BRAD PAISLEY previewed some of the material from his new album at c2c a few months back, and now “Love And War” (Arista) is now released here. It’s his 11th album, and is pretty consistent with his previous releases.
His music is largely a guitar driven Country rock sound which makes it easy to cross over into other genres of music. On this album, he teams up with Mick Jagger on the really rocky “Drive Of Shame”. The British label have released this track as a single. There’s also two collaborations with an American rapper, Timbaland. “Grey Goose Chase” and “Solar Power Girl” are both good driving upbeat numbers, with Brad’s guitar playing drowning out the rapper.
The title track features John Fogerty, which is much more Country radio friendly, and then the legendary Bill Anderson joins Brad on “Dying To See Her”. The Country pair wrote the song together.
Other tracks include the single, “Today”, “Heaven South” and “Last Time For Everything”.
Although most of the tracks are uptempo, Brad always does a mean ballad, and this album offers “Gold All Over The Ground”. It was originally a poem written by Johnny Cash, for June Carter, fifty years ago, and published in a book of Cash poems last year. It’s a neat little homage to the man in black.
Another big ballad is “The Devil Is Alive and Well”, which is certainly one of the stand out tracks for me.
Brad is also known as a bit of a fun guy, and this side of him comes out on the quirky “Selfie#The Internetisforever”. He covers the selfie crazy with a rye warning. Take heed.
Releasing the Jagger track as a single really takes a lot away from this album. There’s a lot more to Brad Paisley than pairing up with an ageing rocker from another musical genre.
One of the most Country sounding guys that has come out of Nashville in a while has to be Alabama boy, SHANE OWENS. He formed his own band in 1996 and his first gig was opening for Confederate Railroad in Ozark, Alabama. Shane has never stopped playing, but the Country music business has dealt him some nasty blows. Back in 2005, he released an album for a label just before the label folded, and a few years later, he recorded another album just in time for that label to go under too. This time, though, Shane owned the masters, and they form the nucleus of his finally released album, “Where I’m Comin’ From” (Amerimonte Records).
Thankfully, as one of the tracks on the album says, “Country Never Goes Out Of Style”. This album has been a long, long time in the making, and, frankly it’s a disgrace that Nashville has ignored Shane for so long. But now, he’s got the album out, and, let’s hope his time has come. Certainly, the scene is crying out for real Country music like this.
He covers growing up, playing baseball, girls, and honky tonking. The title track really looks back at a time where respect was a family value worth singing about.
“All The Beer In Alabama” is a really nice love song, but if it’s a honky tonk song, you really want, it has to be “Alcohol Of Fame”. It’s a real fun song, and there’s even a line dance for it. There’s also “Chicken Truck”, on which he’s joined by John Anderson (who recorded it way back).
Back to the ballads, and “Blame It On A Woman”, is a real George Strait type Country ballad. Other ballads include “God And The Ground She Walks On”.
“19” is quite a heavy number, telling the story of a small town boy, who went off to the marines, and didn’t return alive.
No one could blame him for taking a poke at the Music City business, but he does it with a degree of diplomacy. He says “Nashville, You Ain’t Hollywood”, adding “You’re still a Country town”. It’s a really good song, one any city would be proud of. It was originally recorded by Linda Hargrove many moons ago, so I guess “Country Never Goes Out Of Style”.
Randy Travis has sung his praises, and has exclaimed “To Shane, I gladly pass the baton”.
Shane Owens music has been hidden away for too long. The time is now right to bring back the real Country music !
SOUTHERN HALO are three sisters from Mississippi who have been getting a lot of attention lately on the back of their self titled debut album.
Christina, Natalia and Hannah are from the blues town of Cleveland, deep in the Mississippi Delta. Although they were raised on their blues, Nashville came calling, and in 2014, they were finalists at the Texaco Country Showdown at The Ryman.
They have a modern Country pop sound, with every one of the tracks on their album being what you would say was radio friendly. The girls were heavily involved with the writing, including “Life Rolls On”, which they wrote between them. Several songs have been heavily promoted as radio singles, including the catchy “Little White Dress”, “Rewind” and “Living Like That”.
Most of the tracks are quite uptempo, including the rocky “I Ain’t Crazy (But My Daddy Is)” and “Moonshine, co-written by Kelsea Ballerini, and performed by the baby of the group, Hannah.
