In the glorious days gone by, the whole music business was about debauchery. Drugs, drink, groupies, stretch limos and private jets were what any successful musician strived for. Maybe it goes back to that old saying that the devil has all the best tunes. Nowadays, it is OK to be a musician and still have a social conscience as Canadian songstress Grainne Ryan demonstrates with her album "All the Money"
Taking the title track as an example "All The Money" puts her message across with lyrics like "… the fight for freedom is a TV show" That is perhaps the best feature of this album. The anger of youth gets expressed eloquently. On "Tree Frog", she comes across like some time dislocated protest singer from the sixties. Save the environment first and your personal problems second and it's all neatly underpinned by Jason Mercer's subtle yet effective banjo. Even when she goes all reflective and personal as on "What You Are to Me", there is still an underlying sense of a greater purpose to her words.
Of course, no one might listen to her message if she could not deliver it well. Her voice is individual - somewhat laconic in presentation - but warm and endearing. She sings with conviction too and she seems to know that it will take more than a musician to change things so there is no hard sell here. The songs work as songs even if you don't care for the message.
It is refreshing to hear songs about things other than "boy meets girl" and Grainne Ryan gives us just that. Available from CD Baby.