His chorus goes: The bouncy "Down To The River On A Fine Brown Horse" features a penny whistle opening, followed by a mixture of sweet violin flourishes and penny whistle throughout. Maloney sings: Questioning his life's work and real contribution to society on the percussion and mandolin backed "These Hard Times," he states: Maloney continues on singing "a secret part of me rejoices I'm not down there too...I'll write my words and I'll glibly sing and wonder what relief a song can bring". He adds "maybe I will make my life like old Walt Whitman said: Instead of tears or money I will give myself instead...and every hook and every line will be a barb to the honest mind".

On "China Dog," an obstinately sad take on a failed relationship, Maloney sounds remarkably like the second coming of John Prine.

"The Trouble With A Fountain Pen," with a rhythm and harmonica backing remindful of early Dylan, he uses the vehicle of a fountain pen and the resulting words that pour from it for a myriad of troubles encountered. Humorously, he seeks assistance from a therapist:

The poignantly sweet and soft "The Ghosts Are Dancing On The Rails" depicts acts of simple everyday life but coalesces them into a greater meaning. Backed by violin, Maloney sings in his second bridge: Closing out with the appropriately titled "Good Night," he describes the deleterious effects of nightfall on human hearts: Maloney's bridge contains his unheeded warning: This transplanted upstate New Yorker, now residing in northern Arizona, can be likened to a more western-like Jack Hardy. High praise indeed but well earned and deserved. His talent for simultaneously providing a sense of both spareness and fullness with his music is remarkable. Take a chance and get this release--you absolutely won't regret it. What you'll do is kick yourself for waiting so long.

Maloney on vocals and guitar is backed by Rosie Maloney (his wife) on penny whistle and harmony vocals; Don Charles on acoustic guitar, banjo, bodhran, shakers and percussion; Deb Gessner on harmony vocals; Mark Schatz on upright bass; Ron Rutowski on violin; Kyle Harris on acoustic electric bass; Billy Parker on mandolin; William R. Meldrum on percussion, congas and triangle; Sonja D. Branch on mbung mbung, steel drum, tambourine and shaker; Jenny Lynn Rust on cello; Stefan George on slide guitar, Mike Breen on acoustic guitar and banjo; Dan King on electric slide guitar; Sue Harris on acoustic guitar; Ed Black on dobro; Rob Hale on harmonica; and Nancy Dalessandro on electric guitar.

Track List:

All songs by Pat Maloney.

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