STORIES TO TELL - MEGAN & THE COMMON THREADS
LCM ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Release Date: 24th February, 2017.
Genre: Country, Blues, Folk, Funk & Rock’n’Roll, Celticana.
Band: Megan O'Neill (Vocals), Dan Clark & Tom Smith (Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Harmony vocals), Keshav Kanabar (Bass guitar), Alessandro Tibaldi (Drums), Mairéad Furlong (Fiddle) and Guy Fletcher (Lapsteel, Hammond Organ, Piano, Additional Keyboard)
Location: London, UK
Record Label: Megan O'Neil/Megan & The Common Threads (Independent)
Already one of the leading young stars of UK Country and Americana, Megan O'Neil together with the core team of Dan Clark and Tom Smith formed a new band called 'Megan & The Common Threads' just under a year ago. Their first band gig was held at the famous 'Troubadour' in West London', which I had the great pleasure of attending. 'Stories To Tell' is their new exciting debut mini album, with it's launch gig planned at the new Sound Lounge in Tooting on 3rd March. It was produced by the legendary Guy Fletcher (Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, Roxy Music) at British Grove Studios last year. With support from all their friends and fans the album was very successfully crowdfunded through Pledge Music. Featuring six original songs the albums is co-written by Megan along with Dan and two others Corney and Maddox.
Megan released her debut solo EP 'Coming Home' in 2015, which was named UK EP of the Year by public vote at the W21 Music Awards. One of tracks 'Don't You' featured on the hit US TV show Nashville (ABC/Lionsgate). Gently setting aside the polished country pop sheen of her solo recordings in favour of a more organic Americana flavour, Megan has made some recent additions to her band. With her Irish roots coming strongly through into the mix, the result is a perfect fusion of country, blues, folk, funk & rock’n’roll creating a distinctive 'Celticana' sound. A very busy 2016 has seen acclaimed shows at C2C Country to Country Festival at London’s 02 Arena, a barnstorming performance to a sold out 700 capacity crowd at Time Out London's 'Rising Stars of Country' show, a headline slot at Weyfest, Nashville Meets London Festival in Canary Wharf and full UK tours with CC Smugglers and W21 Music.
The album begins with the very uptempo and catchy 'London City Ghosts' a very personal ode to London and city living with its 'ghosts of history'. A 'Blessing Or A Curse' continues the band's personal music journey and experiences. 'Our lessons will make us who we are'. The central theme of 'Walls' is the recent burglary and feeling of a lack of safety in a place that was a cherished home and a place of security. It deals with the aftermath and feeling of invasion and robbery. The rockier and very timely 'Devil And The Deep' would be a great choice for lead single. "We are all in this boat together from tramps to millionaires, with the freezing sea below us and the bombers in the air.....spare a thought for the refugee...between the Devil and the deep blue sea". I love the string arrangements and the fantastic interplay with the electric guitars. It also has touches of Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd in the guitar solo. The very reflective title track 'Stories To Tell' is about leaving home and your old life behind. TIme moves on without you and all you are left with is your memories. The rich fiddle arrangements really reminds us of the Corrs in this one. Another standout track on the album is the beautifully written 'Awake Into The Light', which perfectly showcases the band. You can imagine this being playlisted on the major UK radio stations and included in a movie and TV soundtrack.
We think the Megan & The Common Threads will be part of the next wave of artists to follow The Shires and Ward Thomas into the mainstream of Country/Americana music in the UK. On the strength of this album they are a very welcome addition. 'Stories To Tell' is only the start of a very exciting journey......with a bright future ahead for this very talented band. Go and see them live if you can. Highly recommended.
"When the threads unite, they can tie the lion..." (African Proverb)
"The Irish Carrie Underwood" (The Irish Times)
"Seriously fresh mix of modern country and pop, with a fusion of distinctly Irish elements" (Timeout Magazine London)
"Complex... with an old school country voice" (Irish Independent)