There are a few ballads, including “I Don’t Wanna Move On” and “This Song”, which really impressed me. Their harmonies really stand out on this track.
They are a talented trio, good vocals, and the album is well produced. Good Modern Country.
AARON WATSON, a Texan from Amarillo, is one of the current breed of singers who are making sure that Country stays Country. He has been making albums since 1999, but it was as recent as 2015, that we wider world really took notice of his talent, when his album “Underdog” became the first male vocalist with an independently released and distributed album, to debut at No.1 on the Country Album charts across America.
Now he has followed up with “Vaquero” (BIG/Thirty Tigers), his 13th album, which has reached the No.2 spot in the same chart. He also made an appearance at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival, back in January.
This guy really is the real thing. Pure Country music at its best.
There isn’t a bad track on the album, and there’s plenty of them. Sixteen tracks, giving great value for money. They vary from upbeat numbers like “They Don’t Make Em Like They Used To”, “One Two Step At A Time” and “Amen Amigo” to slower ballads like “Texas Lullaby”, “Big Love in a Small Town” and “Diamonds & Daughters”.
The title track, “Vaquero” is a real old style Ol’ western ballad, and “Clear Isabel” is similar, if a bit more upbeat.
In a Country music scene dominated by pop acts, it’s really good to find someone like Aaron Watson really making a name for himself by playing real Country music.
If you buy one Country album this year, make sure it’s this one!
SAM OUTLAW was born in Aberdeen (South Dakota, that is), but now calls Southern California home, and So-Cal is his own brand of Country music. He made quite an impression with his debut album, “Angeleno”, and his new album has been widely anticipated.
“Tenderheart” (Six Shooter Records), his second album, is, as the title may suggest, just a bit more mellow than his debut release. It was track five before there are signs of upbeat honky tonk or Country. Not that he doesn’t deliver a good ballad. I really enjoyed the title track, as well as “Bougainvillea, I Think” and “Everyone’s Looking For Home”.
But from Track Five, it’s the sort of album I was expecting. Superb Country music.
“Trouble” is a good driving number, kinda reminiscent of an early Steve Earle. “Two Broken Hearts” is a mid tempo number that really worked for me. “All My Life” and “Dry In The Sun” are very simply arranged, bouncy, little numbers that are really catchy.
“She’s Playing Hard To Get (Rid Of)” is a superb Country ballad, complete with lovely steel licks courtesy of Jeremy Long. Molly Jensen adds some nice harmonies on “Look At You Now”
Sam, who will be back in Scotland at the end of July for Perth’s Southern Fried Festival, certainly shows that he’s superb at traditional Country music, but that he can deliver a polished ballad too.
ANGALEENA PRESLEY is another coming over to Southern Fried. She is one third of The Pistol Annies, the Country girl supergroup that also features Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe. The Kentucky born singer is, to date, the least recognised third member of the group, but has been working hard to get on an equal footing with the others.
Her debut album, “American Middle Class” got some great reviews, and she has performed in the UK several times. Her follow up, “Wrangled” (Thirty Tigers) has just been released, prior to her visit in the summer.
According to the singer, the album is an explicitly forthright journey through her experience in the business of Country Music. She tackles uncomfortable realities like the discrimination against female artists at the height of Bro-Country, the high school mentality of Music Row, and the pain that's just beneath the surface of the road to stardom.
I have to say that it’s quite a strange album, but one that is slowly growing on me. She wrote, or co-wrote all 12 tracks on the album. The opening track sees her reunited with her Pistol Annie’s pals on “Dreams Don’t Come True”, quite a soft ballad that grows on you.
“Only Blood”, a real old fashioned Country number, was written alongside Chris Stapleton, and features Chris’s wife Morgane, whilst Shawn Camp plays Guy Clark’s mondola and No.10 guitar on “Cheer Up Little Darling”, believed to be the last song Guy wrote before passing away last year. And the legendary Wanda Jackson co-wrote “Good Girl Down”.
The tracks that stood out for me, included the soft pop “Outlaw”, the confrontational “Bless My Heart”, and the rip roaring “Motel Bible”. I loved that track.
But, the same can’t be said for “Country”, which features hip hopper Yelawolf, sound effects, and a heavy metal bass line. A few screams of “Yeeha” is the only thing remotely Country about this track. It’s just 3 minutes and 25 seconds of unbearable noise.
But, just skip track 4, and enjoy the other tracks on the album. It’s growing on me.
