Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland, better known as The Lost Brothers, are two Irish-born men who met in Liverpool and formed a bond before forming a band.
As they prepare to take on 2020 — including 20 tour dates as support of M. Ward (you can watch The Lost Brothers “Fugitive Moon” with M.Ward, here) — the duo agreed to do a live stream of the album ‘After The Fire After The Rain’ on American Songwriter.
Instead of using our words to describe the album, or highlight our favorites, we asked Leech and McCausland do share their takeaways from the project.
Leech said of the effort, “I’m proud of this album also because it’s grounded by a sense of place – that place being Ireland where we are from – more specifically Meath and Tyrone. These songs bring us back to our roots.”
“‘Eight Hundred Miles’ is a travelogue song – but it’s joyful and sad instantaneously -and I love that in music. John Prine is the master of this- his song “Sailin’ Around”…that cuts me deep every time but I’m dancing as I’m crying- if that makes any sense!
“When we wrote the opening track ‘Fugitive Moon’ we were working on some other ideas that never made the final cut and it came very quickly — out of nowhere in fact. It’s a song that is emotionally direct; cuts right to the bone. A lot of sorrow and joy went into that one. In songwriting terms we were “match fit” when “Fugitive Moon” landed on our laps – we were writing many songs that week for some reason. Perhaps , in a way, we were ready for the magic to strike.
“The song ‘Medicine Wine’ is another big song for me. I’ve had someone very close to me in life suffer with addiction and homelessness for years and I sing this song for them – and of how being out in nature sometimes has saved them. People think it’s a drinking song- no it’s not! It’s absolutely not about seeking refuge in substances or alcohol. It’s about getting out into nature and the nurturing powers of music.
But we don’t talk too much about the heaviness behind the songs because it breaks the spell and dictates a meaning to the listener- when really we don’t own the songs – the listener does.”
McCauland offered a more brief summation of the album, “Beneath the surface, these songs come with a bit of a warning – it’s not all magic and fairytales. The tracks ‘Gortin Glen’ or ‘Six Mile Cross’ might sound like some mystical land, but to me, these are just places where it rains a lot. They are weird and sinister places. But as bleak as these places are, something keeps pulling us back there. They are in the blood.
“There’s always light to balance the darkness. Fire to balance the rain. That’s what the album is about for me. There’s a middle ground to everything, and that’s where the album exists.”
After The Fire After The Rain Tour 2020
UK and Ireland
March 3rd London Southbank Centre, Purcell Room
March 19th Omagh Strule Arts Theatre
March 20th Belfast Ulster Sports Club
March 21st Dublin Vicar Street
March 25th Galway Town Hall Theatre
March 26th Castlebar The Royal Theatre
March 28th Letterkenny An Grianán Theatre
April 3rd Waterford St Patrick’s Gateway Centre
April 4th Cork Live At St. Luke’s
April 5th Limerick Dolans
North America w/ M Ward
April 17th Philidelphia, PA Union Transfer
April 18th Washington, DC U Street Music Hall
April 19th New Jersey, NJ White Eagle Hall
April 22nd New York, NY The Bowery Ballroom
April 24th Cambridge, MA The Sinclair
April 26th Woodstock, NY Levon Helm Studios
April 28th Ithaca, NY The Haunt
May 1st Chicago, IL Thalia Hall
May 2nd Madison, WI The Majestic Theatre
May 3rd Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
May 14th Portland, OR Revolution Hall
May 16th Seattle, WA Netpune Theatre
May 17th Tacoma, WA McMenamins Elks Temple
May 19th Sinoma, CA Gundlach Bundschu Winery
May 20th San Francisco, CA The Chapel