Michael Gallagher is the Mining Co. and the music he creates has a timeless, lived in quality. With drums counting the way in and a pedal steel ringing out ‘Country Heart’ establishes a mournful, melancholy opening gambit. This is music that feels immediately familiar yet slightly foreign. Just as Gallagher plumbs the depths of this music, repeated listens reveal the complexities of love and life.
With little more than an acoustic guitar and a bit of percussion ‘Copper Ghosts’ packs an emotional punch, “Oh to risk it all for the ones I love the most.” While other tracks have more instrumentation, there’s a sense of standing lyrically naked that makes the track incredibly appealing. Solemn keyboards and a simple guitar melody underpin ‘Ballad of the Mining Company’.
Despite this sparse setting and minimal instrumentation there is a lyrical depth to this material and a richness to Gallagher’s world weary voice playing off the notion that, “It’s the sadness that always gets you down.” Built on just banjo and drums, ‘Lonesome Bird’ offers a glimpse at the depths of sadness as Gallagher sings, “Today I told her how I felt, but I got no answer back. The lonesome bird did sing its song, it couldn’t turn things better right now.” Again and again on Burning Sun & the Powers Within, what you get are simple symphonies of sadness.
Clocking in at just 28 minutes, Burning Sun & the Powers Within closes with ‘Keep On Rollin’’. Using a full band, Gallagher offers up one more insight, “There’s not a lot that is real in this sharp world, that I can’t get a loving word that I won’t hear. Keep on, keep on rolling.” Because at the end of the day that’s all anyone can do.
Words: Bob Fish