The Grahams & Friends
Live in the Studio
Three Sirens Music Group.
Classy Album Gets an Exciting Makeover.
I loved their Glory Bound album in 2014, and the Deluxe Version which followed but this is now the album’s third incarnation; albeit the first official release in the UK so I’m a little bit baffled as to where to start. Do I do a ‘compare and contrast’ of these ‘one-take’ live in the studio versions of songs from both previous albums or treat it as a brand new record?
I will presume it’s all new to you, so I will opt for the latter option; but occasionally ‘compare and contrast’….confused? You will be.
Title track Glory Bound is one of the most powerful opening tracks I’ve possibly ever heard; with Alyssa Graham not only trading lines like “I wish hadn’t done the things I did when I was young/all the little tablets I melted on my tongue.” with Sarah Watkins but harmonising with the rest of the Watkins Family too!
The updated versions of songs like Gambling Girl and especially the foot-stomping City of New Orleans are well worth the admission price alone, but it’s the collaborations that intrigue and excite me.
Here, The Lonely Ones becomes a brittle and beautifully doleful ballad with Alyssa joined by starlets The Milk Carton Kids; and the end result left me quite breathless and teary eyed.
I’m not au fait with David Garza but Suzanna Choffel was a favourite on my old radio show; so I couldn’t wait to hear her sing alongside Alyssa Graham; and the trio really create a glorious sound on Mama, with Garza actually stealing the show!!
The inclusion of Alejandro Escovedo’s Broken Bottle is a rare treat for anyone who missed it on the Deluxe release but it is Tender Annabelle that wins the title of ‘RM Favourite Track.’
Completely deconstructed and a choir of Angels added on the chorus, should have been enough; but having Alyssa’s trembling voice more than matched by the dulcet tones of John Fullbright; leaves me salivating at the prospect of these two recording a whole album together.
If you don’t have either Glory Bound or its follow up Deluxe Edition I heartily recommend this disc; and personally can’t wait to see them perform on the upcoming UK Tour for which it is being released.
Released January 27th 2017