ED Brayshaw
Random Repeat
Mescal Canyon

Gallus Blues That Owes As Much to The South Side of Glasgow than the South Side of Chicago

Although he’s been in around several British music for donkey’s years; ED Brayshaw only came to our attention two years ago via his collaboration with Friend of RMHQ, Wily Bo Walker; but that long wait has been well worth it.
While I’m bored with artists still telling me that they wrote and arranged their 2021 albums during lockdown; I think it’s actually quite prescient as it allowed writers the time to go back over their work in a way that constant touring probably denied them; meaning many songs and arrangements are less rushed and now fuller and often more ‘professionally’ constructed.
That’s certainly not meant as any form of slight against ED Brayshaw’s previous release; which was chock full of energy and passion ….. but here; I get the feeling that this is more the album that he’s always dreamed of releasing under his own name.
RANDOM REPEAT opens with the glorious Storm Warning; which first appeared on a Wily Bo Walker album years ago; but I hardly recognised it in this guise; and there’s something to be said about Brayshaw’s keen observations that this song is even more ‘on the button’ in 2021 as it was 6 years ago.
While Brayshaw’s warm growl singing style is very much his own; but this song and a few more that follow remind me of Graham Parker and his SQUEEZING OUT SPARKS and ANOTHER GREY AREA albums; a heady mix of anger, passion and divine melodies!
#2 Don’t Change The Way I Feel; a slower acoustic led song; that simmers until it eventually nearly boils over when the squealing electric guitars join the fray; may or may not be a metaphor for the yin and yang we all feel about ourselves; or sadly may be a literal tale of a troubled man whose life is leaving him on the edge.
Even when Brayshaw writes a love song; he doesn’t follow the moon/june route as is apparent from Probably Correct and Just a Night; when Brayshaw sings about and even channels his inner Stevie Ray Vaughan; which both owe more to the South Side of Glasgow than the South Side of Chicago in the the band play in the most swaggering gallus fashion.
I especially like the way Brayshaw uses light and shade across his songs in a musically cohesive manner; one minute he’s singing a gorgeous acoustic Country tinged missive like Tennessee Blues, or the soulfully sweet Take It Away then slinking around the bar on the sleazy and funky Fade Away, and making all sound like blood brothers.
Then, it all comes to a close with the bittersweet instrumental Petite Fleur that closes the disc.
Which also brings me to my choice of Favourite Track.
At first it was obviously going to be the BB/Freddie King influenced Probably Correct which features some sublimely sizzling guitar breaks and a song that many of us will actually correct with; but the more I’ve played the album the more I’ve been drawn to After The Storm, which errs on the side of Americana-Folk in the way Brayshaw takes us on a road trip fraught with danger and fear with his tale that nods towards Steinbeck, Guthrie and Kerouac for content while using a heady Leslie Harvey/Gary Moore guitar hybrid that sounds like a coiled spring to add extra pathos to what is already a stunning song.
From even a cursory listen; it’s all to easy to appreciate why ED Brayshaw has been a go-to guitarist ; but I’m really happy to tell you that he’s been hiding his songwriting skills under a bushel over those years and I love his slow and sultry singing style too.

E D Brayshaw on Guitars and Vocals

Philip Brannan on Rhythm Guitar

Nick Bevan on Bass and backing vocals

Paul Baker on Drums

Released 15th October 2021


Liz Jones & The Broken Windows BRICKS AND MARTYRS

Liz Jones & The Broken Windows
Bricks and Martyrs

Smoky Jazzy Blues Hybrid Drenched in S.O.U.L and L.O.V.E With a Calypso Kick Too.

