Garrison Starr GIRL I USED TO BE

Garrison Starr
Girl I Used To Be
Soundly Music

Every Inch a Wonderful Singer as She Is Songwriter.

With 15 albums behind her and a Grammy Nomination too; you’d imagine at the very least I would recognise Garrison Starr’s name …… but nope; it meant nothing to me before I heard a track from this album on my friend Richard Leader’s AMERICAN PIE radio show and; while inundated with albums to review; I immediatly Googled her name and sent a rather needy e-mail to her ‘people’.
Without dragging up Garrison’s back-story for you; it’s fair to say that after a reasonably succesful career by most standards she became disillusioned with the Record Industry and disappeared for a while; but that ‘itch’ that musicians have didn’t go away; only to come back spasmodically releasing singles for good causes and a couple of DIY albums; until now.
The fairly simply produced Dam, That’s Breaking perhaps sounds like an a-typical modern Country tinged singer-songwriter break up song; until you actually sit back and listen intently to Garrison’s use of language and especially metaphors on a song that eventually feels like a punch to the heart.
Just writing a ‘good song’ isn’t always good enough; although plenty have made a good living doing just that …… but Garrison Starr is every inch a wonderful singer as she is songwriter … check out the hauntingly beautiful Don’t Believe In Me, if you don’t believe me.
Even without listening on headphones, the casual listener can’t help being dragged in by the poignancy in her voice during Just a Little Rain and/or Nobody’s Breaking Your Heart; but when you do I swear you won’t help yourself closing your eyes and concentrating on every word, stanza and note and feel emotionally drained at the end.
To all intents and purposes these songs are ‘simply produced’ by Neilson Hubbard; but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security; there isn’t a wasted note in a single song; with the band cleverly and instinctively winding their music around Ms. Starr’s minor-epic and often soul searching songs like Run, Downtown Hollywood and the finale The Train That’s Bound For Glory …… painting pictures with words?
You’re not kidding!
Normally I like to be a bit ‘left of centre’ with my choice of Favourite Song; but that song Richard played is guaranteed radio play on any discerning show; and anyway Mrs. Magpie insists it’s the ‘best song she’s heard in years’ ……. so if The Devil In Me isn’t Garrison Starr’s finest ever song; and she has had a Grammy Nomination in the past …… there must be something amazing that I need to check out ASAP.
I’m not sure what to say that won’t sound patronising; as I’m sure Garrison has ‘heard it all’ over the years and that’s how artists become so jaded; but Hell ….. this really is a fabulous album and sits comfortably alongside recent albums by Ashley McBryde, Gretchen Peters and Kacey Musgraves to name three; but sounds nothing like any of them; which is a good thing.

Released March 12th 2021
https://www.garrisonstarr.com/home

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Glovebox Allstars DON’T STOP

Glovebox Allstars
Don’t Stop
Bandcamp

All in a good cause; so I thought I’d pass this on to you crazy kids, to do your stuff ……..

I don’t need to tell you what a devastating year 2020 was for the live arts and entertainment industry; and that 2021 may well be just as bad.
The, now disbanded, UK music promotions company Glovebox Live staged their last gig in Oxford on Sat 14th March…..little did they know what was to follow.
Many individual musicians, stage crew and venues are facing a bleak future, so to help spread a little light their new company, Minimum Ego, is attempting to invoke the spirit of Band Aid.
They’ve put together artists and bands that they worked with over the last 6 years and have created a cool version of Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop.
Part download single, part video project, all profits will go to helping industry charities like Help Musicians UK, The Music Venue Trust and Stagehand.

Who’s involved?
They’ve collected a line-up that includes one of the UK’s best songwriters Boo Hewerdine, the award-winning Elles Bailey, one-man blues explosion Son of Dave, the wonderful vocal talents of Lady Nade, singer-songwriters Sean Taylor and Paul McClure, Curse of Lono’s Felix Bechtolsheimer and Joe Hazell and rising Nashville country star Kaitlyn Baker. With the Hope & Social Horns, Joe Wilkins on lead guitar, award-winning instrumentalist Thomas Collinson on keyboards and Steve White on drums. They are collectively known as The Glovebox All Stars.

