Stevie Mac Along the Way

Sixty-year-old New Brunswick singer-songwriter Stevie Mac considers himself "re-tired and re-wired" these days, which means he's come out of retirement as a draftsman to record the sweet collection of songs that make up Along the Way. To do this, he went back into the collection of songs he wrote in his younger days, rounded up his old musician buddies and began making music again after a 40-year hiatus. "Girl of my Dreams" is an especially likeable tongue-in-cheek tune about seeing the person you love change, and not for the better. "Life Gets in the Way" plays like a message from Stevie Mac's generation to the next, as he instructs, "You take it day by day/sometimes life gets in the way." "The Boys in the Barn" is a wonderful song about a group of boys who love trouble. Mac's sound flits seamlessly from country to blues and his voice carries the cragged warmth that comes with age. Props to Stevie Mac for making the most of his retirement; Along the Way emanates the sheer joy of making an album simply for the love of music. (Independent)