19th Street Band Diamond in the Rough 19th Street Band (38 mins) *** Album from Irish-Americana group is a gem in the making
Following 2017’s The Things That Matter, 19th Street Band deliver Diamond in the Rough, a nine-track showcase for the core quartet’s lively mix of acoustic Americana and bluegrass seasoned with a dash of Irish trad and a pinch of Gypsy jazz, anchored by a rocking drum kit. The band was founded by Caolaidhe Davis (guitar, vocals), who moved from Northern Ireland in 2005. Davis recruited and then married Meghan Davis (fiddle, mandolin, vocals) before hooking up with Greg Hardin (bass, vocals) and Patty Dougherty (drums). ‘Firefly’, a floor-stomping romp replete with clever time changes and room to let the fiddler run, serves as one of the standout performances of the Diamond… session. Also noteworthy are three songs co-written by Philip Donnelly, the Clontarf Cowboy, who passed away in 2019, and John Prine, who succumbed to complications from COVID-19 this past April. Donnelly, who famously worked with Johnny Cash, Donovan and the Everly Brothers, invited the 19th Street Band to record the songs with him in Ireland where he produced and played electric guitar on several tracks on the album.