The organisations we’re raising funds for

For almost 100 years, Help Musicians has been providing help, support and opportunities to empower musicians at all stages of their lives. They are an independent charity which aims to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians by offering a wide spectrum of support. Working in partnership with others to grow our impact, Help Musicians is passionate about creating a world where musicians thrive.
Music Venue Trust is a registered charity created in 2014 to protect, secure and improve the UK’s Grassroots Music Venues for the benefit of venues, communities and artists. There are over 900 venues in our Music Venues Alliance community, which we work to sustain through lobbying, support, advice and fundraising.
Stagehand is a UK registered charity, formed 20 years ago by members of the Production Services Association to help its members, crew and technicians in the field of live event production, if they fall on hard times through illness or injury. In September 2020, reacting to the lack of support felt by a good many self-employed people, Stagehand launched its Crew Relief Fund.
With the immense support of the music community, Stagehand has so far raised around £1.2m which is being distributed in the form of grants to those that have had the least government support through the extended period of unemployment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Don’t Stop will be released free on Bandcamp on Friday 5th March with a ‘donate what you feel’ button and the videos will be on YouTube from the same date.

RELEASED 5th March 2021

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https://gloveboxallstars.bandcamp.com/


Hoth Brothers Band TELL ME HOW YOU FEEL

Hoth Brothers Band
Tell Me How You Feel
Self-Release

The Sound of New Mexico

I can’t remember why I missed the previous the Hoth Brothers album; but I did …… perhaps it was the judicious use of banjo; which I’m no lover of; but on sitting down overdosing on this release on a sunny Winter’s Sunday; I can only apologise to Bard, Boris and Sarah ….. the fault was mine; not yours.
As I say, I’m no lover of The Banjo; yet Bard Edrington’s delightful and intricate picking style; which opens the dark and majestic Judith sounds quite perfect; and I can’t imagine this tale with a guitar as lead instrument.
This s followed by Tell Me What You’re Thinking; one of those Folk Songs that may be about love (lost or broken?) or perhaps it’s a political statement hiding in-between the lines …. whichever; it is rather delightful and will unravel even more, I’m sure.
A couple of weeks ago I was part of an online discussion (argument!) about what Americana Music actually was/is.
If only I’d had this album to hand I would have won hands down!
This is because The Hoth Brothers Band somehow use many different constituent parts of traditional and Modern Folk Music; add a variety of Country spices to the broth and come out the other side with tales and stories that sound totally timeless and will mean as much to someone listening in Delaware, Arizona or New York City.
With 17 songs on offer, this trio offer so much, there’s even the danger of sensory overload, with Trouble and Desire being a sharply observed Country Song; of the Cowboy variety then is followed by the jaunty Country Gospel of Pappy’s Last Ride (about a man’s love for his aging dog) and a couple of songs later on One Hard Rain they couldn’t be more contemporay with this three-part harmony, acapella song about the Covid Pandemic sweeping the world …… yikes; when you hear this for the first time it will take your breath away.
Again; the sequencing is exemplary as that powerful song is followed by a powerful and heartfelt song about the human condition; Poor Man’s Light; leaving you absolutely breathless; even though it’s a slow and easy acoustic song.
Like so many albums today; there are no obvious ‘singles’ here; why would there be? The Hoth Brothers aren’t ever going to trouble Brittany, GaGa or Stormzy in the Top 40; so they just follow their collective hearts when it comes to writing and recording songs; which also made it a problem selecting a Favourite Song.
Would it be Sarah Ferrell’s turn at lead vocals on Wilding of Robby? Quite possibly; as on many another album it would be an undoubted highlight; as is the dark and brooding; Boogieman Mesa and Cliff Fendler had me Googling this flower.
But, there has been one other song that has intrigued and tantalised me from Day #1; Behold The Passage; one of those songs that sound absolutely timeless; as if it was first heard in a cantina back in the 30’s then past on by word of mouth through the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village and eventually coming out of the musical ether in 2020 as The Hoth Brothers were compiling songs for this release. I love it’s tragic beauty btw.
While the trio of Boris McCutcheon, Bard Edrington V and double bass player extraordinaire, Sarah Ferrell wrote the first 16 songs here, in one combination or another; the final words are left to a New Mexican songwriter that I’m not aware of; Lewie Wickham …. on Rough Ragged Edge; and it’s a song that capture the essence of Americana in a way you are unlikely to ever hear again.
I said earlier I overdosed on this album last Sunday; and I advise you to too, as the trio invoke so many memories of Townes, Woody, even early Dylan alongside a million others on this advert for the very best and deepest of Genuine Americana via what they themselves call; The Sound of New Mexico.