Baring in mind the music that I associate with the mutual friend that sent me this album, I was confused the first time I played it …. as I was expecting something Bluesy and probably brassy too; but what I got sounded like something akin to a ‘retrospective album’ covering a lot of styles and musical adventures over a bands’ life span.
Now; a month later ….. I couldn’t care less what I thought that afternoon; the mature and contemporary sounds of Liz Jones & her Broken Windows have really grown on me; perhaps but necessarily because of my recent conversion to Jazz.
Opening track Before Me has a delightful Calypso beat to it; and really showcases Ms Jones smoky vocals as she purrs her way around a bittersweet pre-breakup love song, that (even when driving) has me shuffling my shoulders in time with the bass lines.
After that lovely intro, we go down a winding path that strays back and forth from what I perceive to be Dinner Jazz or perhaps the equivalent in the Blues world.
The Blues certainly comes to the fore more than once; not more so via the wailing harmonica intro to Karma; an intricately delicate love song that slowly unravels across a mesmerising four minutes or so.
I’ve always been impressed by songwriters who can take the mundane and turn it into a song of immeasurable quality; and Liz Jones does that more than once or twice here; with another Calypso groove; Stain fitting that description perfectly but anyone who can do what she does with Call Centre Blues and its use of funkalicious guitar breaks to emphasise the monotony and pressure cooker atmosphere that such a place is full of, deserves not just my praise; but that of the Awards committees too.
Hailing from Sarf Landin and now based in Edinburgh, Liz Jones is something of a musical bumble bee; flitting from genre to genre and eventually pollinating beautiful songs like Candle and the crunchy Angel; which are like chalk and cheese; but juxtapose perfectly well; and show what skills not just the writer has; but the band too.
I presume you know what I mean when I call an album ‘Grown Up;’ you know that the songs have all come from a voice that has lived a full life and has stories to tell, that we can all relate to in one way or another; which is where the enigmatic Lover and Jo come into the mix; and neatly brings me to selecting a Favourite Song.
Using my tried and trusted method of leaving the room and closing my eyes, two songs instantly sprung to mind; the album finale On The Rise simply aches with longing and hope; whereas Narcissist is just simply different subject matter from what I may ever have heard; and the way Liz Jones and the Broken Windows deliver this belies their British background; this sounds like it comes from the dark side of Memphis and was recorded on a sultry July Friday night with the lights turned way down low; which is why it is my very most Favourite Song here …… and deserves your attention too.
Without getting too carried away with hyperbole; to some intents this is the type of album I’d have hoped a young Dusty Springfield would make were she have been born 50 years later; while not a Soul album by any stretch of the imagination; every song here is drenched in S.O.U.L and L.O.V.E too.

RELEASED October 29th 2021



Daniel Meade
Ever Wonder Why You Get Outta Bed?
From the Top Records

Scots Troubadour Goes Indie on Complexly Emotional Album

Even though I am a fan of all things Meade; and I generally love the way his music changes direction with every release, ‘never recording the same album twice’ as many of his contemporaries do; I have actually struggled with this album.
It’s certainly not because ‘Meade Goes Indie!’ that’s always been there in bits n pieces; AND he plays in the Ocean Colour Scenes, so it wasn’t a surprise in the slightest ….. just ….. I don’t know.
I’m guessing like so many other releases recently it’s more ‘me’ and the various moods I’ve been in ….. good, bad and Mwaaaahhh; and this album has possibly been a bit too ‘close to home’ to at least two of them; although this morning the sun is shining and there just might be a spring in my step as the office hi-fi is shaking while it plays …. and the individual pieces are finally coming together.
That, dear reader is the biggest problem we face here at RMHQ; actually listening to the music and dissecting it for your consumption; not just cutting n pasting the accompanying Press Release like our more famous rivals.
Hey Ho …. onwards and upwards.
The title track; EVER WONDER WHY YOU GET OUTTA BED? gets the party started in the most unconventional manner. As the title suggests, it’s not the happiest song Dan Meade has ever recorded; in fact it sums up how many of us feel these days; not just Post-Pandemic (which isn’t quite Post-Anything), it’s just the world at large …… and Meade captures that darkness exceptionally well, with the claustrophobic and tightly wrapped arrangement almost perfect for the contempt, anger and even fear of and at the world, that the narrator feels.
It’s not as if this is even the darkest song on the album; far from it ……. Sometimes The Rain Don’t Get You Wet opens with a crescendo of Indie guitars and a Brass Section that sounds like it’s STRAIGHT OUTTA BARLINNIE; and the song shows how adept at digging into his psyche and that of those around him that Mr Meade has always been; and later he delves similar mines with the more traditional style that we associate our Scottish Roots Troubador with; The Choices That You Make and the raucous Professor Longhair inspired piano led I’m Too Tired to Sing The Blues too.
Now that the pieces are finally dropping into place; the complex arrangements on the rocking and rolling By The Book and Watcha Doin’ To Me, which both skirt the Glam Rock of Roy Wood’s Wizzard, neatly mask yet more dark prose meaning plenty will dance along merrily to two quite depressing stories; which shows what a clever and thoughtful songwrite Daniel Meade is (and always has been btw).
Speaking of ‘complexities’ I’m still not 100% sure what the full story is in More So The Other Than The One is really ‘about’ ….. it shouldn’t really matter; but I’m convinced that there’s a barrel load of surprise waiting to unravel sooner or later.
With all that going on; and baring in mind my own personal struggles here; two exceptionally well crafted songs really, really stand out; and have done since Day 1.
The finale, Now I Laugh is a bit of light relief after all of the darkness that has preceded it; not ‘laugh out loud’ light relief; but more Glam-Indie that shows that there just might be light at the end of the tunnel; that’s not a train!
The other, Look No Further highlights Meade’s more sensitive side and features Ms Cara Rose on another Indie drenched missive that sounds like Dan is glaring at the Oasis Brothers; and snarling ……. “this is how ya dae it MAN!” And for that alone; but it really does deserve it ….. LOOK NO FURTHER really is my Favourite Song here; and if that type of cafe or coffee bar still existed; would undoubtedly be a Jukebox Hit.
Not all albums are ‘instant’ with me; they couldn’t possibly be …… and but I’ve dug in deep and EVER WONDER WHY YOU GET OUTTA BED? has, and I’m sure will to continue to grow on me …… Congratulations to Daniel Meade for having the bravery to write and deliver a complexly emotional album; that will touch the hearts of a great many who hear it.

