Big, honking slices of Irish-inflected, middle-Americana awaits in the latest album from Chicago’s The Great Whiskey Project. The album is titled There Will Be Music When We’re Dead, which could be read two ways.
The negative reading: that the ones you left behind are joyously celebrating your recent departure.
The positive reading: that the ones you are about to join are joyously celebrating your imminent arrival.
With The Great Whiskey Project, it’s a safe bet that the positive reading is more fitting. The fourteen tracks are so chock full of “love,” “trust,” and “hope” that you may wonder whether you haven’t died already and past beyond into a more perfect eternity. GWP has the sound of an Irish folk ensemble – the fiddle, the organ, the mandolin, the mournful acoustic tones – but completely inverts the paradigm of misery, suffering, and stoicism-by-the-shot. There are no cheating husbands, whore wives, worthless cousins, drug-addled nieces and nephews; no poverty, no class struggle, no unrequited love; no toothless beggars, no English oppression, no famine.
There Will Be Music When We’re Dead is all whiskey and no hangover. Who can argue with that?