Diamond in the Rough


The 19th Street Band, a transatlantic high-energy good-time ensemble, interact with kinetic, sparking chemistry.

Northern Ireland’s Caolaidhe Davis (guitar, harmonica, vocals) and American classically trained violinist wife Meghan (fiddle, mandolin, vocals) are joined by Patty Dougherty (drums) and Greg Hardin (bass, vocals).

Recorded between the U.S. and Ireland, their second album Diamond In The Rough launches at pace. Trilling strings, driving rhythms and upbeat harmonies on ‘I Just Had To Say’ set a country, Americana mood. Featuring the addition of trumpet and saxophone, ‘Nothing To Do (All Day To Do It)’ wherein lies the album title, adds infectious optimism. Klezmer- infused ‘Firefly’ builds to a whirling mêlée. ‘Hillbilly Boy’ works as a foot stomping bluegrass frolic. Obligatory railroad song ‘Away From Our Happy Home’ follows, and then ‘True Love’, a romance of sweet harmonies.

Three tracks on the album written by Philip Donnelly and John Prine lend panache to the collection. ‘The Cajun Rock And Roll Stanza’ is a catchy New Orleans­ inspired mix, ‘Your Love Is Like The Lone Ranger’ exudes a classic timelessness. Infused with humour, ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ ends this splendid album in a collective cheer.

Bryony Hegarty