Tony Wright & Ryan Hamilton
GRAND OLE OTLEY
A Couple of Rockers Go Country & Yorkshire With Style.
Hey kids; it appears Alt. Country and Americana are proving to be cool these days; who knew?
Here we have RMHQ’s ‘guilty pleasure’ Indie Rockers’ Terrovision’s singer Tony Wright joining forces with Ryan Hamilton from American band The Traitors joining forces for an homage to Country Music and the end result is a lot more fun filled and danceable than you’d ever have imagined knowing their Rock n Roll heritage.
The quaintly titled Grand Ole Otley* opens with a straight as a dye rendition of Jolene which leads into a rather delightful English/American duet on of Oh Lonesome Me; with it must be said some scintillating steel guitar too then that morphs into a raucous rendition of Hank Jrs Family Tradition which rocks and swings in equal measure.
Do you see where they are coming from? Obviously the deadly duo have great taste when it comes to Country music from across the ages and genres.
Although the guys are pretty obviously having fun; they also take each song very seriously indeed with their versions of songs like Wayfaring Stranger and Lost Highway being carefully constructed to sound cool in the present-day but not so much they will offend old timers like me.
I was going to say that there are two ‘newish’ songs here; but when I checked the haunting rendition of the Stones Wild Horses is from 1971……which is 47 years ago! The other seems a bit of an odd choice for a Country themed record; but this gloriously sad rendition of Ewan MacColl’s First Time Ever I Saw Your Face fits in perfectly; which goes to show what a truly great song it always has been.
As Roberta Flack’s version of that beautiful song is in my Top 5 songs of all time I was tempted to choose it as my Favourite song here; but I’m going to be contrary and choose a song that I’d never heard before; Johnny Horton’s Every Time I’m Kissing You; as it’s as Country a Country song as Country gets with Tony and Ryan brushing the cobwebs off something older than me; and making it sound as fresh as a mountain daisy.
I don’t know what Tony Wright or Ryan Hamilton’s core fan base will think of this collection; and I’m not sure Country Music’s more statesman like fans will make of it either; and that will be a huge shame, primarily because it was through Elvis Costello’s Almost Blue and The The’s Hanky Panky albums that proved to me that Country Music could be interesting and even Cool; without those gateways there wouldn’t be the Rocking Magpie website!
Released 8th June 2018
*Otley is a quaint market town in Yorkshire where Mr Wright owns a cafeteria and print shop.