Canadian singer songwriter TIA McGRAFF has a new 7 track CD out, “Nothin’ To Lose”, most of which she performed at Celtic Music Radio’s House concert at the start of May. The CD features six tracks written by Tia and husband Tommy Parham, and one, “Rock’s You Cant Move”, which Tommy composed with Rob Crosby and Will Rambeaux. It’s probably the most straight Country song on the CD, telling the story of the struggles of John Moses, a black farmer, who shared his wisdom with his neighbours. It was originally recorded by Lee Greenwood, but Tia really puts her mark on the song.
The CD kicks off with quite a British feel to it, with “Dartmoor”, an area that has made an impression on her, and especially ponies she saw there. One of the singles from her previous album was “Baby’s Got A Banjo”, and Tommy’s got the banjo out once again, for the title track, a really impressive song.
“Faithful Ones”, has quite a gospel crusade feel to it. It’s a slow number, but nevertheless conjures up an image of a gathering. The closing track, “Change A Comin” is of a similar vein, albeit a little more upbeat.
The other tracks, “Masterpiece” and “Faraway Man” are both really pleasant numbers too.
Tia has a lovely voice, and you can really hear her personality shine through on these recordings. The production is very simple, acoustic style. It really suits these songs, and a beautiful listen.
Heading up our homegrown releases is a wonderful recreation of old American folk songs from REDWOOD MOUNTAIN, a duo that features Dean Owens and fiddler Amy Geddes.
The self titled CD has been built around Alan Lomax’ “The Book Of American Folk Songs”. A friend, Neil May, gave Dean a first edition copy of the book, who became intrigued by the lyrics and characters, and began devoting new arrangements too them.
Dean’s old Nashville pal Suzy Bogguss did a similar project a few years ago, and whilst Suzy choose some of the best known old American Folk Songs, Dean and Amy have gone for much lesser known songs. Throughout the album, Amy’s fiddle and harmonies beautifully contrast Dean’s vocals.
Many of the songs are performed in an old timey, ballad style. Certain songs, like “On The Range Of The Buffalo” had me thinking that Dean’s interpretations were similar to what you’d expect Marty Stuart to come up with.
“Run Boys Run”, is the one track which really shows Amy’s harmonies off, and also the Double Bass, played by Kevin McGuire, the only other musician on the project.
“Fair Thee Well Honey”, has an old English (Greensleeves) feel to it.
The first minute of “East Virginia” needed no instrumentation, before Amy’s fiddle just squeezes in for effect. It’s a beautiful arrangement, and really stands out.
There are a couple of numbers with a bit more upbeat, modern arrangements, like “Railroad Man” and “Rye Whiskey”.
There’s also a couple of fiddle instrumentals, one composed by Dean, the other by Amy.
As was with Dean’s previous Johnny Cash and Hank Williams albums, the project concludes with a Dean Owens’ original. “Take It Easy, But Take It”, is a modern song, but still fits in with the rest of the album. Dean has certainly got himself immersed in this music, and the result is this beautiful album.
He’ll be touring with the project in the summer, including The Southern Fried Festival in July, In the meantime, get the album from his website www.deanowens.com
ISLA GRANT is one of Scotland’s biggest musical exports. She’s continues to be one of the most popular names on the Irish concert circuit. She’s off on a tour of Newfoundland this month, and in the autumn has a 2 ½ month tour of Australia and New Zealand lined up.
Although Isla is well recognised as a songwriter, having written such well covered songs as “Cottage In The Country” and “It’s a Dream Come True”, her latest 16 track album, “I’m A Survivor” only has three self penned numbers. This gives us an insight into Isla’s own musical tastes, and quite varied they are.
She kicks off the album with Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice”, covers Willie Nelson’s “Alice In Hullaland” and “Nothing I Can Do About It Now” (written by Beth Neilson Chapman), Marty Robbins’ “Fly Butterfly Fly”, and a couple of Lacy J Dalton songs, including the title track, “I’m A Survivor”.
She even has one for the line dancers, with a cover of Rick Springfield’s “Speak To The Stars”.
But one that really sounds close to one of her own composition’s is “The Bridle On The Wall”, written way back in 1936 by Carson Robertson. Boy, has Isla put her own stamp on it. One of the album’s highlights, for sure.
