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Michael ONeill: Who’s Bad Now 
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

To be honest, I don’t know much about Michael ONeill. However on listening to his music -- a rich blend of lived-in charm and easy on the ear delivery, something more suited to the back of the barroom than heel-kickin in the front of house sawdust – I’m a fan.

He’s a believable talent. He’s done the hard yards and he’s paid his long-served dues. It comes out, convincingly, in his music. He’s toured with a publicist’s diary of talent, including stadium fillers U2, and along the way he’s traded lyrical ink with several “names”, including Bob Weir from The Grateful Dead. Now after a stop and start that saw a couple of earlier albums released, he’s creating industry buzz with Who’s Bad Now.

Out on his own label, Sleeping Trout Music, the 10 mostly self-written and produced tracks are a timely introduction to this American singer songwriter, who has an almost filled tour diary on the back of this release.

From his website we learn that this is music that is testament to a life lived. It’s a recording seeped in the great traditions, done to a turn –music whose time has come. And on balance, given the hype needed to create interest in a new recording, that’s nearer the mark than not.

The album kicks off with the testosterone charged “Who’s Bad Now”. More a statement than a question, the tune winds the contours with a sexy theme: a woman with charms best observed while she walks away; it’s a sight our hero lyrically declares makes him want to scream. The tune, if this early band sizzle isn’t enough, enjoys an acoustic reprise as the album’s closer.

In the stellar line-up of song originals, ONeill mines a classic, “Dixie Chicken”. Written by Lowell George and Martin Kibbee, the tune originally appeared on Little Feat’s 1973 album of the same name. ONeill and his sparse but ample band prove convincingly what we know – a good song, if done right, is always a good song. Here, and forgive the pun, the tune cooks.

The album is quickly gaining radio spins, both internationally and local, with some tune placements on several Indie charts. Standout cuts grabbing all the interest include the title track, the shared saddle geography of “Cowboy Ride”, the rockin’ possibilities of “Austin” and the irony of “96 Tears”, with not one more and not one less spilled.

Oh… if you’re like me, and want to know more about Michael ONeill point and click your search engine to Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia. For a guy who’s bad now and getting better with age, he has the envied distinction of a mention.

Click on the CD cover to order yours!

1: Who’s Bad Now
3:Cowboy Ride
4:I Don’t Remember
6: Dixie Chicken
7:96 Tears
8: Run To The Sea
9: Better
10: Who’s Bad Now (Accoustic)

Related Links:
Official Site  

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