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Tanya Gallagher

One Hand On My Heart

Review by Gary Hill

This is an interesting set. The sound here varies quite a bit from one tune to another, but yet it all fits as one cohesive unit. The opening track is the biggest winner here as a great, unique number that just works so well. That makes everything else seem a bit pale in comparison, but any of these songs on a set without that didn't have that competition, would stand among the tallest. Tanya Gallagher's voice is packed full of emotion. She is bluesy, soulful and real in her delivery. The music here ranges from jazz and blues to folk and more. The overwhelming driving factor, though, is Americana. I know some might say it's country, and there are definite country elements, but I'd consider this to not be country music at its core because that would be much more limited than this is.

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Track by Track Review
Dark Side
The opening sound on this makes me think of the start of Yes' "Roundabout." The cut works out from there to sort of a jazzy, country styled arrangement. The fast paced vocals have a cool lilting kind of approach. This piece is all class, and really manages to defy classification. I love the usage of banjo on the number. This tune is just so impressive.
A Little Effort
Gallagher's voice opens this track. It gets a parental advisory for the lyrics. The tune is a bit more traditional folk and country in texture. The vocals still bring something different to it, though. This is another intriguing and entertaining piece, if a bit more mainstream.
Barren Land
A slow moving, bluesy number, this is strong, too. The number still has some country in the mix, along with some cool rock sound. It's another winner, but of a different flavor.
The rhythm section takes command as this track opens. Blues and jazz are the driving factors on this. Still, the ever-present country influence is still in place, too.
Dolphin in the Snow

I love the jazzy textures of this piece. It's bouncy and playful. It's also a lot of fun. It's a big change, and works really well. I suppose you could say that the guitar fills bring some of that country influence, but I'd probably call it "Americana."


The organ sound that opens this makes me think of Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale." The tune is a slow moving one with some cool old-school stylings. After the track runs through with a bluesy Americana texture, the organ again takes it all out to the closing.

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