Talking of her own songs, “Love Me” and “A Love That Used To Be” are both nice melodies with lovely lyrics. “Back Home”, is a real Isla style homecoming song. Isla’s done so much travelling over the years, but still calls Scotland home. It’s a really heartfelt homely number.
Elsewhere, I really loved her treatment of “Leavin’ And Sayin’ Goodbye”, originally a hit for Grand Ole Opry legend Jeannie Seeley. A special mention for “They Called It Music”, a catchy number originally done by bluegrass band, The Gibson Brothers. Isla really sparkles on this number.
The album closes with the sensitive “In The Time That You Gave Me”, which is a song, so associated with Joey Feek.
Another lovely heartwarming collection of songs from the wonderful Isla.
Although Irish born, NORMAN BORLAND has been around the Scottish Country music scene for many years now. He has built up a following for playing good solid Country music, and that is what you can expect on his new album, “Moved By The Spirit”.
The album, recorded in Yorkshire, features 16 tracks, all well produced and well performed by Norman.
Whilst an album of covers, Norman has chosen a good mix, with probably “Amanda” being the most recognisable number here. There’s a couple of Vince Gill numbers, some Merle and Cash, a bit of Tracy Lawrence and Clint Black too.
The title track is embedded within “Amen Kind Of Love”, a song previously done by Daryl Singletary, whilst the opening track, “Dreaming with My Eyes Wide Open” was a Clay Walker hit. I liked his version of “Brother Jukebox” and his version of Cash’s “Home Of The Blues” really stands out,
I also enjoyed his version of Paul Overstreet’s “Seeing My Father In Me”, and was impressed with his Sam Outlaw cover of “Love Her For A While”.
I was also pleased to hear Norman’s version of Shunie Crampsey’s “Morning Sun And Memories”. The song has been around for many years, but seems to have become very popular lately. Norman’s version is one of the strongest I’ve heard.
Real Country, a good mix and well produced. A real winning formula.
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BILLY HAMMOND is a local singer in the Alloa area who has played his music in local clubs for many years, with Country music very much featured in his sets. His latest album, “Morning Sun and Memories” features 14 tracks, which I’d say is very much aimed at the Irish style market.
The title track, of course was written by Shunie Crampsey, and Billy does a nice version of it.
There are a wide mix of Country covers like Billy Ray’s “She’s Not Crying Anymore”, Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes”, Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and Hal Ketchum’s “Tonight We Might Just Fall In Love Again”, alongside The Eagles’s “Girl From Yesterday” and The Searchers’ “Walk In The Room”.
But Billy sounds most at home with the Irish influenced numbers like “Absent Friends”, which kicks off the album and, Pete St John’s “Dreamers & Believers” (most recently recorded by Derek Ryan).
Recorded in his hometown at the Bowmar Soundspace, Billy has come up with a really nice listenable album. He has a good voice, which suits these songs.
MICK FLAVIN is one of the Irish Country scene’s stalwarts. Indeed, he is celebrating his 30th Anniversary in Country Music this year, by releasing a new album, “Country & Gospel” (Rosette Records). Don’t be put off by the title. The gospel tracks are discreetly blended throughout the 15 track collection.
You’ll recognise a couple of the tracks, including “The Fireman” which opens the collection, and “Daytime Friends”, the old Kenny Rogers hit, which is the lead single from the album.
Mick makes his mark on The Hag’s “I Can’t Be Myself”, and Charley Pride’s “Jeannie Norman”, and there’s a duet with Mary Duff on “Size Seven Road”.
Although Mick is 100% Country, there is an Irish influences on “The Last Chance Saloon”.
“He Took Your Place”, “Where We’ll Never Grow Old” and “Who Will Pray For Me” are amongst the gospel songs, but the arrangements Mick delivers with the help of producer Jonathan Owens, have them, very much in the same style as the rest of the album.
Mick has a superb rich Country voice, which suits these songs. One of Ireland’s true Country performers, and he’s sounding as good as ever.
From a legend, to one of the young breed emerging on the Irish scene. BEN TROY has been one of the numerous child stars in recent years, but has stuck the course, and has now left school, with a bright Country music career ahead of him.
The 18 year old’s debut album is “Gravity” (Ryan Records), and is a mix of covers and newer material. He has been taken under the wing of Derek Ryan, who himself, is one of Ireland’s youngest and newer stars.
