by Mike Breen
One of the best albums to come out of the Greater
Cincinnati music scene this year is the debut full-length from Terminal
Union, which began as the duo of singer/songwriters David Faul and Ian
Mathieu and is now rounded out by bassist Lynette Mathieu and drummer
Mark Becknell. The members of Terminal Union are great players (as are
the many guest artists), Faul and Mathieu have some fantastic
songwriting chops and the arrangements are top-notch, with cello,
mandolin and fiddle sprinkled on top of the band’s sturdy acoustic
Though eclectic enough to be considered “AltCountry,” Terminal Union captures the heart and soul of vintage Country on Making Arrangements.
What puts Terminal Union ahead of many of their peers — and makes these
songs so riveting — is the emotional weight the frontmen inject into
the writing and performances. Being able to make an immediate emotional
connection with listeners is not something you can learn; it's innate.
On the song "Magnificent Sounds," the group pays tribute
to another pair of artists who also came off as instinctively talented
and able to bring a soul-stirring levity to practically every note
played, seemingly effortlessly — Miles Davis and Townes Van Zandt.
Veteran local musician Michael "Mad Dog" Mavridoglou provides some bonus
passion with his warm Jazz trumpet riffs on the track, which somehow
sounds completely at home in the band's Country/Roots context.
Elsewhere, highlight tracks like “Comeback Kid” and
“Devil’s in the Details” have the power of Steve Earle in peak form,
while the piano-buoyed “One of the Ones” and “I Fell You” are
wonderfully composed ballads that defy genre classifications — they are
simply amazing, timeless songs.
Preview a pair of songs from Making Arrangements below. Visit terminalunion.com for more on the band and see them live this Saturday at Newport's York Street Cafe, where the group will be participating in the One More Girl on a Stage benefit show.
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