Meg Devlin Irish: “Right On Time”, Art Edelstein, The Times Argus, October 23, 2014
Meg Devlin Irish, formerly of Barre, but currently living in New Boston, N.H., has released her fifth album of country music. On “Right On Time,” we hear songs in the basic country mode of love, relationship, home and spirituality. She’s had some success with her music as a song from a previous CD. “Beacon.” is part of the Ferry Music and Lake History program airing from on board the Adirondack Ferry. “This Is Vermont, My Home,” which appears on this CD, was a finalist in the 1999 Vermont State Song competition sponsored by the Vermont Council on the Arts. Her song, “Return,” was released on the “Best Of Vermont” CD in 1996.
“Right On Time” has some excellent production from East Montpelier’s Colin McCaffrey, who also performs on guitar, fiddle, mandolin and bass, joined by Jim Prendergast, a former Nashville musician who is now a sought-after producer and studio musician. Robbie Kneeland does the drumming on this album.
With excellent backing musicians, Irish’s songs get a country/folk setting that enhances the lyrics by backing them up with a sparse but sweet setting.
Irish’s vocals are homespun and unpretentious. She’s not a song belter, but she’s had several albums and nearly 20 years to establish her sound. This album reveals a voice and track list full of sincerity and down-home sensibilities.
Irish’s delivery and lyrics bring out the “country” in country music. There’s little of the sophistication that currently inhabits today’s Nashville sound. McCaffrey and Prendergast know how to set her voice in a presentation that emphasizes the singer’s best qualities, which are her lyrics. Perhaps the biggest complaint with this CD is that it’s just 33 minutes long, a bit too short for a full length album."
Jack Donovan Vermont Radio, WDEV AM 550/ FM 69.1
"Thank you for 'Right On Time'.. a wonderful addition
to your catalog of original music. Production is terrific
and you never sounded better.
Nice CD jacket as well easy on the eyes,,,
nice presentation...Let me know when you
are in the area and we can schedule an interview
for some Saturday morning..."
DIXIE MCCORKELL, CMA/ CCMA/ ECMA Triplestrand Productions
Just wanted to let you know I played 'Don't Know When' on this week's
Country Legends In The Making show.
It went over HUGE for you! I think you touched a chord out there deep inside folks--
we're getting non-stop requests for it lol!!"
Colin Clary, SEVEN DAYS NEWSPAPER, Burlington, VT
“A little bit country, and a little bit Earth mother, Meg Devlin Irish
knows her way around a good tune.”
BRENT HALLENBECK, The Burlinton Free Press , Burlington, VT
Meg Devlin Irish…Deeper Shade Of Blue
Hailing from Waterbury Center, Irish blends country, folk, and pop into a sound capturing the joys and the sadness that make music with an Appalachian flavor so rich. On familiar covers ( including” You Are My Sunshine”) and a batch of originals ( such as the lively “Never Tasted Love” featuring the pedal-steel guitar of the aforementioned Gordon Stone), Irish shines a light on her smooth vocals that occasionally introduce flashes of yodeling. www.megdevlinirish.com.
JIM PRENDERGAST, Mill Pond Music Studio, Portsmouth, NH
"Meg is a highly accomplished singer-songwriter who has fairly recently moved to New Hampshire from Vermont, where she recorded four CDs, received with multiple accolades. Check out her website, where you can listen to some of the wonderful music we've been making lately at MPM Studio. It's been lots of fun for me building her tracks by layering acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and bass along with York, ME's king of quiet, subtle drums, Robbie Kneeland. It's a folk-y, gentle, soulful country-ish style distinctly her own, and I'm very much looking forward to more of her music." www.millpondmusicstudio.com
Dixie McCorkell, CMA/ CCMA/ ECMA Triplestrand Productions
" Meg, Just wanted to let you know I played ‘SLEEP TIGHT’ on today's
Country Legends In The Making.
It did FABULOUS for you. Lots of call in requests and
the DJ’s are already asking
about the song--so keep up the GREAT work!!"
Jarrett Berman, SEVEN DAYS NEWSPAPER Burlington, VT
MEG DEVLIN IRISH, DEEPER SHADE OF BLUE
( Self Released, CD)
Come winter, many of us lament the chill that crawls over our cherished landscape. To poets, however, this is yet another rich layer, a deeper shade of blue in Vermont’s spectrum. Meg Devlin Irish understands. Sure, the seasoned songstress prefers milder months. But her breezy style carries warmth year round. Sprinkled with folksy cheer, lovelorn melancholy and nostalgia, her latest album, DEEPER SHADE OF BLUE, feels a bit like Christmas on the lake.
With her fourth release, the native chanteuse weaves memoirs of hope and heartbreak. The collection has a familiar, timeless quality, from the charming opener, “My Baby Loves Me’ -- backed by Jim Pitman’s weeping dobro-- throughout the albums ten tracks. In fact many of the originals sound plucked from a Patsy Cline playlist. But, they’re all Irish.
With Martin acoustic in hand, she hits her stride on understated compositions such as the striking “Deep Bay”. Here, the freckled muse quietly plucks her six string through a ballad that’s sure to keep listeners rapt. Irish’s evocative imagery and motherly storytelling soothe like a cool cloth to the forehead.
Awash in romance and spirituality, Blue’s upbeat, dulcet tones would please ears in cafes and churches alike. Few can resist the folksy classic “Red River Valley/ You Are My Sunshine”, depression-era chestnuts reincarnated by banjoist Steve Lotspeich. Anyone alive can appreciate the old line, “Please don’t take my sunshine away”, whether literal or metaphorical.
With shades of Neko Case – minus the frosty wit – Irish shows soulful range on “Never Tasted Love Like This”. The paean features smoky electric guitar by longtime collaborator Colin McCaffrey, who brings fiddle, mandolin and sharp production to Irish’s work.
Only the mid-tempo cover “ I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” misses the mark. Roy Cutler’s shuffling snare is distracting, and Iris’ sweet croon crosses into corniness.
Conversely, the title cut is one of Blue’s strongest, Gordon Stone lays his veteran pedal steel alongside Irish’s best Loretta Lynn impression, as she mourns a lover’s wandering baby-blue eyes. It’s a sleepy, vulnerable slow dance in the wait.
Closing with the ukulele-driven “Take Me A-Sailing Home”, Irish clearly would rather paint pastels that deep shades. She pens songs that brush the surface, like feet dangling off a dock. Even in December, it’s easy to imagine mainsails flapping overhead, the Adirondack sunset just beyond. Age has seasoned this redheaded beauty. And while Blue might not hasten spring, it’s earthy portraits are sure to warm hearts over the holidays.
Pete Merrigan, Singer/ Songwriter, Talk Radio Host
“I first heard Meg when she sang one of her songs at an NSAI songwriters meeting I attended.
From the first note she sang she had my full attention and never let it go. Her intonation and
delivery were flawless and her guitar playing neat, clean, and expressive, serving the
song perfectly. I went directly to her the next time I needed a live performer to cover
a gig I couldn't make – and the club owner was as delighted as I was.
She's focused, charming, and talented - what more can you ask for?”
Lewis Ryan Rapkin, SEVEN DAYS NEWSPAPER, Burlington, VT
Meg's latest release exemplifies her genuine singer-songwriter skills.
Her rock-folk songs are driven by her powerful yet smooth vocals and accompanied
by a well-crafted assortment of studio musicians. With the help of producer
Colin James McCaffrey, 'Rock Solid Romancin' demonstrates authentic rock-folk
and superb country songwriting. ---Lewis Ryan Rapkin