Review Folkwords (UK) Album JOHN COINMAN ‘ALREADY ARE’

Vital observations, direct assessments and harsh realities

Mention the name John Coinman this side of the pond and it’s a fair bet a lot of folk will say ‘Who?’ And that’s quite surprising for the man has an enviable musical pedigree – a writer of film music, musical supervisor on ‘Dances with Wolves’, collaborator with Blair Forward and Kevin Costner in bands such as Man Alive and Roving Boy – by now you get the picture. Now here comes his new album ‘Already Are’.

The album is a powered-up balance incorporating elements of rock and folk blended together into a mix that takes the best of both worlds and along the way adds Coinman’s songwriting skills. The result is a collection of self-penned songs chock full of lyrics that make vital observations, offer direct assessments and reveal harsh realities. The essence of the proposition are songs that present life as it is lived, without dressing up the tough or minimising the difficult. Coinman tells his tales through songs like ‘Already Are’, ‘Turn the Page’ and ‘That’s What You Do For Fame’. The high spots for me run through powerhouse that is ‘Oaklahoma City’ with its heart-stopping lyric, the guitar-driven yet poignant message of ‘Five Minutes From America’ and thesubtle simplicity of ‘The Angels Come Down’.

Essentially, this is an album that comes with a promise – you’re going to love it.

Playing on ‘Already Are’ are John Coinman (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica) Blair Forward (bass) Larry Cobb (drums, hamony vocals) Neil Harry (pedal steel) Peter McLaughlin (acoustic guitar, harmony vocals) Jon Cleman (keyboards) Brandy Zdan (harmony vocals). (Tom Franks)