RELEASED October 29th 2021


Alec Bowman-Clarke A PLACE LIKE HOME

Alec Bowman-Clarke
A Place Like Home
Corduroy Punk Records

Delicately Straddling the Fine Line Between Poetry and Folk Music.

Alec Bowman-Clarke?
As he himself says “musician • photographer • filmmaker • shows & music video/portrait shoots • digital, 35mm & 120 film……. will do things for money.
He’s also fun to follow on the Twitter … as I do.
But at heart he is fundamentally a singer and songwriter too.
This 5 track EP follows hot on the heels (nearly 2 years and a pandemic) after his full length LP I Used To Be Sad & Then I Forgot, which I liked a whole lot.
There’s a delightfully rustic charm to opening track Deleted Scenes; straddling the fine line between Poetry and the Folk Music of icons like Nick Drake and John Martyn; Bowman-Clarke’s slightly raspy vocals get offset by the those of his new wife Josienne Clarke to create a an enigmatic song of the highest order; one which not just ‘turns a microscope on the internal workings of modern loneliness and disaffection‘ but sets the scene rather beautifully for what is to follow.
For a variety of personal reasons I’m finding it difficult to listen to music ‘just for the sake of it’ if you will; and I’m becoming more and more prone to find music that fits in with a particular ‘mood of the day’ ….. and this dark and occasionally haunting EP has ticked a few boxes in that department recently.
While nothing here is overtly a love song to pine away the hours to in a darkened bedroom; like many of us did in our teens; the Bowman-Clarkes do manage to fill that void for Grown Ups with The Ghost of Mistakes and A Red Light in a Darkroom; both of which both somehow ache with longing and ooze bewitching storytelling at the same time; and the latter features a stunning saxophone burst too btw.
Speaking of which the finale, A Place Like Home; which is predominantly Alec on the lead, but shines when Josienne joins him in the way Sandy Denny regularly made good songs ‘great’ back in her days with Fotheringay and/or The Strawbs.
Which only leaves one song to select as my Favourite; Speaking of Guns is quite left of centre; even by Bowman-Clarke standards; and certainly won’t appeal to everyone, but caught me unawares the first time I heard it, as both words and the delicately cutting guitar chords made me play it on repeat 5 or 6 times. It’s not quite a sing-along type of song ….. in fact, far from it; but some of us will travel many miles just to hear Alec and Josienne sing it somewhere in the middle of the set, while non-believers head to the bar for a refill.
There have always been Singer-Songwriters around like Alec Bowman-Clarke; each with their own idiosyncratic strengths and weaknesses that appeal to some and annoy others; yet here (especially alongside Josienne Clarke) Alec manages to delve deep into the inner workings of life, love and the world around us while still holding our attention and making us come back for more.

Released October 29th 2021




Charlie Barath
Just Me and My Friend(s)

An Exciting Assortment of Sizzling Harmonica Drenched Country, Blues and Roots Too.

