Cornflower Blue: Run Down the Rails

This is energetic, jaunty, country-ish music from the great white north.

Cornflower Blue

Run Down the Rails

Label: self-released
US Release Date: 2012-01-13
UK Release Date: 2012-01-17

Ottawa's Cornflower Blue are a country-folk band built around the vocals of Trevor May and Thesea McInerney, backed up by energetic musicians and fueled by an obvious passion for the music. Run Down The Rails's opening foot-stomper pushes McInerney's urgent vocals to the fore, which is right where they belong; her tunes are by far the most passionate on the record. "Cold Lake" slows things a little, while "Car In the Parking Lot" brings them down even more, but in both cases, droning fiddles and McInerney's strong voice keep the listener rapt.

Admittedly, May's harmony vocals and the odd bit of disrtorted guitar solo help, too. When May takes center stage, the energy drops noticeably, so it's a relief when things pick up again in the second half of the record. At just eight tunes, the album feels a bit thin, although the band makes the most of midtempo rockers like "Mr Air Traffic Controller" and "Try It Again". A competent, if unspectacular, cover of The Waterboys' "Fisherman's Blues" winds up the proceedings -- ironically, probably McInerney's most tentative performance. Despite that, this is a solid set overall, with the promise of even greater possibilities just over the horizon.


Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.