Jesse Terry WHEN WE WANDER

Jesse Terry
When We Wander
Wander Recordings

Laid Back and Easy Going Americana With Deceptively Killer Lines and Hooks.

As I’ve said many times over the years; “If I was aimlessly flicking through the racks of a record shop and stumbled on this; the cover alone would grab my attention and lead me to asking the person behind the counter if I could hear a couple of tracks.”
(Remember those days kids?)
The cool pic of a handsome young man in a Rough Rider jacket, looking straight at you, effortlessly leads you into the the laid back and easy going songs that follow …….. but; in the best TV Detective manner; there’s a glint in them there eyes that hides the fact that he’s more than capable of delivering a killer line or couplet when you’re least expecting it.
To begin with, the title track When We Wander gently squeezes your heart until you can’t breathe for fear of missing a note or sepia tinged image …… phwoar!
Jesse Terry has a such a lovely and yet deceptive voice that you would be forgiven for putting this album on as ‘background music’ ….. but; trust me here …… something will catch your ear and you won’t be able to stop yourself jumping up and taking said song back to the beginning; be it the sumptuously reflective Hymn of a Summer Night, the Honky Tonk delights of Pretty Good Hand or even the bittersweet love song, In Spite of You; all have something that will pique your interest and maybe even look back on your own life.
Seven albums in and 150+ shows a year don’t necessarily make for an apprenticeship that makes a songwriter this good; but Jesse Terry uses every single experience in his life to create his Art; and in many ways his songs are Art.
Our new friend Neilson Hubbard’s gentle production gives this a bit of a West Coast/Laurel Canyon vibe; with Ghost Stories and the punchy Little Lies sounding as if Terry had overdosed on Jackson Browne and David Gates for 72 hours solid and wanted to tip his hat in that direction; and the world is a better place for it.
While a wholly gorgeous and slightly edgy album from start to finish; on any other album the title track would be my Favourite Track; no question but such is the quality and class on offer it doesn’t even make the Top 3!
Little Fires, with its searing pedal-steel spine, has an easy going melody that lulls you in until the story unravels and you find you unconsciously have a tear in the corner of each eye and your bottom lip is puffed up ….. yup; it’s a bonafide heartbreaker.
Jesse Terry can also Rock It Up when he wants to too; and the powerful Hanging the Stars effortlessly straddles Classic Country Rock and the new fangled Alt. Country with ease and is just perfect for the radio on a hot and stifling Saturday night.
Then, there is the overall winner …….. cue drum roll …… the Springsteen inspired Strangers In Our Town.
Like all great songs it will appeal to listeners on different levels; but to me this claustrophobic love song had me looking at Mrs. Magpie and thinking; ‘come on ……. let’s us be strangers in our town‘ i.e. let’s look at our lives from a whole new angle … we’re never too old to Rock & Roll; are we?
All that’s left for me to say is to tell you about the Press Release; as is my won’t I skimmed down to see if my name was included (it isn’t) and then I saw a quote from a radio DJ.
Mercifully for once it wasn’t Bob Harris; but someone you’ve never heard of but has been a huge influence on my listening taste and hopefully broadcasting skills over the las 50 years ……. one Paddy MacDee from my local BBC Radio Newcastle.
At one stage Paddy had three very different shows running 7 days a week and wholeheartedly supported ‘proper music’ and especially the local scene, not just on radio but turning up to gigs on his nights off too.
So; if Jesse Terry is good enough for Paddy MacDee, he’s certainly good enough for the likes of me and you!!

Released May 14th 2021
https://www.jesseterrymusic.com/

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RMHQ Music Hour Ep:20

RMHQ Music Hour
Episode 20
May 14th 2021

It’s that time of the week again …. MUSIC HOUR TIME!
It’s another eclectic mix of old, new, borrowed and Bluesy …… with a great and slightly surprising Gateway Song from Martin Stephenson; plus brand new tracks from fellow Geordies Shipcote and Paul Handyside; plus Dust Radio alongside Classics and rarities from the great and the good across Roots Music.
Twenty shows in and we still haven’t played the same song twice ….. and nor will we.