Here at RMHQ we try to keep our finger on the musical pulse, bringing you a vast array of musical delights, some you will like, some you will love others you will just dismiss out of hand …. which I personally find quite sad; but truly understand.
As part of that package I love it when someone in the middle of nowhere finds us and thinks that we have the ability to share their music to and around the world; which is what we have here.
I doubt Charlie Barath could find Newcastle on a map; nor I his hometown in Pittsburgh ; but the fates have brought us together with his first full length Long Player.
Why do I care?
Why am I so excited?
Well; I’m fundamentally a sucker for a harmonica and when someone can knock a tune out of this tiny yet powerful instrument the way Charlie does; then …. I’m in for the long haul.
The album opens in a weird manner, as The Forgotten Man is something of a ‘chain gang’ song; with Gospel undertones which feature a slightly overdubbed Chris Sutton on haunting vocals and Barath on occasional wheezing harmonica …. as that hammer keeps on a ‘falling.
Obviously it is what it is at face value; but take a step back and it may even be a metaphor for the world we find ourselves in in 2021.
With Country Blues as the spine that all things grow off here, Barath does go off on several musical tangents taking lead vocals on everything bar that opening track; but never enough for them to jar with that spine.
There are 17 tracks ; all culled from over three years of recordings and re-recordings; and that time has certainly been well spent when the outcome is as strong as the Honky-Tonkying No Smoking or Ohio, with its deep Grapes of Wrath style message and of course the title track Just Me and My Friend which will still have your toes tapping five minutes after it’s ended.
While quite a few songs carry a message that needs to be listened to; Barath isn’t afraid to have a bit of fun too ….. adding kazzo to a steel-guitar on The Briar Hopper and Have Ourself a Ball is Saturday night distilled into three minutes of fun and frolics, whereas High Ball and a Covered Dish is a slinky and sassy Chicago Blues in the style of Jimmie Vaughan and/or The Fabulous Thunderbirds at their sexiest.
Apart from the exceptional musicianship throughout; is the way Barath takes us on a road trip across America; using light and shade to colour in the various moods he encounters.
Which brings me to difficult choice of selecting a single Favourite Track; as so many merit that accolade; the love song, Heart of Mine swings and soars in the most elegant of manners, while She Drives Me To Drink is obviously at the opposite end of the relationship spectrum and if Charlie had told me that it was a 1920’s Juke Joint Jive song he’d discovered in a thrift store I’d have believed him; but nope ….. it’s actually his very own work from the 2020’s and is as Contemporary as it’s Classic.
Then, there is the charming yet darkly toned instrumental Mississippi Bound, which is just crying out for inclusion in a Movie or at the very least a TV Documentary ……. John Fusco? Are you reading this?
Which only leaves Little Turtle Light; which starts out as a Hank Williams type Country-Blues tune which has you thinking, “Aaaaahhhh” …… then as it evolves,
then by the fourth verse ………
“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh noooo!”
I’m not the man to spoil the surprise here; but I urge you to seek this song out …… and if by chance you have access to a radio show; request it or play it …….. you won’t be disappointed.
While we receive and usually review albums by the Great and the Good in the Roots scene; nothing pleases us more than discovering acts like Charlie Barath and albums like ME and MY FRIEND(S) …… because this is what we are all about.

Released May 2021



Luca Kiella
Ready For You
Cypress Road Productions

Good Old Fashioned Contemporary Storytelling; With Damn Good Music That Is As Easy on the Ear as It is Thought Provoking.

