A Review of the Pat Maloney CD
"The Loneliness Birds"

"The Loneliness Birds"
by Pat Maloney

Copyright 1992
Poke Music 6274
P.O. Box 1615
Dewey, AZ 86327

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 1/00
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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The preeminent impression after listening to Pat Maloney's very first release is that his distinct gift for coupling words and presenting images was solidly evident eight years ago back in 1992. Sometimes, he complies and connects all the dots of his musical landscapes for his listeners. Other times, he plays more of an impressionistic role and leaves interpretation up to the beholder. His subject matter may or may not differ from that of many singer-songwriters but he creates far more literate and compelling visions than most. Witness the first two verses of his evocative opening cut "Just Like Goodbye":

The freedom anthem "Except Without the Wings" offers a unique perspective. Maloney sings in his verses: "Gretl" offers puzzling but exquisite imagery throughout, with fiddle backing deepening the mystery: His chorus goes: On the lamentful but sensuous road song "Highway (Don't Make A Good Woman)," Maloney cleverly ties in elements of nature with human imagery: "Mountains don't cut a good figure even with their giant breasts, River don't make a good lover even though she rolls the best...Forest ain't soft and caressing even with her cool green thighs, Freeway just teases all it's lovers winking with her headlight eyes...Desert and plains are hotter than the devil but their passion just leaves me drained, Creeks and streams got marrying dreams, pregnant from morning rains..."

The most poignant offering is "The Loneliness Birds," containing a description of the moment Maloney learned about the tragic, accidental death of his 16-year-old son. Utilizing uillean pipes at song's end heightens the mournfulness of this cut:

Maloney, continuing the theme of loss, follows with the poetic and pleaful banjo, electric guitar and drums-driven "Light My Way, Mend My Heart." Reaching a moving, concluding crescendo utilizing all three instruments, it goes: Some of the best evidence of Maloney's gift is on display in the witty "Heart Time." He sings: While not as entirely consistent as his latest offering "Perfect Oblivous Moon," "The Loneliness Birds" certainly has enough shining moments to merit a high recommendation. The richness of Pat Maloney's wordings is enchanting, leaving the listener with the knowledge of having experienced something and someone special.

Maloney on lead vocals and acoustic guitar is assisted by Rosie Maloney on backup vocals, cat-paws and tambourine; Steve Piper on electric guitar, rickenbacker 12-string and backup vocals; John Dady on acoustic guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, bodhran and backup vocals; Joe Dady on fiddle, banjo, harmonica, uillean pipes and whistle; Chuck Parnell on bass; and Michael Plouffe on drums and percussion.

Track List:

All songs by Pat Maloney.

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