Amelia Coburn & Friends at Washington Arts Centre

Amelia Coburn & Friends
Washington Arts Centre
Tyne and Wear

Friday 28th April 2023

This was something of an odd gig for me to attend for me, as it was in a venue ten minutes walking distance from my house; yet the last time I was there was 30+ years ago to see Tony McPhee on a solo excursion from the Groundhogs!
While knowing very little about headline act Amelia Coburn; I do love her new Double A-Side, Ghost Town and Thinking of you; a tribute to the late Terry Hall.
Due to my tardiness and an issue trying to pay cash for a ticket to get in, which was apparantly a problem and a contactless card would be better, but wasn’t; ended up with my leaving the cash on the desk then having to explain to two members of staff why I didn’t have a ticket; and having to stand at the top of the staircase for the first act, because the venue was pleasantly about 90% full, I missed the first couple of songs from teenager, Layla; but I was there for her charming song Rose Petals and her charming rendition of The Zutons’ song Valerie although she; like everybody else associated it with Amy Winehouse’s version …. no problem, as her own version was very easy on the ears.
Following a very short break, another young singer songwriter, Sara Leilah made her way onto the large stage.
While saying she was nervous; she gave off the warmth of a seasoned pro; starting her set with an acoustic variant of Death Cab for Cutie’s I’ll Follow You Into the Dark; a song I’m not conversant with; but sounded really good courtesy of Sara.
The rest of her 30 minute set was made up of her own songs; and were all very good and listenable; which was in no small way courtesy of the Sound-Woman, and her …. tablet! Gone are the days of a sound desk looking like the Starship Enterprise it appears.
I particularly liked a couple of songs, Tonight which was an ‘idealistic teenage romantic love song’ which she claimed to be a ‘bit embarrassed about’ but, trust me I’ve heard a lot worse from seasoned professionals.
The other; which she chuckled was “another depressing song” called Happy Enough, which was about the frailties we suffer from by anticipating the worst in everything around us; it was much better than that sounds.
Then; and this is one of the things I love about live music; Sara introduced her finale as having been written following a discussion about ‘sexism still being alive and well’ but being too shy to join in; so wrote a song instead! The song itself Small Talk got a VG and two stars in my notes, even though or possibly because she stumbled over a couple of lines, but checked herself and smiled … check it out if you can.
Again, the brevity of the break caught a couple of people out; because the bar and toilets are a bit of a hike away.
The first thing that came to mind during first song, When The Tide Rolls In was what an stunning voice Amelia Coburn has; and the way she uses it makes it sound like an instrument in its own right.
The other thing to take note of is that she plays ukulele’s ad another small mysterious stringed instrument instead of the traditional guitar format.
Her songs and particularly the way she delivers them makes them quite Folky; but not in a ‘finger in the ear’ manner; but still contemporary even hints of Appalachian music filter through every now and again too.
This was particularly apparent in the quirky and Hitchcockian Nodding Dog; but the inclusion of the line “you have an Etch a Sketch heart’ knocked me sideways …. what a great description.
The mysterious acoustic instrument was actually ‘4 String Dulcimer’ and she played it with relish during Perfect Storm. Who knew you could ‘rock out’ on such a small wooden object?
It was a delight hearing the stories behind some of the songs tonight; not least Sandra which actually lived up to the backstory of her friend in Paris.
I’m not sure if Amelia’s distinctive voice will be a ‘Marmite thing’ as I can’t think of anything to dislike about it as it soars through notes she has no right to hit aligned to the lovely use of her Teeside accent to punctuate some sentences; and it came into its own during Sleepy Town and the song Please Go Gently which she wrote for her dying Grandad after reading a Dylan Thomas poem.
Amelia Coburn is very much a singular artist; going her own merry way; regardless of what the Folk cognoscenti want; where else are you going to hear a song inspired by Harry Nilsson’s A Little Touch of Schmilsson In the Night immediatly followed by her tribute to Specials’ singer Terry Hall; Ghost Town?
Nowhere; that’s where.
Her time on stage flew by; and rattled towards the close with a funny story that preceded her most famous song; Dublin Serenade which really flowed in a way I wouldn’t have expected earlier in the evening.
Before the last song Amelia asked for ‘audience participation’ which made my heart sink; but the rest of the audience seemed thrilled at the prospect and joined in with the clapping/stamping required for Guide Me Home, which just made me seem to be an old grump.
Then we had a very quick will she/won’t she do an encore; which she’d already said she would… and the lights went out for ten seconds and then she was back!
Now; the encore was called The Cheese Song and again featured audience participation; and I’m not going to spoil anything by giving away the twists, turns and surprises therein …. but everyone leaves smiling.
I suppose I attended tonight because it literally was on my doorstep; but I had a great time and can only see great things in the future for Amelia Coburn; especially when her debut album comes out later in the year.