Released 20th January 2021
https://www.hothbrothers.com/

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Susan Anders 13 WOMEN

Susan Anders
13 Women
Self-Release

Essential Listening on Several Levels, Not Just Musically

As is my won’t I deliberately didn’t read the accompany Press Release to this Album when albums first arrive; letting my trusted ears tell me if I liked it or not ….. and I most certainly did; that’s for sure.
Had I not; there was always the danger that I may have thought that this was a dreaded Concept Album and a bit too ‘worthy’ for my tastes.
You, dear Reader can buy it for either or both reasons; and I suspect many will fall for the Power of Advertising and part with their hard earned cash because Susan Anders has written and performed 13 songs about 13 Extraordinary Women in US History; which is obviously a good thing; but only listening to the songs with that in mind means you are going to miss so very much from Ms. Anders exemplary writing skills and fabulous voice.
The rather beautiful and enigmatic Just Give Me Everything opens the album and almost instantly had my heart going to mush. What a finely tuned and powerful love song; and only afterwards, when I discovered that it was written about Helen Keller did it take a sharp turn in my mind.
That’s the beauty of this album; Susan Anders writes about specific characters; yet doesn’t ever come near drifting into Theatrical Biography; although listening carefully I think I have learnt a little bit about Josephine Baker (the sassy A Little More from Josephine) and Amelia Earhart (What Women Can Do) than I did before; but the songs stand up on their own some anyway.
Then again; not knowing who Henrietta Swan Leavitt or Martha Gellhorn   were before hearing My Life in The Stars and Witness; but both of these tragically beautiful stories/songs have made me do a bit of research on both …… and I urge you to do the same after buying the album.
Track #2 Spell, is a bit of a cornerstone for the album as at first it just sounds like a great bittersweet love song; but delve deeper (and then read the attached story) and you will find Susan has inhabited the character of Sarah Wildes from the Salem Witch Trials and turned it into a clever, contemporay Folk-Gospel ballad.
Quite often the songs themselves are just rather lovely; and the stories behind them can and will be lost on the listener; but I urge you to read the accompanying booklet while listening to You Healed Me (Inspired by: Henrietta Lacks who had cells taken from her body without her knowledge were grown to use for medical research!!) and The Wave That Rocked Me (about sculptor Edmonia Lewis) and you will realise that the education system has missed a trick or two over the years.
On an album like this, where you can listen on several different and enjoyable levels where do I go for a Favourite Track?
Peace Pilgrim could easily have fallen into the ‘worthy camp’ that I so feared; but is actually a powerful tale of the good in people sung in almost frantic and breathless fashion; and will certainly make you prick up your ears on every chorus.
I very nearly chose the jaunty song about Rosie The Riveter; Girl You Never Knew simply because it’s a cracking and crackling song in it’s own rite; and I love the Rosie the Riveter iconography anyways.
But two other songs actually stand out for many, many reasons.
Open Prairie is a windswept and almost Alt. Country ballad about the ballsy true story of Lucy Goldthorpe who, in 1906 left Iowa for Dakota where she became a homesteader; without the aid of a man in tow!
When they find out what the actual story behind Maud Stevens Wagner’s amazing story in Under Your Skin is about, many of my friends will be stunned that I’ve selected it as my Favourite Song here; but it’s a simply fabulous love song; about …… “he first known female tattoo artist in the US.”   
I hate tattoos; but this song and the story behind it actually quite spellbinding; and Maud Stevens Wagner should be a name that trips of most young women’s lips as a heroine; but without this song I fear she would have been lost to the annals of time.
That in itself is why this album works; the songs are ‘great songs’ but scratch away the surface and the actual stories behind them and the women involved are the type of things that I want; no …. NEED my Granddaughters to know about and be inspired by.

