Red Sky July
The Truth and The Lie
Be Afraid Americana….The Brits Are Coming!
Home-grown British Country Music has always been an acquired taste; and Red Sky July have probably suffered from that inverted snobbishness as much as anyone…..until now.
With the emergence of the Shires, Black Feathers, Ward Thomas and a host of others successfully flying the British Country flag in the last 18 months it could be ‘right place/right time’ for this enchanting trio with their third album.
Ooooohhhhh….whose not going to like the gorgeous harmonies that open track #1 Jet Trails; and when Shelly and Charity go on to ‘Out Dixie’ the Dixie Chicks on a song about ‘following your dreams; I knew I was in for the long haul.
The title track follows and is every bit as sharply observed and Ally McErlaine’s buzzing guitar compliments the ladies’ breathy vocals; just like Lindsay Buckingham does/did with Stevie Nicks and Chrissie McVie; only on a punchy Country song.
Who knew one part Alisha’s Attic, one part The Alice Band and a third of Texas could combine to create some of the finest Country songs to ever come out of the UK? Listen to (Get Out of) Dodge and Long-time Dead and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you!
The former is a real toe-tapping, butt-wiggling dance song; but with a message which is a really clever combination; and the latter is a passionate ode to living life one day at a time and getting the most out of what you have.
Again; McErlaine’s guitar guts through everything like a knife through butter. The man has always been underrated and possibly even undervalued when in Texas; but here he finally gets his moment in the sun.
By the time you get to the beautifully sad, Sway which closes the album you will still be smiling and be in danger of damaging your finger in your haste to press the ‘repeat/play’ button to hear it all over again.
As a bonafide music snob myself; I’ve loved listening to this album over the last few weeks as it’s been like a breath of fresh air; and last week when I was a passenger in my wife’s car I instantly recognised the infectious Walking Country Song on her stereo. Baffled I asked what it was; and was greeted by a sheepish smile as she confessed to ‘stealing it’ from my office; as she’d enjoyed it so much on a journey the previous week in my car. It’s ‘that’ type of album; keep it locked away or you will lose it.
Released March 25th 2016