Various Artists
The Next Waltz

A Wonderful Tribute to The Songwriting Skills of an Absolute Country Legend

Launched in 2016 by singer, songwriter and producer Bruce Robison, The Next Waltz is a label, a recording studio, a musical community, a management company and a mindset — one shared by those who appreciate artistic integrity and value ambitious and authentic music.
At the Bunker, his all-analog studio in Lockhart, Texas, Robison gathers revered veterans and talented newcomers to tell stories, make music “with no digital shenanigans” and weave the occasional dream or scheme.
So working with that philosophical ethos, it really shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise that Robison gathered a group of like minded singer-songwriters for a concert to celebrate Willie Nelson’s upcoming 90th birthday …. and ‘celebrate’ they most certainly did!
It goes to show the strength and dimension of Nelson’s songs that so many differing singers here can sing well within their comfort zones and explore the Great Man’s lyricism without danger of upsetting anyone.
The album starts with RMHQ Favourite, Vincent Neil Emerson going full tilt on Bloody Mary Morning; giving it a bit of a Highway edge while sounding like it could easily have fit on his previous album like a velvet glove.
Next up is Miss Margo Price adding her own distinctive style to Shotgun Willie and by golly gosh, she does the song proud.
Some of the other guests here I wouldn’t necessarily associate with Willie Nelson; but when I first heard Shiny Ribs deconstruct then rebuild I Gotta Get Drunk before our ears you just feel it’s coming from a place of love; as it is when Sheryl Crow sprinkles her own special star dust over the sultry Night Life.
Bruce Robison pops up twice here; punching well above his weight the way brings new life to the heartbreakers The Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning and (How Will I Know) I’m Falling In Love Again; which is actually one of Willie’s long forgotten best songs.
As you’d expect there’s a roar of recognition when Nathaniel Rateliff plays the first few notes of Crazy; and then you can hear a pin drop as he and the luscious backing singers play it very straight as they ring every drop of pathos out of this absolute Classic.
To some degree we take Willie Nelson’s musical diversity for-granted; but here the mix of Country songs and middle of the road crooners come together like whiskey and rye to make some quite beautiful across 14 very different songs.
At first I was baffled by the inclusion of Steve Earle singing Townes’ Pancho & Lefty; but the song was a regular staple of Willie’s concerts over the years and as the concert was a celebration of Texas and its music; deserves its place by merit.
Where to go for a single Favourite Song?
I’ve always loved My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys; one of two songs from Shinyribs; and this gorgeous version has to be a contender; as does Emily Gimble’s wonderful rendition of Down Yonder; but the title has to go to Ray Wylie Hubbard and Whiskey River not least because of the introduction and Ray’s funny response; but Hell … the song and Ray sounding like both himself and Willie is quite stunning.
There’s nothing left to say; this is a remarkable reminder of a concert that the vast majority of us didn’t attend; but first and foremost it’s a wonderful aide-memoire to the songwriting skills of a Country Legend; Mr Willie Nelson.

