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Westbound Train


(Epitaph; US: 26 Sep 2006; UK: 25 Sep 2006)

Westbound Train are rolling with this album, even if “Transition 1” takes a moment or two to get off the ground, moving from a Sun Studios-era rockabilly sound fluently into the smooth, slow ska of “Please Forgive Me” that sounds like Bedouin Soundclash. Other groups like UB40 come to mind with the relaxing and enjoyable island flair of “Good Enough”, which is definitely good enough. The same can be said for the soulful, Sam Cooke-ish “For the First Time” that shines perfectly. And it’s that old-school brand of soul which seems to be a subtle but stellar thread throughout, particularly on “Gone” and the fantastic “The Runaround”. After an iffy instrumental “The Test”, Westbound Train keep the momentum going with “Sorry Mama”, which is difficult not to groove to. Although it’s been done before, Westbound Train does this genre quite well and proud with the fine “I’m No Different” having some great horn work in the middle. The homestretch perhaps best describes the album with “Soul Revival” and the breezy, summer, Caribbean-tinged “Fatty Boom Boom”.


Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide,,, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for

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