There’s a corner of the music scene in the UK and Ireland these days that’s becoming more noticeable – insistent, even – under the increasingly inaccurate and irrelevant banner “Americana”.
What started as a more rootsy, stripped back objection (in part at least) to another of mainstream country music’s periodic drops into hideous cliche and soulless formula has become a cover-all label to describe so many different sounds and vibes, that surely it’ll soon be dropped as any kind of useful descriptor altogether, or, more likely, it’ll become more of an insult, much as the term “Prog” did in the 70s and 80s (and still is today).
In the meantime, one of the more enduring – and endearing – sub-genres in the Americana stable, and one that was one of the kick-starters to the whole concept, is the revision of late 70s and early 80s mid-west rock in the manner of Steve Earle, Tom Petty and the like.
The new single from Dubliner Eoin Glackin is the latest example, showcasing a solid, rock-along rhythm section overlayed with the requisite racing guitars and fiddle riffs, nicely propelling a song that is essentially a protest song in thin disguise.
Inspired by the story of Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston marathon in 1960, much to the outrage of the organiser – the photograph of him trying to manhandle her off the course lives in infamy – this is a foot-tapping clarion call to women (and one hopes, people generally) to get on and do whatever you want to while you’re still able. A simple truth, but then, as the song itself ably demonstrates, the simple things are often the most effective – and the most fun.
Glackin has scheduled one UK gig in October, at the Half Moon Putney on the 5th. If you go, make sure your shoes have their tapping soles firmly attached.
Wear It While You Can is out on Good Deeds on 27th October.