Released April 28th 2023


Aldous Harding at Sage Gateshead

Aldous Harding 
Sage 1
Sage Gateshead
Saturday, 22nd April 2023

Aldous Harding takes to the stage dressed in something akin to a black karate outfit, flat black leather shoes, her hair pulled tightly into a ponytail, her face seemingly make-up free. I
It’s a minimalist look, and this, coupled to her understated entrance sets the tone for what is to follow.
Despite tonight’s unglamorous façade, Aldous watchers know full well that her persona is an instrument of remarkable agility, her voice too – soft and gentle at times but it can also have a blowtorch intensity to it too.
Add to this the jagged lyricism of a young, surrealist poet and the simmering energy she quietly creates on stage soon starts to glow. 
‘Lick my instep,
I miss the funk it leaves on me
she sings moments into the evening’s opener, Ennui, one of nine songs she performs from her most recent release Warm Chris. 

Throughout the evening, she plays with varied cadences and pronunciation that gives a playfulness to the songs – demonstrated in the construction of the evenings second song, Tick Tock. 
A dialogue takes place between two characters – one sounding like a rasping late-career Nico, the other character sings in a higher pitch with a sweeter tone – the opening line of which builds on the already eccentric feel of the performance; 
‘The dirty of it ripped the label,
I believe him, man holy.

Early in her career, when she presented as a bit more talkative, Aldous Harding had namechecked Neil Young and Nick Drake as ‘favourites’ and indeed there is a nod to Neil Young in the recent video for Fever when his name briefly appears on screen spelled out in scrabble tiles.
Tonight though it’s pointless trying to dig around looking for influences, better to focus on someone who is genuinely trying to configure something distinct and experimental in terms of live performance art.

Harding’s on-stage demeanour turns out to be almost as interesting as her music; thus far, there has been zero between song communication. In fact it’s almost half an hour before she speaks her first words.
Silently, she adjusts her microphone stand, moves her chair across the stage and takes delivery of her nylon stringed acoustic guitar, which she looks at as if she doesn’t know what it is. 
So, you want to know a bit about me – this is an acoustic guitar, they found it in a river.” 
Then she goes quiet again and strums the intro to Warm Chris. 
Prior to these statements, between songs there has been some long, silent pauses during which she moves around the stage frowning and slowly turning her head as if walking through a jungle, looking at unfamiliar creatures.

Staring at the Henry Moore is the most stripped back track of the night, there’s a gentle, summery flow to it then it’s into 2019’s instantly recognisable The Barrel which meets with enthusiastic audience approval. When not sitting down playing guitar she dances and plays a variety of percussive hand held instruments: a tambourine, a cabasa and later in the set for ‘Old Peel’ she takes hold of a cup and taps out a rhythm with a drumstick. 

She goes back to using two alternating voices during Imagining My Mind which includes some gorgeous trumpet from drummer Gwion Llewelyn. 
His playing is also a feature of the aforementioned Fever and seeing him drumming and playing trumpet at the same time is an impressive sight in itself.
Although Harding is very much the focal point of the evening, credit has to go to her excellent band who quietly get on with providing her with the canvas on which she can weave her abstract patterns. 

Despite her unconventional stage presence, interchangeable voices and dreamlike lyrics, the actual songs are often fun, at times poppy and musically accessible, which may go some way in explaining why such an alternative artist can move beyond the New Zealand singer/songwriter circuit to playing the likes of Hall #1 at Sage Gateshead.
She does however, manage to make her set an engaging, discomforting and weird experience all at once.
The wild eyed stares and big forced smiles cause a number of people close enough to see her facial expressions to laugh nervously, though how all of this played out to those sitting further afield is open to question (and comment).
There’s one more snippet of communication before her final two songs – Leathery Whip and [encore] Designer.
These songs are for you’ she tells us before departing the stage with a wave and a frown as if the sound of applause is something foreign to her.

