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Little Dark Mansion

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Album Review

With its lamenting vocals, near-invisible guitars, and crawling violins and harmonicas, it wouldn't be out of line to play through Little Dark Mansion and immediately picture the shy, pencil-drawn world of Americana. The Harvest Ministers, essentially a front for Will Merriman's traditional insecurities, are a folk band, evidenced by the derailed emotion and the small-town imagery of the genre, but told from a troubled Irish country music perspective. What works is that there's a pop undercurrent to the material rather than the expected twice-bitten edge of blues; Geradette Bailey appears in "I Gotta Lie Down" and "Don't You Ever," and her added harmonies give the music color and shape, a soft structuralist touch that the album sometimes lacks.


Formed: 1987 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

The Harvest Ministers' brand of melodic folk-rock owes more to American roots music than to the sounds of their native Ireland. The band is led by vocalist and songwriter William Merriman, who is often joined by co-vocalist Maeve Roche. Their album roster includes 1995's Little Dark Mansion and A Feeling...
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Little Dark Mansion, The Harvest Ministers
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