McCarthy Trenching McCarthy Trenching

With opening dirge "I Am Not Long For This World,” singer/songwriter Dan McCarthy lays bare his desperate existence on this album comprised of two separate home recording sessions dating back to late 2003. Judging from the personnel that make up the band, McCarthy Trenching is rooted in the same Nebraska soil that spawned Bright Eyes, but McCarthy most often echoes the pained resolution of Townes Van Zandt and other Texas songwriting legends. It largely comes through in his storytelling ability and almost every track is a chilling tale of missed opportunity. Of particular note is "Wedding Song,” in which McCarthy laments losing a girl in Toronto and his chance to raise a family that could have become his own bluegrass band. It’s one of the album’s few moments of partial levity, yet McCarthy’s heart of darkness never strays far from the foundations that great country music is built upon. Worth investigating.

(Team Love, www.teamlove.com) (Team Love)