Review by William Graham aka

RMHQ EXCLUSIVE! Calling Cadence ROSIE Single

Calling Cadence
Hi Res Records

It’s been a while since we had anything ‘Exclusive’; but we are really proud to have the EXCLUSIVE first play of the exciting new single/video by Californian duo Calling Cadence.
Fronted by Oscar Bugarin and Rae Cole, Calling Cadence is a band rooted in harmony—harmony between voices,between songwriters,and between genres like Rock, Country, swampy Blues and Southern Soul.

Calling Cadence, the band’s self-titled debut album,showcases a group whose songs nod to the past while resolutely pushing forward.
It’s a classic-sounding record for the contemporary world.
ROSIE muses on the bumps in the road when trying to stick it out and work through a relationship. The group’s signature harmonies recall that classic American Soul and Americana spirit that defined the group’s sound throughout their self-titled debut. Released in May 2022, the album earned the group praise and support from many and various publications.

PS there’s a special Record Store Day discount on the group’s 2022 self-titled debut album.
Through the end of April fans can purchase a 23% discounted vinyl record from the group’s website using the CCRSD23 discount code at checkout.

Single released April 28th 2023


Geraint Watkins AIDE MEMOIRE

Geraint Watkins
Aide Memoire
The Last Music Co.

A Must-Listen for Anyone Who Appreciates Great Songwriting, Masterful Musicianship and Wicked Sense of Humour

I always like people who can just jump right in, abandon the small talk and get down to business – after repeated listens to this career spanning collection; I can confidently say that Geraint Watkins is my kind of chap, and I am at a loss as to how I’d not heard of him before listening to this new collection of his best works. 

There’s an energy throughout this record, punchy drums drive most of the tracks with an eclectic mix of instrumentation adding the colour and texture. Even though these songs were cut at different times in different studios with different musicians each song captures an  overflowing essence of excitement and Geraint’s wonderful humour. 
The retrospective album is filled with a knowing, living wisdom, born of many a heartache and sore head.
“Women are smarter” delivers a great platform for his song writing talents, mixing humor and melody with a wink and a shuffle. 

Greatest Hits is maybe stretching it but “Aide-Memoire” is a career-spanning collection of songs from Welsh musician Geraint Watkins and brings Only a Rose; Easy to say Bon Temps Rouler, Heaven Only Knows and Rush of Love to a whole new audience; and for existing fans there ae some wonderful renditions of It’s a Wonderful Life (again), Heroes and Villains and Go West too.
The album features 17 tracks, showcasing Watkins’ unique blend of rock, blues, country, and folk, regularly mixing them all together at the same time, and highlighting his talents as a versatile musician and songwriter.
The album includes some of his most well-known compositions, such as “Turn That Chicken Down”, “Only A Rose”, and “Heaven Only Knows”.  

Its always a challenge for a musician who has played with huge bands and Geraint’s recording credentials are certainly impressive – (Google them!) but these songs are all about the man himself; the last musician on a smoke filled stage, dancing on the piano to the beat of his own drum, probably with a wry smile and a half filled glass of scotch.  

“Aide-Memoire” and its’ 41 songs, serves as a comprehensive overview of Geraint Watkins’ impressive career, showcasing his talent as a musician, songwriter, and performer.
Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to his music, this album is a must-listen for anyone who appreciates great songwriting, masterful musicianship and best of all; good old fashioned British humour. 