Linda Ronstadt#20 PODCASTBlue Bayou
Jeremy Pinnell#20 PODCASTAint Nothing Wrong
Nanci Griffith#20 PODCASTEverything’s Coming Up Roses
Malcolm Holcombe#20 PODCASTThe Empty Jar
Bap Kennedy#20 PODCASTReckless Heart
Jaime Wyatt#20 PODCASTDemon Tied to a Chair in my Brain
Dust Radio#20 PODCASTDead Man’s Crawl
John Clifton#20 PODCASTBrand New Way to Walk
Green on Red#20 PODCASTTime Ain’t Nothing
Hurricane Ruth#20 PODCASTWho I Am
Curse of Lono#20 PODCASTSaturday Night
Paul Handyside#20 PODCASTLight of my Life
Shipcote#20 PODCASTslow Walk on Wheels
Martin G Stephenson#20 PODCASTWe Are Storm
The Doors#20 PODCASTRiders on the Storm

Steve Goodman IT SURE LOOKED GOOD ON PAPER

Steve Goodman
It Sure Looked Good On Paper
Omnivore Records

Keeping The Flame Alive.

For a man who died so very young; Steve Godman appears to have left a fabulous legacy and goldmine of songs in his back catalogue.
This latest release from those fine folks at Omnivore Records is a rather loving look at a bunch of demos, rarities and oddities long forgot by even his most ardent fans.

It’s obviously no surprise that City of New Orleans opens the album; only as a band demo; not that you would know it, as it sounds fully formed and staggering in its beautiful complexity and observational detail; and its no wonder that it has become a timeless American Classic as the years have gone by.
OK there will be some pedant reading this who will tsk at my next sentence; but what follows; including a bunch of demos is all new to me and therefore; I can and will treat this as a brand new album ….. which it is.
While fundamentally ‘of his time’, Goodman’s style is genuinely timeless and if you didn’t know better Yellow Coat, Kiss Me Goodbye Again and The Water Is Wide are all as astute and sharply observed as anything I hear from Millennial songwriters that grace the RMHQ turntable, yet were written and recorded over 40 years ago.
Of the oddities here, the charming Face on The Cutting Room Floor was written, but not used in the film Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid; and that title track is here too; plus there’s the stupendously atmospheric Six Pack, originally cited for a Kurt Russell film but has remained hidden until now …… and the world is a better place because of it; and if you are an Alt. Country Band looking for a ‘hit’ ….. look no further my friends.
As there are 20 songs here I can’t discuss each and every one; but Climb the Hills to The Dale, The Dutchman and The Auctioneer certainly deserve to mentioned ‘in despatches’.
This then brings me to my choice of Favourite Song.
The class and quality that Steve Goodman brings to everything here; even the demos makes this quite difficult, but I’ve narrowed it down to three; the title track alone ‘tickled me’ and the half-baked song itself lives up to the title; and the band ‘demo’ Hands On Time, yet again surpasses many songs of a similar ilk I’ve heard from so called ‘stars’ of more recent years.
Then; there is the song that I played first simply because the title appealed to me … Eight Ball Blues; and (again) it not just lived up to; but surpassed its billing.
Phew; why was this not a #1 hit? It’s every inch as good as anything I’ve heard from the same period (Paxton? Chapin? Ochs? Rush?) or beyond; and better than most, with Goodman’s articulate observations and use of metaphor as good as anything his peers ever managed in their homes on Millionaires Row.
As I said earlier there’s a lot here that today’s singer-songwriters can learn from and for bands to dip into and utilise for their own nefarious gains; but also to keep the Steve Goodman memory alive and well in the 21st Century.

