|RnR Magazine 4* Review of Ancient Roads Album
Frankly, I was quite shocked listening to the debut album from The Paul Mirfin Band. Not because of the high quality of his particular brand of Americana. Rather because Mirfin’s origins are significantly closer to the Humber Estuary than the Rio Grande or Mississippi Delta. Who knows what ‘authenticity’ really is, but clearly Ancient Roads has it.
The title track opens with a compelling foot-stomp and hand-clap beat to which are added slide guitar, fiddle and full band. The result is that infectious, greasy blues tone which Robert Plant mined so effectively on the Raising Sand album. And yet the next track, ‘We Are Three’, serves up an upbeat, harmony-laden western-swing foot-tapper. It seems destined for heavy rotation on many a country radio station.
There is a gospel tinge to the lyrics that perfectly fits the mood of the music, whether down-and dirty country blues, folksily or the haunting, closing track, ‘Trust in the Silence’. And Mirfin’s voice is the perfect vehicle to deliver the emotions – a rich, husky baritone reminiscent of Steve Earle, which seems to carry enough life experiences with it to give weight to the words it delivers.
Trevor Raggatt March/April 2019 Issue.