Friday, 14 March 2014

Albums of 2014: Paul McClure - Smiling From The Floor Up

Let me start by saying that I have thought long and hard about posting Albums Of 2014 so early in the year - but I know what I like and I like what I know (that sounds vaguely familiar in a Prog sort of way) - so for Albums that I know are going to make the list, well why not get them in early to give everyone an opportunity to seek out and get a few months more enjoyment if they feel so inclined as to invest

As I've stated many times before, Clubhouse Records is my favourite record label. Every artist in their stable is excellent and worthy of your time.

Paul McClure first came to my attention as part of a duo called The Hi & Lo. 
Clubhouse released an album in tribute to the Bruce Springsteen release Nebraska with it's own artists and selected guests recording each of the tracks on a TEAC tape recorder, just as Bruce did.

This is The Hi & Lo's version of My Father's House from that album.

Paul has released two solo albums, No Place Like Home in 2003 & Desire Lines in 2008

However, since the break up of The Hi & Lo, Paul has been working on his next solo album and has finally released Smiling From The Floor Up.

Photo courtesy of Trevor Moss

Last year, Paul played the rather magnificently titled Tingestock Festival where he showcased some of the new material that would become Smiling...

Photo courtesy of Trevor Moss

The album also features a few of his Clubhouse Label mates such as Joe Bennett from the Dreaming Spires and Alex & Hannah Elton-Wall from the Redlands Palomino Company, otherwise, it's just Paul himself.

The album contains some lovely variety and Paul's dry sense of humour shines throughout the album.

It's an album of the pleasures of life such as family and friends.

Opener Long Gone Out Of Here sets the tone for much of the album. Paul & his Guitar - and any song that includes a Buddy Holly reference is a winner in my book.

Here is Paul talking about the album

Particular favourites at the moment include the chugging Lost And Found and the jaunty Any Number You Like (As Long As It's 4)

And Paul's humour comes to the fore with the Ukulele led Lola Rose

Photo courtesy of Trevor Moss

To coincide with the album's release, Paul has embarked on a tour with a difference. The Rutland Troubadour Tour has taken in many house concerts and very small venues to introduce his music to the masses. It's proved very popular among his supporters and look out for a documentary which is currently being put together as the tour continues.

Smiling From The Floor Up has certainly delivered the goods for me. Early indications were good and it's certainly lived up the the early promise. There are so many singer/songwriters out there at the moment so it's great to find one with a personality and sense of humour. I'm looking forward to finally catching Paul live and I know it's greedy but I'm already looking forward to the next release.

So do yourself and your ears a favour and go and buy a copy of Smiling From The Floor Up. 

Photo courtesy of Trevor Moss

Twitter - @PMcCluremusic

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