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Roman0 and his lonesome twang are the real deal

Although when we tend to think of Country music the USA automatically springs to mind, we shouldn't forget that their neighbours above the 49th parallel have made their contributions to the genre, too.

It makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it, given that Country has its roots in Irish and Scottish folk music and there was no shortage of emigration to Canada from those countries. Granted, why anyone would want to stick in, say, Saskatchewan when they could strike out for sunny California remains a question you'd have to ask through a medium but the country's contribution to the music has been notable.

Lest we forget, four-fifths of the act that came to pretty much define Americana, The Band, were Canadian, and their mixing of Country, R'n'B and Rock in the late '60s and early '70s casts a powerful influence to this day.

Neil Young has delved into his Country influences on several occasions, bringing a longing twinge to his earliest work with Crazy Horse and horrifying devout fans with the straight, old school Old Ways.

On the female front we had the pure as crystal voice of Ann Murray making waves from the early '70s and beyond while the remarkable K.D. Lang kicked off her musically diverse career as an alternative Country act.


In fact, there wasn't too much 'alt' about the Alberta-born chanteuse on Shadowlands (a tribute to her spiritual forebear Patsy Cline) or Absolute Torch and Twang, where she tipped her hat to the glorious ground broken by the likes of Kitty Wells, Brenda Lee and Loretta Lynn.

The latest act to continue this noble tradition from the land of the Maple Leaf is Daniel Romano (inset), an
 Ontario-born musician who came to the genre via a rather unusual route.

Daniel and his brother were initially influenced by hardcore Punk music and formed the band Attack in Black. Deciding to ditch noise for Nudie suits and straight edge philosophies for stetsons was a definite act of rebellion but listening to Daniel Romano on his latest album Come Cry with Me reveals that he's the real deal and no mere dabbler.

The spirit of George Jones and Buck Owens flows through these songs of despair and heartbreak and while Romano is possessed of a clear, strong voice he also has a lonesome twang in his bottom range which he also uses to great effect. Definitely recommended


Daniel Romano and his band play the Grand Social on Wednesday night

> George Byrne