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CD REVIEW: Ricko Donovan - Lucky Sevens
By Don Sechelski - 10/25/2009 - 08:57 PM EDT

Artist: Ricko Donovan
Album: Lucky Sevens
Label: slam-colour records
Genre: AmeriCeltic
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
CD Review: Irish storyteller and multi-instrumentalist, Ricko Donovan has a new release entitled Lucky Sevens. Wry observations and accessible folky melodies make Donovan a songwriter of unique talent. On Lucky Sevens, he plays a variety of instruments including guitar, hammered dulcimer, mandocello, mandolin, drums, and bass. He's joined by variety of other folks on violin, cello, viola, and upright bass. The combination is an energetic string based sound that suits Donovan's Dylanesque lyrics perfectly.

It is Donovan's songwriting that is the real star here. This Is Not The Night is as strong as anything I've heard. "These are not your friends, this is not your town, and this is not the night" sings Donovan to bouncy folk melody that keeps running around your head long after the song is over. Lucky Sevens, the title cut, brings a harder edge as Donovan goes electric. But instead of an electric guitar break, the hammered dulcimer provides an amazingly perfect instrumental. "But when your 44 doing 55 on 66, then your lucky sevens somewhere down the road." Donovan's voice rings true.

Lucky Sevens is a very good album. Donovan plays a swirl of strings that enchant and delight. His songwriting is literate, observational and very entertaining. He has created a unique sound on Lucky Sevens that he calls AmeriCelt. I call it pretty darn good.

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