June 5, 2020 – by Eilís Boland, Lonesome Highway – Malahide, Co. Dublin, Ireland
From the small town of Fergus, Ontario, the impressive roots rock debut album from the talented Madison Galloway has recently been released to an unsuspecting world. This young Canadian woman is going places in the music world, if talent means anything (and that’s a debate for another day!).
It’s hard to believe that at 19 years old she wrote, coproduced and performed all the material on this record. Indeed by that age (the album was recorded in 2019) she was already somewhat of a road warrior, having spent many days gigging solo, as a duo and with her whole band throughout Ontario, including playing some substantial festivals.
On the twelve originals and one cover she amply demonstrates her powerful and versatile vocal skills, her mature songwriting, her accomplished guitar and harmonica playing and, above all, her passion and enthusiasm. There’s lots of electric guitar and rock drumming, with a strong blues flavour running through, but she mixes it up with the addition of traditional Indian instruments like sitar, tanpura and tabla, to particularly good effect on the instrumental Coffee Stains. Citing Led Zeppelin as an early influence, it’s easy to hear the influence of Plant and Page seeping through.
However, this artist is already showing she can forge her own sound. She wears her heart on her sleeve too - songs like Bye Bye demonstrate her worry for ongoing effect of environmental damage on insects and birds, while Season of Treason is a plea for peace. Co-produced by Ron Hawkins in Escarpment Sound studios in Ontario, and funded by crowdfunding, Madison also did the artwork and design of the album. Worth checking out.
Listen to Moon & Mercury here