The O’s. Thunderdog. Electric Honey Records

Another act appearing at Celtic Connections, The O’s have the distinction of supporting Del Amitri at Glasgow’s latest venue, The Hydro. Their Celtic Connection appears to be that their latest album, Thunderdog, is to be released on the local Electric Honey label, adding their first U.S. band to their increasingly handsome catalogue.

Taylor Young (guitar and kick drum) and John Pedigo (banjo, Lowebro (like a lap steel, fact fans), harmonica and tambourine) constitute the two man O’s and between them they conjure up a fine sound swapping vocal lead and harmonising like a tougher version of The Lost Brothers. In fact they’re quite a lot like the Irish duo with roots in the Everley’s and Simon and Garfunkel but there’s a Texan swagger in their countrified stomps and at times it’s hard to believe that there’s just two of them kicking up this almighty mess of sound.

Young’s kick drum propels many of the songs while Pedigo’s banjo flails along adding a sense of urgency. Several of the songs have a very hummable and clap happy pop sensibility evident from the album opener Outlaw which sounds as if it were The Proclaimers backed by The Pogues, don’t believe me, see the video below. This rollicking and rolling thrill is repeated on several of the songs including Dallas and Go With Me which defies the listener to sit still. Secrets is almost power pop with Beatlish harmonica and a catchy as hell hook.

While their up-tempo numbers are quite exhilarating they take time out to offer some moments of respite. When The Levee Breaks is a dramatic love song seared by some stinging guitar work while Found The One is relatively straightforward country rock with some fine banjo picking.

The O’s are at The Hydro supporting Del Amitri and The Big Dish on Friday 24th January and the following night at The Arches supporting The New Mendicants. I reckon The Arches gig should be a belter.

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