Album of the Week: Nathan Conway & The River Valley Band – Sonny Boy

Sometimes we can all be a little guilty of preoccupying ourselves with seeking the next big innovation in music. Yet, by and large, most things in music tend to be borrowed from the past, and baring that in mind, we are left with music that’s either good or bad – surely that’s all that really matters at the end of day.

Nathan Conway & The River Valley Band certainly borrow from the past to create a timeless soulful country sound. Having teamed up with The River Valley Band after releasing Run on Diesel with The Bottlestoppers in 2011, Conway & Co. have found their niche. The tone is soulful country, set to overarching themes of demise and redemption, draped in Conway’s intuitive storytelling which paints vivid pictures with his words.

Mostly you feel that Conway and band are really working together, from the swinging, uptempo ‘Where’s the Love in My Heart’ and ‘It’ll All Come Back On Me, Someday’ to the less blustery, slower numbers ‘Song from the Engine of the Model T’ and ‘Lord I Got it Bad’ or ‘Freckles’. They have a rapport with one another; brass, percussion strings and Conway’s deep bellowed croon, all work in perfect tandem.

Sonny Boy requires a degree of patience, understanding and repeated listens to be fully appreciated. It is a beautiful, timeless and assured album. You can tell from the get go that the musicians know exactly what they’re doing. There might not be anything else like this around at the moment which only adds further measure to what they have achieved here.

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4 Comments Album of the Week: Nathan Conway & The River Valley Band – Sonny Boy

  1. Aoife

    Absolute corker of an album! He’s also got one of the most interesting voices I’ve heard in a long time. Glad to see this one getting some attention.

  2. David Foley

    Brilliant.Havnt seen him in about 10 years.We were in his parents loft messing around with 2 old nylon string guitars after meeting in Time in Naas. Said he hadnt played guitar in ages! I sat beside him in English class in school and his lyrical brilliance comes as no surprise as he was doing shit like this age 14 or 15.I knew he would come up with something great like this.Cant wait to go down to Thomastown and jam with “The Beano”. Well done Nay.


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