Go The Road - Tillers Folly
Tillers Folly Records
Tillers Folly have gifted British Columbia seven albums that bring to life through Celtic stomp, bluegrass, roots and pop, the forgotten maritime heritage of the west coast in timeless tales of colourful characters and incidents. Everybody from The Steamboatin’ Jaimesons to The Ghost of Simon Fraser has been immortalized through the songwriting craft of vocalist, Bruce Coughlan. I’m not sure what formal recognition they’ve received for this invaluable contribution to the preservation of our history, but some kind of medal or title should be forthcoming from the Provincial political ring-leaders. Meantime, the recording and the song crafting continue with album eight, Go The Road, their most musically exceptional offering to date. As the title indicates, this disc finds the Tillers on the trail to other geographies that have inspired them, like the haunting, beautiful and whiskey-famous Speyside in Scotland, which awakened fresh solo material in Bruce, to the Mecca for roots Americana; the big show for all pickers and bowers and mandolin melody-makers, Nashville, Tennessee. A group of talents, given the time to excel in their art must continue to challenge itself to stay toned and relevant. Seeking out the next high water mark, The Tillers tapped into the acoustic world’s hottest pool in the roots capital, including John Cowan (Newgrass Revival/Doobie Brothers/John Cowan Band), Sam Bush (Newgrass Revival/Sam Bush Band), Josh Shilling (Mountain Heart), Ronnie McCoury (Del McCoury Band/ The Travelin McCoury’s), Cia Cherryholmes (The Cherryholmes), heralded singer/songwriter/producer Wendy Waldman, Scott Vestal (Sam Bush Band), Jeff Autry (John Cowan Band/The Travelin McCoury’s) and Randy Kohrs (Randy Kohrs Band/Jim Lauderdale/Dolly Parton). Add in overseas chops from Scottish Music Hall of Fame member Phil Cunningham (Phil & Ali), and of course Vancouver Island`s acclaimed award winning producer Joby Baker (who adds his drumming talents to Go The Road). The title track is first out of the chute and should be an instant favorite with longtime fans. But, Bruce, Laurence (Knight) on bass and Nolan (Murray) on fiddle, mandolin and guitars chose to launch the release with the second song, Death & Taxes; two certainties that they hope will net certain success. The song is a game of vocal musical chairs with Bruce trading off lines with John Cowan and Josh Shilling. The next in line called Shine is (pun intended) another bright light in the collection. The ballad, Winter will be sure to touch anyone still chilled by the fading season.