Derek has written four of the tracks on the album, including the title track, and bouncy “Original”, which, for me, is probably the stand out track on the whole album. He also wrote “Lost In Your Light” and “Summer Nights”.
Of the covers, Ben is obviously a Don Williams fan, covering two of the gentle giant’s hits, plus Willie’s “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” and Hank’s “Never Again(Will I Knock On Your Door)”. The album opens will his version of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”, which is also the lead single from the album. The arrangement fits nicely into the album. You’ll also find him doing a really good job on Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times”.
Ben has certainly matured nicely from child star, to one of the young stars who are going to be around for a while.
DAVE SHERIFF is a British Country Music institution. His claim to fame was gaining a place in the Guinness Book Of Records back in the 80’s for his multi-instrument playing. But he has been a stalwart of the whole UK scene, both in his own music, and supporting others. He was around long before the linedance scene, but embraced it, and also found his place amongst the booming Irish dance scene. Dave is the whole package.
His latest project, “The Britpickers” (Stomp Records) does take a rather retrospective look back at the British scene, not only featuring some long standing Sheriff compositions, but features some of the fellow musicians that travelled a similar path. He’s teamed up with the likes of Slim Pickens, Pete Brazil, Nicky James, Bob Pearce, Jon J Paul, Drew Taylor, Graham Walker, Gerry Hogan, Jan Mellon, Drew Taylor, Tony Kaempf, Derek Thurlby, John Dunsterville, Bob Dixon, Barry Smith, Carolyn Lawford and Adam Linsley.
The opening track “From Then Til Now” tries to sum up the scene, and how it’s changed, in just over 3 minutes, and manages to namecheck a few of those missing from the project, like Kelvin Henderson, Bob Newman, Karl Benson and Dennis Wheeler,
There are also appearances from Dane Stevens on “Beer Belly Blues”, whilst Carole Gordon duets beautifully on new versions of “Turn Back Time” and “We’ve Got Memories”. For me, these are the stand out tracks, with Carole’s vocals just adding something special to the songs.
I also really liked the traditional Country sound on “Forget Those Angry Words” and the radio single, “Hey God”.
Of course, “Best Of Friends” is included, as is an updated version of “Red Hot Salsa”, which is featured on the soundtrack of the T2 Trainspotting movie.
As, I say, Dave is a real all-rounder, and can appeal right across the Country scene. He’s sharing the limelight with others on this project, with a statement to those who think Country music is new to the UK.
UNDERHILL ROSE are a North Carolina all girl trio, made up of Molly Rose Reed, Eleanor Underhill and Salley Williamson. Their Appalachian blend of beautiful harmonies and simple arrangements, led by Eleanor’s banjo make for a really relaxing sound.
They have previously released three studio albums, but their new CD features the “Live” sound of the trio, recorded over two starry nights in Asheville and Lexington NC.
They feature a number of tracks from their previous albums, and several covers, which they, perhaps, wouldn’t consider recording otherwise. They include the Nancy Sinatra classic, “These Boots Are Made For Walking” and Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes”. The CD winds up with a version of John Prine’s “Long Monday”.
But the one which impressed me most was “Trouble In Mind”, which is the stand out track for me. It’s an old jazz song from the 1920’s, which has been recorded by everyone from Bob Wills, The Everly’s and Johnny Cash, to Elkie Brooks and Led Zeppelin. These girls give it a real country feel.
They also do a stunning job on Jamey Johnson’s “In Color”, the CMA’s song of the year back in 2009.
Elsewhere I liked the catchy “The End Of 27”, “They Got My Back” and “Love Looks Good On You”.
It’s a really nice listen. They’re here this month on tour. Well worth catching them live.
Now for some real toe tapping Texas music. 82 year old JOHNNY BUSH is a real Country icon down in the Lone Star State, and a hero in the eyes of many of his younger prodigies. His early breaks in the business were down to Ray Price and Willie Nelson. Both are still influencing him today.
His new album is a 20 track collection which celebrates his long career in music. “The Absolute Johnny Bush” (BGM label) was produced by Bill Green in San Antonio, and features a number of fellow Texans like Dale Watson, Bobby Flores, Justin Trevino, Reckless Eric, and even Ray Price.
The sadly missed Price appears on the ballad, “Ain’t Your Memory Got No Pride At All”, which Johnny covers Ray’s “I’ll Be There” and “Each Time”. Johnny wrote “Whiskey River” for Willie Nelson. The song is featured here, as well as covers of Willie’s “Undo The Right” and “I Gotta Get Drunk”, on which Dale Watson joins up.