Review courtesy Daniel Parker



Jerry Leger
The Time Flew By
Latent Recordings

Saving Four Exceptional Songs From Obscurity

I guess, to all intents and purposes this EP is meant as a ‘promo’ for the upcoming UK Tour; but also finds a home for four really cool songs that would otherwise lay dormant like so many others these days.
Opening track Mean Payola will make any musicians hearing it smile from the corners of their mouths; as Leger ‘looks back fondly on the days when musicians could ‘pay for plays’ ‘dreams’ about finding a Radio DJ like America’s Wolfman Jack or Britain’s John Peel who played an eclectic mix of songs that they plainly liked; and wanted to share.
Sadly that no longer applies on National Radio and Community Radio doesn’t have the stretch to ‘save artists like Leger from obscurity’ no matter how hard we try.
This is neatly followed by the mellow and razor sharp We’re A Mess; An outtake from 2014’s Early Riser which by being missed off that album, goes to show the strength and quality of what did make the cut 7 years ago.
Although it did make it onto Leger’s ‘side project’ The Del Fi’s album, Residuals, the original arrangement of What Baby Wants somehow got dropped from the 2017 Jerry Leger album Nonsense and Heartache; it’s certainly found a comfortable home here and deserves a place in your music collection too.
Which only leaves the gentle melody and biting lyrics of the title track, And The Time Flew By. Leger says of it ‘it didn’t seem to live in that world of songs that made up Time Out For Tomorrow in 2019′ but as a fan and one who reviewed that album, I totally disagree as it would easily have applied some extra shade to the mix of songs therein; and I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that this deep and dark anti-love song has finally found a place out there in the world.
Songs like these regularly get bolted on to re-releases of albums and sound just like that; whereas releasing them in this format gives these four songs a perfect outlet that won’t break the bank.

Released 28th 2023



Tenille Townes
Train Track Worktapes
Sony Nashville

Equal Parts Raw World Weary Wisdom and Deeply Emotional Canadiana.

This arrived right out of the Blue, with only days to listen intently and cobble together a sensible review that didn’t err on the side of ‘fawning.’
In principal these songs are on the right side of being demos; as they were written and recorded during “on a charity train trip that covered nearly 3,000 miles across Southern Canada during the CP Holiday Train Tour, which benefits local food banks when their need is greatest, as each attendee brings donations to catch the free concert that occurs right on the train cars, the doors folding down to become a stage.”
I’ve never been averse to a bit of Tenille Townes on the stereo, as Mrs Magpie is a fan; but these raw and slight;y ragged ‘one take’ songs have totally blown me away! Obviously Ms Townes is a very good and well rewarded songwriter; but these songs and the way they’ve been recorded are not just brave in concept; but execution too.
The opening track Home To Me is a brittle love song that sounds almost Alt. Country the way the band sound tightly wrapped behind Tenille and her voice which sounds full of pain and longing with an “Oh, oh, oh” chorus that sounds almost choral and ethereal in equal measures.
This is followed by Tenille sounding all alone and lonely on Pieces of My Heart, a harmony rich missive about living on the road ‘with only a suitcase and a guitar’ for company; but regardless of the loneliness that creates; she
keeps leaving pieces of my heart,
In all these towns that feel like home
I can’t help it I’m travelling
It’s in my veins it’s in my bones.”

Very much a song that will resonate with musicians of all hues; but also wraps up the romanticism that we music fans love too.
Landslide, sounds like the nearest here to a demo; in the way you can here each string being stroked and each word purred as if you were sitting right next to the singer; ready to hand her a tissue to dry her eyes at the heart crushing end.
It’s a similar feeling with Coming Together; possibly the most intense, yet beautiful song here, as Townes forces herself on you and defies you to stop listening; and you won’t want to anyway.
This only leaves one song; Wheels, which has slowly become my Favourite Song here. equal parts world weary wisdom, deep and emotional too, as the raw arrangement manages to paint vivid pictures in your head. What’s not to like?
IMHO Train Track Worktapes is far removed from just being a reminder of the Tour; these songs and the way they are being presented feels like a turning point in Tenille Townes career.

Released April 21st 2023


RMHQ Radio Show Ep:47 @NovaRadioShow #Newcastle

RMHQ Radio Show
Episode 47
Nova Radio Show

April 23rd 2023

It was a bit of an odd show tonight; harking back to the early ‘seat of the pants productions’ as I’d been away most of the week and didn’t have much time for downloading and saving new singles for Sunday night.
There were still a few new album tracks in the mix; but mostly I made it all up as I bounced along for two hours.
Starting with Jimmy Nail’s Crocodile Shoes just to annoy the music snobs out there; the rest were the usual eclectic mix of Blues, Country, Folk and Americana you’ve come to love (I hope!)