Released   March 5th 2021
  https://susanandersmusic.com/home

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Ben de la Cour SHADOW LAND

Ben de la Cour
Shadow Land
Flour Sack Cape Records

A Satisfying, Yet Disturbing Trip Into the Dark Heart of Small Town America

The first time I came across Ben de la Cour was a couple of years back when he was playing a short unofficial fringe slot at the 5 Spot in East Nashville. The place was dark; last night’s beer smell was drifting through the space and apart from myself, the attendance was pretty sparse for this late afternoon show.
Elements of that noirish atmosphere lace this 2020 release (2021 in Europe).
“God’s Only Son” opens with a Calexico-flavoured tale of criminal behaviour, with a voice that is soaked in rawness and melody. “High Heels Down the Holler” doesn’t get any brighter – A Tom Waits trashcan rhythm and grinding guitar, evokes a mood of sexual danger and exploitation
If you’re looking for a little fun on Friday night”…but you really wouldn’t want to go there….
“The Last Chance Farm” is Rod Picott like in its melodic delivery and narrative tale of a first day in rehab
The kingdom of salvation
Hangs upon a rusty nail
Beneath a proud old painting
Of a ship with golden sails
Let them have their revelations~
in the television light
The last chance farm is waiting.
– it’s dark world with only glimmers of light.
“In God We Trust.. …All Others Pay Cash” is a Bluesy boogie which isn’t going to find favour amongst those with a neoliberal capitalist worldview, because it’s like
putting candles on dog shit and calling it cake.
The delicate finger-picking of “Amazing Grace (Slight return) is a Guy Clark alike story of the kind of relationship that you know is doomed to fail, yet in itself has a kind of inevitable tragic beauty.
Title track “Shadow Land” pulls the trick of cheerful West Coast melody and even darker lyrics such as
It’s an empty world
Getting emptier every day”.
“Basin Lounge” rocks along in the style of Hayes Carll’s “KMAG YOYO,” with its subterranean homesick lyrical avalanche and boogie piano.
Things get darker and harder on “Swan Dive” which opens with an account of watching someone falling to their death from a height in a suicide fall, which in turn becomes a visual metaphor for the effect of emotional let-down
it’s a whole new world when you peek through the cracks”.
There’s little let up in the resignation and wry observation of “From Now On”
is it going to be this way
from now on?
most definitely, it seems.
“Anderson’s Small Ritual” is Prine-like in its picking and couplets and focus on and celebration of eccentricity
Never trust any man
If he don’t have no scars
and finds a purpose and celebration in being out beyond the edge because
tomorrow ain’t a promise
The life you save might be your own.”
Musically, “Harmless Indian Medicine Blues” with its distorted fuzzy vocals is Jim Morrison in intent and is a crazy messed up free-form psychotic nightmare put to words and music – it’s what it’s like to be on the edge and about to fall
“I Woke Up Screaming From an Opium Dream” – the final track again is situated on the brink of life/death and salvation and is struggling for purpose in a world where a “man’s a monkey on his dunghill”.
“Shadow Land” isn’t an easy listen – and a Google search will help the listener to gauge how much is persona and how much is from within – Ben de la Cour has lived a life that allows him to speak from authority about that which he sings; and hopefully there’s catharsis and healing in this satisfying yet quite disturbing trip into the dark heart of small town America.

