Pat Chessell is a Celtic troubadour from the wild west of Canada. I Confess, is the third album from Pat that has crossed the Shite’n’Onions threshold. I’m hearing on I Confess tremendous growth from his earlier releases where his original material was propped up with multiple covers and standards. Now its stand alone Pat for the most part with just two trad covers and the rest strong originals. Musically Pat is a part of the young Celtic tradition and similar in style to fellow Vancouverites, The Town Pants, with maybe just a touch Canadiana.
June 10, 2013
Vancouver’s Pat Chessell follows up on last years “Live & Lusty” with a collection of standards and originals. The covers included a great version of Brennan On The Moore as well as Steve Earle’s modern Irish classic – Galway Girl – which in now a wedding standard at every Irish wedding from Mizen Head to Bloody Foreland. Eric Bogel’s “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” is well done and believable though Shane MacGowan still owns this one. MacGowan’s “The Dunes” is also covered. MacGowan wrote Dunes about the Irish Famine for Ronnie Drew and when Ronnie “sang’ The Dunes you could believe Ronnie had witnessed the destruction of the famine and the aftermath – this is a tough one to cover for anyone.
On top of the covers Pat has included some originals which is a brave move when your covering some of the finest contemporary songwriters of the last 30 years. Pat does a fine job of meeting these standards though interestingly enough I would reference Johnny Cash as the influence on two of Pats original material and it’s not a stretch to imagine Johnny performing these. The third, Drunk In Exile, was released previously as a single and is much more party Irish folk reminiscent for fellow Vancouver based The Town Pants. Nice job.
Live And Lusty is the debut CD from Irish-Canadian, Pat Chessell. Recorded live in October 2007 at Vancouver’s’ Dublin Crossing Irish Pub in front of a rowdy and vocally appreciative crowd. The set consists of mostly high energy Irish/rebel songs, some Canadian/maritime, one original (I think) and being Canadian a hockey anthem. Chessell is a strong vocalist and the band tight. Musically it’s a high energy version of The Clancy Brothers or Wolfe Tones with a touch of Johnny Cash or maybe even the Great Big Sea. A good introduction to a name we will be hearing again (and again).