Jimmy NailCrocodile Shoes
Lucinda WilliamsPineola
Nathan Bell ft Patty GriffinAmerican Gun
Annie OakleyThe Curse
Ben HemmingThe Devil’s Dance
Lucy WiseBroken & Beautiful
Graham NashRight Now
Jill Rogers & Crying TimeDevil in The Details
Jimmie Hall ft Joe BonamassaA Long Goodbye
Handsome FamilyWeightless Again
Albert KingBorn Under a Bad Sign
Grainne DuffyBlue Skies
Withered HandCrippled Love
Allison RussellPoison Arrow
Tommy AtkinsWild in The Wind
Amelia CoburnThinking of You
Cosmic Rough RidersFor Your Smile
Danny & The Champions of the WorldLet’s Grab This With Both Hands
Angaleena PresleyPain Pills
Ward ThomasI Believe in You
Austin GilliamRunning So Fast
Jerry LegerYou Are Not Alone
Odd BirdsWichita Linesman
RockingbirdsLonely and The Drunk
Carrie ElkinTilt a Whirl
Justin Townes EarleGraceland
Chip Taylor & Guy ClarkOne Hell of a Guy
The Williams BrothersDeath of a Clown
Jason and the ScorchersGettin’ Nowhere Fast


St Paul & the Broken Bones
Angels In Science Fiction
ATO Records

Deeply Observed Personal Songs Wrapped Up In a Musically Avant Garde Blanket.

I’m not sure where or when I first heard St Paul & the Broken Bones; or even what particular ‘musical genre’ that they fit into; as to some degree they are ‘musically fluid’ a sort of ‘flexible square peg that fits into several different round holes’; but at the end of the day I absolutely love them.
This latest release isn’t quite a Concept Album; but as singer and band songwriter Paul Janeway tells us;
A few people told me it would be a good idea to write letters to my yet-to-be-born daughter before she arrived into the world,” says Janeway. “That is what ‘Angels In Science Fiction’ is. Themes throughout the album are faith, nature vs nurture, anxiety and beauty. This is a record I would have written whether I did this for a living or not. I don’t know if those records come along all the time.”
Which makes for some very interesting listening; but fear not young reader; these songs will also enter your consciousness on many other more personal levels that touch your own life.
You will know straight away when you hear the opening track Chelsea if this is for you; and it won’t be for everyone. There is a mystical feeling to the instrumentation behind Janeway’s distinctively pitched voice; and the words are almost theatrical the way he easily swoops and soars above and beyond the fog of the instruments below and around him.
Although these songs are all deeply personal to the writer; as is always the case; but listeners will certainly find plenty to find solace in themselves; not least Wolf in Rabbits Clothing, Oporto-Madrid Blvd and Sea Star; which IMHO is best listened to on headphones with no distractions.
In fairness that may be the best way to play the whole album; as the intensity of the production allied to Janeway’s cerebral writing doesn’t ever make for Easy Listening; while the stories are invariably complicated, they are also limitlessly beautiful too.
There’s a song here called Easter Bunny, which set the ball running for an Easter Special radio show I hosted; but as my listeners discovered; don’t expect a happy-clappy nursery rhyme; that’s not how these cats operate … at all; but the song is absolutely wonderful; and probably shouldn’t be listened to by his daughter until she’s at least 16!
I was going to write that the title track Angels In Science Fiction is ‘fascinating’, which it undoubtedly is; but then again every other song is too. I’d guess Angels In Science Fiction was the first song Janeway wrote for this project; but if it wasn’t it’s certainly the cornerstone for everything here; and discusses the dichotomy new parents feel around their first born;
“I don’t know if God is real
But I see him in your eyes
I don’t think I hear his voice
Then I hear your little cries
Angels seem like fiction
But now I’m not so sure.”