Review by Nick Barber
Released April 9th 2021

https://www.bendelacour.com/

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Postdata TWIN FLAMES

Postdata
Twin Flames
Paper Bag Records

From Canada; Life’s Happiness and Sadness (But Not in Equal Measures)

Quite a few years ago I read an article extolling the virtues of the number of successful Canadian bands on the Indie/Rock scene, so not long after; I took the chance to see a few bands from this ‘new scene’ whenever they visited my Home Town of Newcastle.
Two of the earliest I was able to catch up with were Woodpigeon and Wintersleep. Both were excellent, so I have CDs from both in my collection (something that definitely needs to be tidied up ASAP).
In the latest edition of MOJO Magazine, is their small review of ‘Twin Flames;’ the band were described as ‘inventive envelope-pushing indie rock’.
The link between the two points?
Paul Murphy that’s who; and POSTDATA is his side project to Wintersleep; and is releasing this album under the expert production of Ali Chant (Perfume Genius, Portishead and P J Harvey).
In addition; among the performers offering quality helping hands are Grant Hutchison and Andy Monaghan from Frightened Rabbit, one of my favourite UK outfits.
Having set out with the aim of producing a more intimate offering Paul has managed to to manufacture an album that not only reflects that, but also suits his quite distinctive voice quite perfectly – the end result is his best release so far, in my opinion.
Nine tracks that retain the dual target of an excellent album filled with excellent individual songs.
Sadness and happiness abounds; albeit in unequal measures.
‘Haunts’ drifts in slowly and gently behind Murphy’s vocals ‘you were the first to say I love you,’ backed by percussion and bass to start us off on the road through ‘Twin Flames.’
This is followed by a dreamy pop style ‘Inside Out’ and one that Murphy maintains he has left in its ‘poppy’ state.
Catchy is the ideal adjective for track #3 ‘Nobody Knows’ where he is backed by friends and family shouting ‘not good’ behind him.
This is the track that Murphy has modelled on the musical leanings of the late Scott Hutchison. 
The title track is delivered in a cool spoken manner and is certainly the darkest song here, in terms of meaning and lyrics
holding you tightly in the endless night til there was nothing left’.
The beautiful horn backing offers the ideal back set to this track.
Favourite track?
For me?
‘Kissing;’ about a relationship that is so alive, you can literally feel the Frightened Rabbit influence in here – sadness is always just a heartbeat away.
Brilliant.
The last few tracks offer Paul the chance to demonstrate his ability to mix the upbeat ‘Behind You’ and the need to just get through tough times and make the most of life with ‘My Mind Won’t,’ dealing with love in its many complicated ways, not least being the difficult part of simply staying together;
I don’t want to let you go but my words are meaningless.’
Another great song
‘Tomb’, the finale, covers the aftermath of a death, with the memories that are so clear yet all they do is to bring these almost to life, so he can’t get away from them in real life.
An album of happiness and sadness (not in equal measures) that does definitely reveal the friendship and influence that existed with the members of Frightened Rabbit, but overall  it is a tremendous set, one that will go down a bomb in a smaller more intimate venue.
My ‘test’ is to listen on the daily morning walk and this one got regular re-plays and I even found myself looking at the lyrics, something I very rarely do.
Did I mention that Canada have more than a few decent indie/rock outfits?
POSTDATA are well and truly in that category.