Released May 14th 2021
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http://omnivorerecordings.com/shop/it-sure-looked-good-on-paper/




Maggie Bell & Stone The Crows RE-RELEASES

Maggie Bell & Stone The Crows

STONE THE CROWS (REP UK 1392)
ODE TO JOHN LAW (REP UK 1397)
TEENAGE LICKS (REP UK 1395)
ONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE (REP UK 1400)
MAGGIE BELL: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT (REP UK 1398)
SUICIDE SAL (REP UK 1399)

Repertoire Records

I’ve been a fan of Maggie Bell since the night her I saw her with Stone the Crows on OGWT as a teenager; though sadly I only ever owned second hand copies of her Suicide Sal and the Best Of LP’s; which is why these re-releases have so excited me ….. even though I haven’t heard them yet.
All I can do tonight is pass on the info from the Press Release and wait patiently for my review copies to arrive….

Stone The Crows released their self-titled debut album in 1970, and featured the impressive guitar talent of Les Harvey, younger brother of the great Alex Harvey. Also in the band was bass player / vocalist Jim Dewar, who would go on to be a stalwart of the Robin Trower powerhouse trio of the mid-seventies, and also drummer Colin Allen, a former member of Zoot Money Big Roll Band. The band were managed by the formidable Peter Grant, who also managed Led Zeppelin, and under his guidance Stone The Crows made solid progress through their four album tenure on Polydor Records. However, tragedy struck the band when Harvey was fatally electrocuted onstage at Swansea University in May 1972. His replacement on guitar was the mercurial, diminutive Jimmy McCullough, formerly of Thunderclap Newman, who would go on to join Wings, with Paul McCartney. McCullough completed the recordings for their final album, ‘Ontinuous Performance, before the band split for good in 1973.

After the split, Maggie Bell commenced a solo career. After recording two solo albums which were unreleased, she eventually released her first solo foray, Queen of the Night, in 1974. She followed this with the sparkling Suicide Sal in 1975 (recorded at Startling Studios – owned by Ringo Starr, and featuring guest slots from Phil May (The Pretty Things), Jimmy Page and Pete Wingfield)  both of which were released on the Swan Song label, which was owned by Led Zeppelin and Peter Grant. Despite good reviews and extensive touring, the albums failed to sell, and Bell would go on to front the band Midnight Flyer, again under Grant’s management.

Maggie Bell would later achieve a greater profile as the vocalist on ‘No Mean City’, the theme from the long-running ITV detective series Taggart.

Maggie Bell still tours and performs regularly (Lockdown permitting!) in the UK and Europe.

Released June 25th 2021
http://www.maggiebell.co.uk/

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https://www.repertoirerecords.com/

Eddie Turner CHANGE IN ME

EDDIE TURNER
Change In Me
7-14 Records

A Man Who Doesn’t Follow the Well-Worn, Accepted Format in Creating His Art

Born in Cuba and raised in Chicago Eddie Turner was exposed to a cornucopia of musical influences growing up; jamming with his pals at school, hanging out in alleys or; better still, even sneaking into shows whilst underage to watch true icons such as Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix or later; The Clash.
Turner grabbed an early opportunity to be part of Zephyr for their last album in 1985 and was then invited by his buddy Kenny Passarelli to form The Otis Taylor Band, a commitment that lasted 10 years and included recording 5 albums, up to 2004.

As a solo artist Eddie has previously released 3 studio solo albums; plus the one live effort of ‘Naked In Your Face’ which nicely leads us to the ten new tracks on Change In Me.
Again, he involves his good pal Passarelli, as well as Tim Stroh, to assist with the production duties whilst the album was recorded in both New York and Colorado. With a plethora of styles clearly developing from his eclectic taste in music this is not just any old genre bending album.
In fact, the magazine Classic Rock Here And Now states that “Turner has developed a sound that’s informed by tradition, yet adventurous enough to not be limited by it.”