Luca Kiella is one of ‘those names’ that seems familiar to me; I couldn’t think why …… and a quick check of my older reviews unearthed his last release, FIGURE IT OUT, which thankfully we liked back in 2019!!
As I was still gazing at the album cover, nothing there prepared me for the swinging opener Till Tomorrow; Contemporary Lounge Blues is the only way I can think to describe it; and with the majestic piano playing at the heart of everything; somewhere akin to latter day Joe Jackson; and later on he adds that ‘edge’ to a few songs that Jumpin’ Joe had in his youth too.
This is followed by an even bigger, Big Band sound on Here’s No More, which I’m sure will have an even tighter and yet bigger arrangement for their live shows.
Luca Kiella covers a lot of ground here; and at heart he’s definitely a Singer Songwriter of the finest hue; try listening to A True Connection, Wanna Love You and/or Desperate Train to Nowhere and not find yourself being drawn into his stories like a moth to a flame; it can’t be done.
Perhaps the arrangements are a little bit cinematic at times; but there’s also a sympatico that brings the delicate Ready For You and especially the guitar part in the broken hearted love song Won’t You Please? into a timeless zone that you never expected when you first pressed play earlier in the evening.
As usual, this is an album that deserves being played in fill; from start to finish; but several of the songs I’ve already mentioned could easily be singles; and singles you wouldn’t change channels if you heard them on the radio …… but two songs; and very very different songs at that have really caught my attention and are joint Favourite Songs here.
The finale, Is There Any Love Left Here is a genuine heartbreaker and heart melter; the type that needs to be heard in complete silence; be that in the home or concert hall to gauge the power in every word and of course note. While I’d love Luca Kiella to have a huge hit with it; I can also imagine someone like Lady GaGa or Harry Connick picking up on it and turning it into a Platinum seller.
The other is a lot more light hearted and tongue in cheek; but is bang on the money for how I’m feeling at the moment; and I can only imagine the cheer that will greet I Hate My Boss when the first notes are heard in concert!
I mentioned Joe Jackson earlier; but to some degree there’s an element of Jamie Cullum here too in the way Kiella criss-crosses Heavy Jazz, light entertainment and good old fashioned storytelling all set to damn good music, that is as easy on the ear as it is thought provoking for your brain.

Released October 22nd 2021



Mick Mullin
Mullin’ it Over

A Trad Country- Gospel Album Cleverly Straddling Camp and Sincerity.

Mick Mullin certainly has the right geographical and cultural credentials for the music he’s making – “The son of a Kentucky coal miner’s daughter and a Tennessee Bible editor, ” growing up in Nashville surrounded by the sounds of his family’s beloved Baptist hymns, classic Rock ‘n’ Roll and, of course Country.
This, his second full length release is a collection of traditional Country tunes with enough quirks and loveable oddness to entertain absolutely everyone throughout.

“Thank God they Closed the Honky Tonks” has the tongue-in-cheek seriousness of many a Country tune sitting musically somewhere between Hank Snr and Alan Jackson – Mullins’ delivery is quite idiosyncratic – no disrespect but he has an old sounding voice that belies his younger looks!

“Bristol 1927” tells the story of the historically famous recording sessions that kickstarted the Country genre and features backing and shared vocals from Hannah Juanita and it shuffles along in a pleasant and steady waltz time.
A sense of place and time is similarly evoked on “August in New Orleans” which features saxophone to add a little of a jazzy, Western-swing feel into the musical mix -it also features the hilarious refrain of “it’s too hot to love you darling”, which anyone who’s been to Louisiana at that time of year, will heartily agree with!

“Lettin’ Love Speak for Itself” is laced with bluesy dobro and awkward emotions expressed honestly – and it works. Taking a different turn is “Small Black Gun” which tells the story of “Long Black Veil” from the viewpoint of the real killer in the song – it borrows from the rhythm and musical setting of the original and it follows in a long country tradition of “answer” songs. It’s an interesting musical curio, especially for fans of the genre.

The Twang and Blues quotient goes up a notch with the walking bass driven “Foolish Son;” before things take a more tongue in cheek/emotionally dark turn on “Keep All my Roses” telling the all too common tale of a relationship gone mega awkward when he finds his partner “alone in bed with another man/my dear friend and the drummer of the band” – but the show must go on; of course.

A Drifting Cowboys style intro then leads into a cover of John Prine’s “You Never Even Call Me by My Name” – Mullins’ cover takes the song back to its classic country core and it’s a perfect arrangement.
Mullin even finds the time to take a new look at “Long Black Veil” through the eyes of the real killer on the hauntingly Gothic “Small Black Gun.”

The biggest musical shift takes place on the penultimate track, Wouldn’t it Be Wonderful, where a Hammond organ leads into a string-backed, Gospel influenced song that might not affect a non-believer like me too much lyrically; but which easily wins more Religious thinking listeners over musically; and that Country-Gospel theme closes the albumin a more uptempo manner with the Bluegrass flavoured “Do You Know Where You’ll Go?”

All in all, this is a release worthy of the attention of any fan of older, Traditional Country and Gospel too – cleverly straddling the line between camp and sincerity at different points …. and often at the same time!