Other numbers that you’ll recognise include “The Last Thing I Needed (First Thing This Morning)”, another Willie hit, written by Gary P Nunn, Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again”, and “These Lips Don’t Know How To Say Goodbye”, albeit in a western swing style, and not like the hit Forester Sisters or Doug Stone versions.
This isn’t just a celebration of Johnny Bush music, it’s the best of Texas music. I really enjoyed it.
TIM GRIMM, from Southern Indiana, is something of a Rennaisance man in the performing arts world. He has for the past 15 years, blended his love for songwriting, travel, and the storytelling of acting (theatre, film and television). Amongst his musical influences is Rambling Jack Elliott, Woody Guthrie, Tom Paxton and Johnny Cash.
His latest album, “A Stranger In This Time” (Cavalier Recordings) is a lovely listen of simple arrangements with gentle folk ballads.
The title is wrapped up in the opening track, “These Rolling Hills”, which I really enjoyed.
“So Strong” and “Hard Road” are both quite upbeat, in almost a Texas style, whilst “The Hungry Grass” is much more of a ballad.
“Darlin’ Cory” is a traditional number, and sounds it. He’s really captured an old timey bluegrass feel to this track.
“Thirteen Years” is a spoken track, which conjured up memories of Johnny Cash, with some Shel Silverstein in the blend.
“Black Snake”, written by Grimm Family Band members Jan & Jackson came over a bit more rocky.
Altogether, I found this a very pleasant listen.
RICK MONROE is one of these guys who seem to have been around forever, with several albums since the 1997 release “Legend’s Diner”. Rick is well travelled. He was born in Florida, but grew up in a variety of US states, as well as England. He has performed in 17 countries, and every US state, except Oregon (for whatever reason), and has even played for former Soviet President Gorbachev.
Last year alone he travelled over 100,000 miles to play over 120 shows.
His latest release is a 6 track EP called “Gypsy Soul”, all written, or co-written by Rick himself.
The title track is quite a smouldering country rock number
The opening track, “This Side Of You” and “Better” is powerful radio friendly ballad that should fit in nicely at US Country Radio. “Moment Like This” is quite rocky, whilst “Rage On” is quite bluesy.
“Ease On Down” a really pleasant listen, and probably my favourite track of the collection.
COLTER WALL is a 21 year old singer songwriter from Saskatchewan, but, on listening to his self titled debut full length CD, you’d imagine yourself listening to a guy who has lived life for a lot longer than he has.
Rolling Stone magazine cited him as one of “Ten New Country Artists You Need To Know”. Well he’s made the first step into Europe, with dates in the south of England, Holland and Germany in the past couple of weeks, and already making plans to come back.
The CD features 10 tracks, from the opening guitar ballad “Thirteen Silver Dollars” and the steel laced “Codeine Dream”, to the folksy “Kate McCannon”, and “You Look To Yours”.
He livens proceedings with the catchy, but short, “Motorcycle”.
On “Transcedent Ramblin’ Railroad Blues”, he does rather recreate John Prine’s “Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness”. I don’t know if it’s deliberate, or coincidence, but it certainly keeps it interesting.
One that is certainly a cover, is a slowed down version of “Fraulein”. His arrangement is really interesting.
Finally this time around, MADISON VIOLET are a Canadian duo made up of Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac, who have been writing and playing beautiful music together now for 18 years ago. They have toured here several times, and have built up quite a fan base.
On their more recent album’s they’ve found more of a full sound, but the girls have decided to go back to basics with their latest release, “The Knight Sessions” (Big Lake Music).
When we say back to basics, we mean the real basics. The girls scoured Toronto’s Pawn Shops in a quest to find discarded items, misfit items and outdated electronics. They came across children’s wooden blocks and ukuleles with missing strings, and finally came up with some items that could be used on this new album. It also made their suitcases a bit lighter on their UK tour last month.
It does remove much of the Country sound that they had, but highlights their beautiful voices much more. I really quite liked “Ohio”, “Operator” and “Same Sun”. The intro on “The Heat” reminded me of the noise we created as kids, by blowing through a paper covered comb. Who remembers doing that ?
It’s an interesting sound project. As I say, there’s not much of a Country sound, like they may have had in the past, but it’s certainly different.