Don McGlashan: Warm Hand
By Gareth Shute
There is no mistaking the voice that fronted so many classic Muttonbirds’ songs. On his first solo album McGlashan has given himself more room to move than his former bands allowed. Song lengths extend past the six-minute mark, carried by some nice atmospheric touches by Tatiana Lanchtchikova on accordian and John Segovia (pedal steel and slide guitar), which brings a Calexico feel to some sections. Credit is given to Ed McWilliams who co-produced the album, and Sean Donnelly (SJD) whose basslines move between stabs and pauses and short quick runs that give the songs a carry they might not otherwise have. Also to one ex-bandmate, the ever-reliable Ross Burge on drums. Graeme Humphreys turns up to add piano for Harbour Bridge wherein McGlashan takes a familiar location and gives it a new sense of meaning (as he did so compulsively with Dominion Rd). Overall the tracks rely on storytelling and mood, rather than obvious hooks. It’s a tricky approach to pull off in this age of ever shortening attention spans, but McGlashan again proves he has the talent for it - creating an album that seems to extend in depth on each subsequent listen.