After opening for internationally acclaimed Celtic power house, The Chieftains, at their 2008 concert in Seattle, Seattle’s own Irish-funk band Ockham’s Razor knew they were ready for a challenge: LIVE AND WELL, the band’s first live album.
Recorded over three days at Galway Bay in Ocean Shores, WA., LIVE AND WELL captures the relentless, heart-pounding energy the Razors are known for. The songs are presented exactly as recorded, with no post production sound enhancements, offering fans a disc that recreates the frenetic good feeling of every Ockham’s Razor show.
LIVE AND WELL includes five previously unreleased tracks: “I’m Coming Home Northumberland”, “The Old Hairy Cow”, “The Foggy Dew”, “The Quickening”, “Báidín Fheilimí”, and “Óró, ‘Sé Do Bheatha ‘Bhaile.”
“The Old Hairy Cow,” is a traditional jig set, including "Scotland the Brave," sped up to the thrusting excitement of an arena rock anthem. Whistle, fiddle, a rollicking bodhrán, and the rowdy shouts of the crowd drive this track towards an ecstatic climax, anchored by the emotional delivery of lead singer Kríostóir Clements.
Two Irish Language songs are featured on LIVE AND WELL: “Báidín Fheilimí,” a haunting melody with fiddle and whistle harmonies that hint simultaneously at the band’s folk roots influences and more recent work by The Pogues and The Fleet Foxes. “Óró, ‘Sé Do Bheatha ‘Bhaile” brings a funky, scratching base line to a traditional Irish tune, exactly the kind of twist on the old standards that Razors fans revel in. You can hear the tables shaking in the background as the crowd thumps their pints of Guinness on the old oak boards at Galway Bay.
Also included is a brand new original track, the churning Delta-Blues inspired, "I'm Coming Home Northumberland." Full of slide guitar riffs and a thumping bass and rhythm section, this is precisely the genre-bending inclusion live audiences have come to love and expect from Razor shows.
Fans will also recognize Razors favorites “The Road to Bedlam/Follow Me Up to Carlow“ and “Ten Thousand Miles to Bedlam” and other hits. LIVE AND WELL combines the best of old and new at each level: old songs with new arrangements, new songs with old influences, and is sure to garner new fans for Seattle’s up-and-coming folk sensation.
Ockham’s Razor is Kris Clements, Tom Rooney, Dane Dorning, Tianna Byrtus, Megan McIntyre and Scott Ference.
-- Allison McEntire, July 2009