Stories » Rick McCarthy offers joyous message of the muse / worcester telegram

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Rick McCarthy offers joyous message of the muse / worcester telegram

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It's hard to write about joy. Usually, what comes instead is fluffy sentimentality, something that seems indelibly false and saccharine. At the very least, joy isn't interesting for the audience: too little contrast, too little conflict. Without shadow, joy seems meaningless. And yet, Rick McCarthy's easily overlooked debut CD, "Message of the Muse," is overflowing with joy, and every inch of it is believable and oddly endearing.

Of course, McCarthy, in addition to his recent turn as a singer-songwriter solo artist, has long played with the likes of the Lester Rawson Band, Cosmic Slim and His Intergalactic Plowboys and Grade "A" Fancy, which performs tonight at the Singletary Rod and Gun Club in Oxford. He's also the host of WICN's "Jazz Highways," so he knows a thing or two about music. Throw in that the album was produced by Mike Harmon of Grain Thief and features several local favorite musicians, and it's easy to see why this feels less like a debut than it does a polished work from a seasoned professional.

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