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All the Way from Tuam

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Album Review

Recorded on the heels of 1991's If This Is Rock and Roll, I Want My Old Job Back (which spawned such anthemic Irish hits as "I Useta Lover" and "N17"), All the Way From Tuam, built on the Saw Doctors' homeland appeal, is paving the way for imminent international success. Possibly their finest and most contiguous collection of songs, this album features several future concert favorites and group-identifying numbers like "Green and Red of Mayo," "Hay Wrap," and "Broke my Heart." With themes revolving around rural living, farming, and soccer, the Saw Doctors struck a nerve with a mounting fan base in Europe and North America. In interviews, lead singer Davey Carton and guitarist Leo Moran have stated that, just as Bruce Springsteen has evolved into the rock & roller for the workingman, they, too, can be regarded as that same type of voice. Although they do have the ability to straight-up rock like Springsteen, the Saw Doctors are generally more introspective, borrowing from '60s pop and Motown styles and mixing them with a decidedly Irish flavor, employing the spare yet effective use of mandolin, accordion, and fiddle. In retrospect, as this band has grown, changed, and experimented with their sound, All the Way From Tuam has remained their defining work.


Formed: 1987 in Galway, Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The hook-laden sounds of 1960s rock bands like the Beatles and the Byrds and the working-class imagery of Bruce Springsteen are combined with the musical traditions of Ireland and the intensity of punk rock by the Saw Doctors. The Saw Doctors were a little-known local bar band in Tuam (pronounced "Chewam") in County Galway when they were invited by Mike Scott to be the opening act on the Waterboys' 1988 tour of Ireland and the United Kingdom. In the decade since, however, the Saw Doctors have emerged...
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