Deep? Hell yes!
Bearing in mind that this whole album is the antithesis of ‘commercial’ selecting a Favourite Song isn’t as easy as it should be; but two songs in particular really effect me whenever I play them.
The epic City Federal Building is probably the most ‘St. Paul & The Broken Bones song’ here; yet when you know the background to the album; it still fits in perfectly well as a ‘letter to an as yet unborn child.’
The other sounds like a newish direction to me; as Lonely Love Song is song against a gentle backdrop featuring some delightful acoustic picking alongside a complex melody that sounds like a Savanna breeze made musical. I think this song just tips the balance to be my Favourite Song; but that will change as time goes by anyway.
I still don’t know where to fit St. Paul and the Broken Bones into the modern music gamut; Paul Janeway opened the gates for a few similarly sounding singers in the UK when they came on the scene around 2014/15; most notably Rag n Bone Man who is meant to be R&B according to the experts; but personally I file him alongside Leonard Cohen and Marianne Faithful in my collection, who I think of as Avant Garde …. but I’m probably over thinking this; aren’t I?

Released April 21st 2023


Luke Tuchscherer WIDOWS & ORPHANS

Luke Tuchscherer
Widows & Orphans
Clubhouse Records

A Great Lost Album of Perfectly Observed Contemporary Folk Songs

This is a bit of an oddity, as Luke Tuchscherer recorded this in 2017 and following the reasonably succesful release of four other albums under his name; is only getting around to letting out out into the wild now.
Recorded in one day alongside Dave Banks on guitar and Edwin Ireland on cello, double bass and piano, it has sat gathering dust until now for no particularly good reason, although it appears as it was meant to follow his debut 2014 debut album You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense but was replaced by Always Be True …. such is the life and decision making of a musician.
So; six years late are these songs still relevent?
As I desperately try to do; I’m locked into listening to these songs without comparing and contrasting with recent releases, so here goes.
The first thing I noticed; and appealed to me is the quality of the production; which right from opening song What Goes Around brings out the best in Tuchscherer’s enigmatic voice, which sounds like one that has lived a full life and has stories to tell.
Fundamentally a Folk Singer at heart, Luke has a canny knack with his stories and the way he constructs them as songs to make them so they can sit comfortably at an an Americana Festival too, like A Year and a Day or HNY Darling which makes them transcend back room Folk clubs and make them sound like they should be heard in a Concert Hall.
One of the saddest things about songs as good as these in the 21st Century, is that there are thousands of ‘Music fans’ sitting at home listening to worn out LP’s or CD’s from 60’s and 70’s singer-songwriters complaining over their warm beer or stewed tea that ‘nobody does this anymore‘ when patently hundreds of songwriters like Tuchscherer are toiling away up and down the highways and byways singing in front of audiences measured in the tens; when it could and should be hundreds, if only these songs had a way of filtering through to the masses.
Rant over; back to the here and now.
The sequencing of these songs allows for the all pervading shade to tamper with your emotions; not least when the harrowing break-up song is followed by the heartbreaking Thirteen (both of which are still so relevant 6 years later in 2023) then we filter seamlessly into A Year and a Day, which is so dark makes it makes the likes of Justin Townes Earle or John Martyn sound like a comedian.
For someone who was at the beginning of his career, Luke Tuchscherer sounds very mature here, not just in the subject matter he chooses; but the way he builds the tension, not just through his words but the melodies he chooses too; most notably on the harrowing Those You Left Behind; a song about a relationship break-down; but could easily be interpreted to be about the lost souls daring to cross Europe looking for a better life.
All in all none of these songs have suffered for being packed away on a shelf at the back of a cupboard for six years and one song in particular has actually matured like a fine wine over those years; making Another Night (Another Bottle of Wine) even more relevant in 2023, as Luke sings about
another day
another bill though my day
I never had so little
never been so poor’

and the addition of some fabulously stinging acoustic guitar playing allied to some subtle harmonies easily makes this my Favourite Song here; and probably my Favourite Luke Tuchscherer song ever.
It speaks volumes for the quality of Luke Tuchscherer’s songwriting that these songs could sit for so long in the background and not be missed; but thankfully they are now finding their way into the public domain and the world will be a little bit better for that.

Released 21st April 2023