Review by Nick Barber
RELEASED October 29th 2021


Courtney Marie Andrews HARE & HOUNDS Birmingham

Courtney Marie Andrews
Hare & Hounds
19th October 2021

The last time Courtney Marie Andrews was scheduled to play in Birmingham was in December 2018, at the Glee Club – my eldest niece was in her first term of a pharmacy degree at Birmingham University and I’d gotten tickets for us both.
On the morning of the gig, Courtney’s laryngitis knocked that opportunity for six – we tried again, but this time COVID moved things on once more.
So – three years after the last attempt to catch CMA in the West Midlands; with my niece now in her fourth year at Uni, Courtney Marie Andrews finally made it to Brum – she nearly didn’t though – delayed and cancelled flights meant that she’d arrived on the morning of the gig after only four hours sleep in 48 hours!!
Before her return to the Birmingham stage, support duo Memorial kicked things off pleasantly with a sound that most obviously triggered comparisons with Simon & Garfunkel, but to these ears they came across as the UK equivalent of Mapache from the US West Coast – they went down well and it surely won’t be long before they’re much better known.
In the USA , Courtney has been playing with a band similar to that on “Old Flowers,” but for this European visit she was flying solo playing her own guitar and keyboards.
The set she played didn’t adhere totally to her 12 song printed setlist – kicking things off with “Rookie Dreaming” she then played the first of two new songs in the set – tentatively entitled “James Dean” on guitar – and later there was a second new song played on keys that didn’t get introduced.
In between, there were songs from “Old Flowers” – “Burlap String” and “It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault” in particular shone in a solo setting.
“May Your Kindness Remain”, despite not being on the setlist, was given an airing too.
Three encores ensued – all audience requests – and the reverential silence throughout the performance; eventually became a prolonged enthusiastic roar.
Before departing the stage, Courtney stated she was glad to be back – the feeling in the room was that we were more than glad to welcome her return.

Rookie Dreaming
James Dean (new song)
Burlap String
Break The Spell
It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault
If I Told
Rough Around The Edges
May Your Kindness Remain[To be kind?]…
new song (on keyboard)
Guilty (on keyboard)
Ships in the night (on keyboard)
—– encore —–
Table for one
How Quickly Your Heart Mends
Near You

Photos – https://www.flickr.com/gp/efsb/22BE76

Review and photography by Nick Barber


Marla & David Celia
Indistinct Chatter
Elite Records

Two Golden Voices and a Treasure Trove of Contemporary Canadiana via Germany.

I first encountered Canadian David Celia via his 2015 album Double Mind; which knocked me sideways and genuinely made an appearance in my garden one Sunday in the Summer just gone; then he teamed up with Marla Winkler (now Celia?) in 2018 for the probing DAYDREAMERS ALBUM; which again I rather liked.
So; as you’d expect I was rather excited and flattered when Marla got in touch a couple of weeks ago offering a copy of this; their latest release.
I immediately uploaded it to the magic box and regrettably forgot about it until earlier this week, when it flagged up on the Reviews Spreadsheet …… so on it went in the car on a drab Autumn day on the journey to work.
All I can say is that it was most certainly a case of right place/right time; as it was like sitting alongside a long lost friend who had the ability to make me feel warm and loved; and smile too (which are all in short supply post-Brexit!).
Thinking that I knew what to expect, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the opening song; Clowns Everywhere; the couples harmonies are worn and whispering in a way that surprisingly reminded me of Simon and Garfunkel; and that keeps coming back again and again as the album evolves.
On that first play I just let the gorgeousness drift over me like a velveteen fog; lazilly I could tell you that the couple encompass all that was wonderful about the Laurel Canyon ‘sound’ but that would be doing them a huge injustice; as they obviously use a lot of influences to create their very own distinctive style of Folk Music.
Once you tear yourself away from the fabulous arrangements that surround the couple’s golden voices; the songs unravel like a garden of earthly delights; with unexpected hidden messages leaking out of Paranoia vs Miracles and Colours of the Rainbow that are quite startling when you finally ‘get’ them
Even on Mama Nature, Marla and David never hit you over the head with any particular message; but the messages are certainly there when you look for them.
I don’t want you to think that this is Hippy-Trippy nonsense; no sir … when you hear the intricate Cuento Conmigo, or Struggling with the Ying-Yang; you’ll think they are coming more from a Joni and CS&N direction than … well; let’s not make this personal!
Something else that’s taken me a while for the penny to drop; is the excellent production here that allows the instruments to ‘breathe’ that not justs compliments Marla and David but allows them a comfort not every singer is allowed in front of a microphone.
As many know, I’m no particular lover of Vinyl; as it’s generally the provenance of hipsters with too much money; but in this case I actually think that these songs will sound ever more wonderful on vinyl and a good hi-fi; but I’m also more than happy to hear them on the office hi-fi via the computer.
While the album is gorgeously relaxing; don’t fall into the trap that this is ‘easy listening’ …… there’s a lot more to these songs than many people will realise; which brings me to two in particular that I’m torn between as my Favourites.
With Childhood Dream Marla and David somehow paint vivid pictures with their words; and the harmonies send a shiver down my back every time I hear this song.
Then, there is the enchanting Love Of Life, where the couple sing to each other in a ghostly manner over a subtle and somehow evocative and soft country melody; the likes of which Nanci Griffith and John Prine would have been so proud to have recorded themselves.
The other song is Goodbye; an insightful view on the disposable the times we live in today; and a much more intense chorus than anywhere else …… but that just shows what a great pairing this couple are and when you listen to the story therein; I defy you not to have a tear in your eye and a rage in your heart.
Like the majority of albums that pass my desk INDISTINCT CHATTER is unlikely to trouble the Grammy or Juno committee’s; as they will be too busy trying to please the big labels in what is left of the Music Industry; but that doesn’t mean that the likes of you and I don’t recognise a career and possibly even a genre defining record when we hear it.