Review by Bill Redhead

http://www.postdatamusic.com/

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Johnny Ironsights MURDER MOUNTAIN

Johnny Ironsights
Murder Mountain
Self-Release

Tales of Criminality, Hopelessness and Memories, Translated into Verse

Recorded in his home studio in Phoenix, Arizona, during the 2020 Pandemic, Murder Mountain by Johnny Ironsights is an album of songs that burn like a fuse towards what you know is an inevitable destruction.
Outlaw Country meets in your face Punk, tinged with an ash of slow burn Gothic-Americana.
Less of a mash-up, more of a retooling.
The title track, “Murder Mountain,” is a cinematic crime-infested story of isolationism and drugs. It would work wonderfully as a soundtrack to a film such as Winter’s Bone, and is perfect as the kick-off single for the album, yet my ears keep going back to “Three Nickels for a Pack of Smokes,” with it’s warm nostalgia and playful melody.
“Before the Quake (Summer of ’95)” tells a tale of friendship, open mic nights, and teenage dreams.
Nostalgia without the novelty.
Ironsights’ voice, big and bellows-like, may be the closest Americana has to the rocker Meatloaf; a voice which envelops the songs, strengthening them, enriching them. Ironsights has big ideas and isn’t afraid to chase them in a song. True tales of criminality, hopelessness, memories, translated into verse. Fearlessness is one of the best tools a songwriter can have, and Ironsights knows it.
In the closing song, “When I’m Gone, When I’m Dead” Ironsights exclaims
Like birds trying to fly with broken feathers,”
and I wonder: Is he wishing or invoking?
Drama is no stranger to popular music, as death has long been a part of folk music. Ironsights is doing an admirable job of keeping up the tradition.
If I have any complaints about Murder Mountain it would be that Ironsights’ punchy vocals can get a little tiresome, and as much as I love a good pedal steel, it could use a rest on a few of these tunes (a bit meandering – ‘less is more’?)
Yet Ironsights does have a way with words and storytelling that causes many of these songs to rise way past any perceived musical faults.

Review? The legendary Roy Peak
Released March 5th 2021

https://johnnyironsights.com/

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RMHQ Music Hour Ep:9

RMHQ Music Hour Ep:9

Time is flying by; it’s the end of February and just as we can see light at the end of the Covid Tunnel here’s the 9th edition of the Rocking Magpie Music Hour.
Plenty of brand new songs of course but some Classic and not so Classic oldies too; and this week’s Gateway Album; courtesy Robert Connolly Farr features not one but TWO wonderful songs from one artist in two legendary bands!
The closing track this week comes from Kinky Friedman ….. his version of Lee Marvin’s (I was born under a) Wanderin’ Star; a song I played over and over again deeop into the night after my prostate operation; 6 years ago.

Stay safe; wear a mask.
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Sara Petite#9 PodcastCrash, Boom Bang
Uncle Brent and Nstone#9 PodcastSalt and Lime Single
Shawn Pittman#9 PodcastTake a Real Good Look
Grainne Duffy#9 PodcastDon’t You Cry For Me
Robert Connelly Farr#9 PodcastIf it was up to me
Robert Connelly Farr#9 PodcastGateway Selection #1
Robert Connelly Farr#9 PodcastGateway Selection #2
Robbie Robertson#9 PodcastCrazy River
Ox#9 PodcastEl Camino Pt 1
Sarah King#9 PodcastWar Pigs
George Welch#9 PodcastShe loves you
Joanna Conner#9 PodcastPart Time Love
Teenage Fanclub#9 PodcastSparkys Dream
Susan Anders#9 PodcastWave That Rocks Me
Kinky Friedman#9 PodcastBorn under a wanderin star

Roseanne Reid HORTICULTURE E.P

Roseanne Reid
Horticulture EP
Last Man

The Sound of a Bright Young Artist Finding Her Voice.

