Don McCloskey: Northern Liberties

By: Forrest Reda

Philadelphia's greatest living folk hero/hipster poet is back with an album that absolutely crackles with attitude and energy. Eschewing the hip-hop DIY digital feel of his previous work, McCloskey recorded Northern Liberties (Lemon Hill) with backing musicians that positively smoke. The result is a confident wordsmith able to unleash his inner rock-star with a trick up his sleeve and his guitar strapped across his back. With a Yuengling in his hand and a chip on his shoulder, McCloskey rails against Haliburton, the war in Iraq and the response to Hurricane Katrina with the blue-eyed resolve of a red-blooded American son. G. Love lends harmonica to "The Beautiful Girl in The Beautiful Car," but the album highlights are when the mood changes to relationships on the manic up-all-night "Rooftops" or the Strokes-y "Fountain of Youth." The entire album is great, and the ode to his family, "Son Of It All," will have you "losing your mind, pressing rewind and singing salvation."

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[Published on: 2/29/08]

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