Brian Deady: Yellow Creek review – True grit
Brian Deady embodies the kind of artist who keeps their head down, does good work without hyping it up and allows it to speak for itself. Yellow Creek, Deady’s fourth album, comes from a different place, however – literally. Last year the Cork singer-songwriter, along with his bandmates (drummer Stephen O’Brien, bassist Rob Daly, guitarist Mark Shortall, keyboardist Rory McCarthy, and saxophonist John O’Duffy) decamped to Tennessee’s Memphis Magnetic Recording Studios. The strategy was to have no plan other than to write songs on the hoof and then quickly record them without the usual accompanying, sometimes oppressive levels of over-analysing.
“It’s how you confuse yourself,” Deady wryly notes, but he’s only half-joking – he’s too experienced a musician to remove instinct from the equation. Ditto his band, all of whom are equal to Deady’s task of creatively running on the spot without breaking a sweat. The song moods are rooted in layered blues, soul and pop with volatile Hendrix-like guitar licks running in parallel with an interlocked rhythm section.
Baby I’ve Changed, Daddy’s Cigarette, Hey Baby and the title track deliver one quality stomper after another, but there is more: emotive, slower songs such as Change Us (featuring expert use of expletives) and Come Home (“you’re the frost that stays upon my roof”) safely enhance Deady’s reputation as a gritty, forthright songwriter with a killer voice.