Released October 22nd 2021



The Royal Hounds
A Whole Lot of Nothin’
Self Release

The Kings of the Honky Tonks Deliver a Vast Array of Musical Riches.

“Fiery Honky Tonk With A Rock And Roll Edge Served With A Healthy Sense Of Humor” is how the Royal Hounds describe their music and that’s pretty accurate.
The guys in the Royal Hounds—Scott Hinds, Matheus Canteri, and Nathan Place—are all top-notch Nashville-based musicians who definitely know their way around their instruments every bit as well as they know their way around a Honky Tonk, and these tunes are steeped in seasoned, whiskey-soaked, honkytonkness.
The Hounds gleefully play with genres, fitting Bluegrass, Country, Rock, and fire-branded playing into their sound without any of them sounding forced.
These cats swing effortlessly, starting with the rocking and rolling Cheap Drunk and closes with the awesome Dead Guy Blues and inbetween you get a little bit of everything that you’d want to hear in a ‘good time’ bar on a Friday night..
The songs are mostly just vehicles for the Hounds to showcase their musicality, but they’re not just novelty songs either.
Some of the verses on “Bring Out the Barrel of Beer” and “I Hope You go to Hell” may be a bit crass, but it probably gets a big laugh in the bars, which is kind of the Royal Hounds specialty.
We get not one, but two, instrumental tunes: the pure country “Corn Fritter,” and the latin tinged “Door #3,” which the Hounds use to full advantage to stretch their musical muscles to the utmost.
“In the Rickety Pines” is the Hounds version of a murder ballad, “Pickin’ in the Graveyard” answers the question of where dead songwriters spend time in the afterlife, and the songwriting on “Krismastofferson” is nearly sublime.
Marrying a Honky Tonk legend and Christmas magic together into a new holiday tune, is no easy craft, especially as effortlessly as it all comes together.
This could be my new favorite holidaze tune.
Witty, it rocks, and some magical fiddle playing by Aaron Till, and don’t forget the obligatory sleigh bells on the intro.
If there’s a video for this tune, it’s bound to be a knee-slapper.
Rounding out these tunes are Rory Hoffman on organ and accordion and Eddie Lange on pedal steel, with clear, clean production by Hounds’ guitarist Matheus Canteri.
The Royal Hounds are more Honky Tonk than Danny and Dusty, funnier than the Georgia Satellites, and look aimed to take on the world, no holds barred.

The Royal Hounds shows are so good that they have, not one, but two weekly residencies on lower Broadway—You can catch them Sunday nights at Layla’s and Tuesdays at Robert’s Western World, the undisputed home of traditional country music in Nashville.

Released October 15th 2021
Review courtesy the Legendary Roy Peak