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Tillers Folly

Go the Road

(self-released; US: 9 Jul 2012; UK: 9 Jul 2012)

Going the middle of the road

Tillers Folly has one terrific song on their latest full-length, Go the Road. The many moods of “Death & Taxes” veer between resigned, mournful, wistful and enraged, powered by haunting banjo and Bruce Coughlan’s powerful vocals and clever lyrics. It’s an outstanding song, and coming as the second track on the album, it promises an inventive and surprising trip through the world of neo-traditional acoustic music.


Alas, that trip never quite materializes. There’s nothing wrong with most of the songs on the album—they are competently performed by the band’s fine musicians and a bevy of guests including Sam Bush, Jeff Autry and many others—but there is little to burn them into the listener’s memory the way “Death & Taxes” does. “Go the Road” and “I Was Here” are both moderately energetic acoustic romps, while Coughlan’s voice carries softer material such as “Closing In on Midnight”.  Listeners are apt to be diverted pleasantly enough while the music is playing, but they’re also apt to quickly forget it once it’s done.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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