DAVY COWAN WORKING MAN'S DREAM (Pictish pop/ Barbaraville)
A descending wood bass line, the wail of the pedal steel, an almost imperceptible but blue harmonica lick? Home ground for this reviewer and two tracks in, as 'Home' embeds it's hooks. Davy Cowan demonstrates that he's another of the growing number of home-grown country troubadours who sings what he sees without lapsing into Nashville shtick or faux-Americana cliché' Barbaraville producer Martin Stephenson has helped Cowan find his own voice after years of shouting over rock bands and the outcome has the tough and vulnerable gravitas of Johnny Cash. "Will You Ever" has the pleasing feel of Tom Russell in his rocking band period. As a former member of the hard-working "Coinneach", Davy Cowan has firm Celtic roots which shine through on 'Answerphone Song' and 'In Your Arms', whilst his early punk roots add energy and edge where demanded. The triumph of Working Man's Dream lies in Cowan's ability to perform personal songs that resonate with common experience, from the spiritual quest for self-discovery and solid ground following loss in 'Home', to playing cat and mouse with traffic wardens, 'in the rain' in 'Town That I Love'.
David Innes R2 ROCK n REEL
Aberdeen Voice - Review Davy Cowan Working Man's Dream
Further west on the Moray Firth, Davy Cowan, formerly of Celtic crowd-pleasers Coinneach has been coached and encouraged by producer and Barbaraville label owner Martin Stephenson to find his own voice and become known ‘beyond the village’.
Working Man’s Dream (Pictish Pop Records/Barbaraville) is already creating minor tremors beyond the Black Isle.
It’s a solid set of original songs, with a faithful cover of Tom Paxton’s Ramblin Boy included, and the producer has brought the best out of Cowan by encouraging him to find his own voice to emote his personal, yet universally-themed songs.
He’s a lucky guy.
At times displaying the tough yet vulnerable cracked emotion of Johnny Cash, and occasionally recalling the sonorous timbre of Tom Russell, his performances have credibility and are delivered without histrionics or Autotune.
Whilst for the genre junkies and categorisation obsessives Working Man’s Dream can probably index-carded and filed in the Americana drawer, the album is simply a welcome example of mature home-grown songwriting and delivery, drawing in Celtic and country influences, with an added energetic punk edge as needed.