Ewan Macintyre’s music flows like the soundtrack to his life story. A native of Edinburgh, Scotland where he fronted the award winning Bluegrass band The Southern Tenant Folk Union, the singer/songwriter emigrated to Canada in 2014 and launched his solo career. He brought all of his Celtic musical sensibilities with him to the Americas. There he found the commonality between the Folk, Bluegrass and Soul on both sides of the Atlantic. Those common roots, that natural marriage of style and substance lives in every note of the singer’s music.
“Dream on Sally” is the new album from Ewan Macintyre, released to all major streaming services on January 22, 2021. The eight song collection was recorded while he and his band were touring the world in 2019. Between gigs in Scotland and Canada the group hit the studio to capture the sound of the beautifully rich acoustic vibe they had created. The record is a warm and intimate organic experience. From the resonance of the Cello to the intricate interplay between guitar, fiddle and mandolin, the album feels like a private show at home with friends.
Stylistically, “Dream on Sally” marries Celtic folk with American styles from New Orleans Jazz to modern Alt-Country. From the opening track “Same Story (Cigarette Butts),” the sounds of Ewan’s Celtic roots are filtered through lens of the French rooted folk music of Canada and New Orleans. Those styles are more a starting point than a framework, however. Tunes like “Each to Their Own” introduce Zydeco-inspired accordion riffs, while tracks like “Pieces” takes the same regional inspiration but launches from there into Jazz standard territory.
Elsewhere Ewan stays closer to his own geographical roots as on the traditional jig “Muckle Mooth” and through the 2:00 instrumental into of “Breaks and Waves.” However, these stylistic adventures all flow naturally from the core live, acoustic sound Macintyre and company have cultivated. As the warmth of the cello’s bow resonates and Ewan’s smooth Celtic tenor croons, the band exists in a rich creative space where all of their diverse musical influences converge.
Lyrically the record is a meditation on existence and how we perceive it. Like a fireside Buddhist master, Ewan presents slices of life, each introducing a different view of one central question. Do we appreciate the life and love that we have, or do we live in a constant state of unease by focusing on a non-existent future? From the simple wisdom of “Each to Their Own” to the simply profound statement, “Now is the only time to be” on “Bright Lights and Pictures,” the singer offers guideposts for our navigation through an insane world.
Tracks like “Pieces” (“let yourself fall to pieces”) and “Breaks and Waves “ (“go with the waves, break it down”), read like stanzas from the Tao Te Ching. He sings in the title track, “One of these days when the dreams are real, will you be satisfied with the way you feel?” It is beautiful and timely message for a year in which people across the world are redefining their priorities.
Check out the video for “Dream on Sally,” below. You can also hear the song on the Deep Indie Chill playlist. Follow the links below to connect with Ewan Macintyre and get in the loop on all of the current and upcoming projects from this talented and insightful artist.