Glory Bound (Deluxe Edition)
Pure Country with its Roots showing.
Deluxe Edition (Disc 2)
As you will know I loved this album when it was originally released in 2015; but you won’t know how upset I was that their sold-out and critically acclaimed UK Tour didn’t venture into the Northlands; so I didn’t get to see them 😦
On the back of that tour and a subsequent successful one in the US of A; they are re-releasing the album as a Deluxe Edition with the addition of five brand spanking new songs, recorded with a bunch of friends over a five day period.
What a bunch of friends to have –
Track #1 is a re-recording of the title track Glory Bound with no less than the Watkins Family Band; and what a glorious time they sound like they had. The song is a rip-snorter anyway; but the addition of Sarah Watkins on alternate verses with Alyssa Graham crank the gears up to ‘hurtle.’
Next is the Graham’s on their own with their version of Alejandro Escovedo’s Broken Bottle; and Alyssa turns the song inside out until it is a Classic American Folk Song.
Producer David Garza joins forces with Alyssa, Doug and ‘The Voice’ competitor Suzanna Choffel (who’s song Race Car was a favourite on our old radio show!) on one of the highlights of the original album, Mama and this fuller interpretation, somehow manages to knock spots off the original.
Rocking Magpie favourite John Fullbright plays piano on that song; then on Tender Available he trades singing duties and harmonies with Ms. Graham and the end result is stunning; hopefully hinting at a future collaboration – fingers crossed.
Then; if that’s not enough, the fifth and final new song, The Lonely Ones pairs Alyssa and Doug Graham with The Milk Carton Kids. Yes….The Milk Carton Kids! Utilising their trademark lo-fi sound; and a piano, string section and a ‘singing saw’ we are left with a brittle piece of beautiful music; and yet again I’d love to hear a whole album just like this.
I loved the original album; and if you haven’t already got it in your collection I urge you to rush out and buy this Deluxe Edition….you won’t be disappointed.
Released March 25th 2016
Glory Bound (Original)
What a way to start an album – “I wish hadn’t done the things did when I was young/all the little tablets I melted on my tongue.” Now there’s an attention grabber! Alyssa then goes on to list the other things she now regrets on title track, Glory Bound; including the fantastic line “I wish I hadn’t written my rebellion on my lungs.” Not only whip smart lyrics, but the band also create a fast moving, steam train ride of a tune in the background.
All I can tell you is that in Alyssa Graham we have discovered a diamond of a Country singer and on the heart breaking Blow Wind Blow, she more than matches any of the blondes you will see on the CMA Awards; as her voice dynamically swoops and sweeps through an epic song of a young woman looking in the mirror and seeing her parents and long lost brother staring back at her. Don’t be surprised if this song turns up on a Reba or Faith Hill album; as it’s perfect for them; but much better here; as is Mama, an unadulterated Country song harking back to the days of Patsy Cline; but still sounding as fresh as a daisy here.
The Grahams aren’t just about the singer; as husband Doug and an all-star band can also dosey-do with the best of them as they prove on Kansas City with has its own guitar v fiddle duel; but again Alyssa more than matches the boys in the band.
I instantly fell in love with 70’s sounding innuendo laden Biscuits the first time I heard it; as it could have been a Dolly or even Skeeter Davis song in another life.
While there is a timeless feel to the whole album; Borderland and Promised Land are both bang up to date Country songs; with a very sharp edge to them.
Glory Bound by husband and wife Doug and Alyssa Graham has been a chore to review; simply because I’m not sure if it’s just very, very good or excellent! I’m starting to fall towards the latter judgment.
re- released March 25th 2016