The Paul Mirfin Band | Ain't No Grave

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Rock: Americana Spiritual: Christian Rock Moods: Christian
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Ain't No Grave

by The Paul Mirfin Band

There is a gospel tinge to the lyrics that perfectly fits the mood of the music - a down and dirty country blues with a folk-rock edge and rich, husky baritone vocals from Paul Mirfin reminiscent of Steve Earle.
Genre: Rock: Americana
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1. Ain't No Grave
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Album Notes
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.

Ancient Roads Album Reviewed by Tony Cummings, Cross Rhythms UK

In my original draft of this review I spoke about this superb band from Harrogate being in the decades long tradition of follk roots bands/artists engaging with audiences, both Christian and non-Christian. But folk roots is, in retrospect, an innapropriate description. The term I've now using to describe their fine album is 'progressive Americana' where element of prog rock are skillfully fused with some touches of Americana (catch the great banjo here and there). Led by singer, guitarist and songwriter Paul Mirfin ,these guys have emerged onto the scene easily as good as bulk of the star names today clamouring for streaming attention. After being featured on Songs Of Praise in 2016 and getting radio exposure on both Christian and non-Christian radio, the band were ready for a bells and whistles launch and deliver magnificently with this dazzling debut. Paul's husky, emotive voice exhorts us to walk the walk on the title track - "Walk down ancient roads/The roads paved with gold" he sings over a kick drum dominated bluesy accompaniment which sounds like something Steve Earl might record if he ever got saved. Then there's "The Fighter" with its memorable Trinitarian lines, "Well, there's one of you/And there's three of me/Come on and fight." Or there's the delicate acoustic-driven "Trust In The Silence" which is as haunting an intimate worship song as you're likely to hear this year. Remember the name. You'll be hearing a lot more of these Yorkshire mens' slant on American country porch music in the years ahead. I've ammended this review in January 2019 so I can say this with confidence 'Ancient Roads' is the best debut album I've ever heard, the production by John Shepherd and George Oliver Tyreman is top rate...oh, and the sleeve is good as well. Here's hoping they get to release it on vinyl!



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