Roseanne Reid’s debut “Trails” had the full polish production job, but here with “Horticulture” she’s developed her own approach and sound on an EP self-recorded at home.
Lead track “You Underestimate Me” was put out as a teaser single and its sharp, reverb drenched guitar and Roseanne’s direct close mic vocals give it a directness and urgency that leap out at the listener.
“Tentsmuir Sky” which has also recently been released with an accompanying video is simple in idea, but superb in execution – finger-picked warm guitar and twangy leads. Cracklingly emotive vocals and soaring backing vocals for added dynamics, make an epic yet confessional sound.
“Fly High,” which was new to these ears repeats the trick, but with added swelling strings.
The beauty in this is also in its imperfections – squeaky string bends, room reflections all add to the humanity and warmth of the performance.
“Passing through,” the other track of the four on the EP adds mandolin and harmonica to frame a picked guitar and front and centre vocal; and it’s simply exquisite.
An all too-brief EP, but better to leave folks wanting more; as they say – this is the sound of a young artist finding her voice and putting it literally; and metaphorically front and centre.
After all, an artist is the best person to know how the music in their head should sound – and Roseanne Reid is showing with the Horticulture EP, that she’s capable of being a multi-faceted threat on both sides of the desk.

Review by Nick Barber

EP Released April 10th 2021
https://www.roseannereid.com/

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Sarah King THE HOUR e.p

Sarah King
The Hour EP
Self-Released

Out of Sadness, Comes Beauty

When I was first approached about the possibility of a review for an unknown (to me) artist, Sarah King, I had to admit that the mention of an involvement with Simone Felice had me suitably intrigued.
Having seen Simone more than probably any other act live over the last few years I felt this just had to be something worthy of at the very least a courteous listen.
Was it a good decision?
It was absolutely brilliant and just demonstrated that being ‘unknown’ isn’t a bar to an artist producing a superb little gem.
I will stick it into the Americana genre although you could argue it is a Country set; but who is arguing over something so listenable.
The story behind the EP is definitely sad and it certainly falls into the ‘artist bringing the sadness of her life into her music’ category. She was described as being an Americana artist to the ‘left of the mainstream’ and this EP (release date 19th March) will hopefully move her from the left to the centre!
Quoting her influences as ‘bourbon and bad decisions’ she spent around 12 months kipping in a tent around the US and UK after the deaths of her dog, her mother and her first husband; but Sarah’s desire to get her music career up and running meant an email to Simone was the star in the sky to follow.
‘Nightstand’ was the track she sent to Simone and this story of revenge after physical revenge clearly wetted his appetite and it’s the ideal sort of track he would have in his repertoire.
Taking the gun from the nightstand
to wait for the music to bury a body by.”
‘Not Worth the Whisky’ is another real tough track delivered in a sympathetic style that really suits her tough as teak delivery, whereas the opener ‘Poison’ is a beautiful song, with the background piano and drum trio offering the perfect level of support for a song to deal with ‘a man who won’t listen,’ – a clear reference to her very disturbed husband who suffered from PTSD resulting in his very sad suicide.
Her dreams of music and his memories of the military life at opposite ends of the spectrum.
‘Cold Hard Ground’ moves along at a slightly faster pace although still delivering a story, and the need/desire to make amends for some past misdemeanours.
That’s what my momma told me’ was the way to go.
The final song seems an unlikely choice; Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs;’ but stripped back to its raw sinews becomes the singers’ most intimate song, yet apparently it nearly missed the cut even though it meant so much to her after the suicide (see above).
Could she have done anything to stop him?
Could she have spotted the signs?
The questions that probably still haunt a lot of US families after Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.
There was at one stage an idea to cut ‘War Pigs’ from the finished article; and the music industry is littered with these last minute changes of mind; but this change of mind is really welcome for a true song from Sarah King’s broken heart.
Definitely the dark side of Americana, but let me assure you this (to me) is a gem of an EP delivered, genuinely, from the heart.
As we are approaching normality again after what seems an eternity., how about Sarah touring UK with Simone Felice sometime in the next 12 months?

Review by Bill Redhead.

Released March 19th 2021
https://sarahkingsings.com/home

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