The title track Change In Me starts off proceedings with a cool tempo, subtle guitar and B3 working together, supporting the lyrics with an added bonus of a sultry female backing vocalist.
It’s an impressive start highlighting the fact that unlike so many of todays artists Eddie knows when to leave things out of the mix.
One of 3 covers, Hendrix’s “My Friend” provides a very effective, albeit pedestrian vocal, almost like Jimi’s own droll delivery on his posthumous ‘The Cry of Love’ album.
Lou Reeds “I’m Waiting For My Man” again paints a vivid underworld of danger and intrigue, complimented by further effective female backing vocals.
The third and most distinctive cover comes from the pen of Chicago Blues Legend – Willie Dixon and is as vastly a different version of “Hoochie Koochie Man” that I’ve ever heard, but you know what … it works.

Jazzy piano keeps “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa” yomping at a pace with the familiar female vocals providing answers to some of Eddie’s comments and observations.
The lyrics to “This is Your Night” tell another haunting almost mysterious tale starting with the scene setting lines
Revenge is a serenade that lasts through the night,
Jealousy’s soft parade,
the Angels are right”

with the repeated memorable lyrics of
You pour me another wine, then you realise,
This is your Night”

completing each verse.
Just for a change, drums and bass prominently feature on “Standing on the Frontline” before some Ernie Isley type guitar licks punch through the funky backbeat.

It’s not exactly easy listening as you plough your way through this album; but the more I’ve listened, the more I like it. Push me for my Favourite Track then it would have to be “Dignify Me” which steps the pace up a gear or three, each verse ending with catchy punch-lines

“You’ve got to dignify my presence,
Dignify my soul, my soul…..Dignify
”.

Undoubtedly, Eddie Turner doesn’t follow the well-worn, accepted format in creating his art, with mostly machinating lyrics and downbeat melodies that ignore the well-worn paths to popularity. To me this borders on him being somewhat enigmatic and probably an acquired taste that will fly over the heads of the masses.
However, all power to his elbow for sticking to his personal idiom and patently not changing himself just to optimise any potential sales.

Jack Kidd aka “Messin’ with the Kidd” on lionheartradio.com

Released on 14th. May 2021
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Sarah Klang VIRGO

Sarah Klang
VIRGO.
Pangur Records

Raising The Bar For Modern Pop Music With a Neat Retro Kick or Two.

My usual listening procedures for reviewing albums is to stick them on the iPhone and then listen on my morning walks.
No interruptions.
Nobody talking away in the background.
Two or three listens of the whole album and I can commit to print.
As I was knocking up the first draft of this album review I was actually playing it on my PC when my wife wandered in to ask; who it was as ‘she has a dead catchy voice’ – praise indeed as it’s fair to say our musical tastes are at opposite end of the music spectrum!
On this occasion she was right, as Sarah has a ‘dead canny voice’ and has put out a ‘dead canny album’.
For non North East of England readers ‘canny’ is an all encompassing word meaning an array of things; but in this instance it means ‘really jolly good’.
I had enjoyed Sarah’s first album ‘Love In The Milky Way’ and it had certainly done well in her homeland of Sweden as a Grammy winner and a chart topping artiste; and then following that up with the equally successful ‘Creamy Blue’ which had led to her being added to a First Aid Kit tour.
The opener ‘27 Pounds’ rattles in with a real bang as she immediately hits the listener with her very quirky vocals; while the electro/drum backing hits the tight notes – a mix of an older pop track with a modern twist; and it is followed by a very catchy ‘Fever Dream’ with an infectious beat to lead us to know this isn’t going to be a simple ‘sit back and listen’ set – much more like a musical slap in the face.
Sarah admits to a love of 60’s and 70’s pop and this demonstrated at its best on track 3 ‘Canyon’ with its neat American twist; and for me, the high spot of the first half of the album.
The guitars are a throwback to those 60’s hits we know and love; with the jangling guitars taking it all it down a notch on ‘Anywhere;’ where the Americana feeling comes through at its best. Song delivery and backing hitting a perfect twosome.
This is vintage sixties pop at its best, from ‘the saddest girl in Sweden’ and it’s rare to hear nowadays an album that sets the bar early on and then manages to raise it again and again, as the tracks roll by with the first drop of a few notches with ‘Girls’ – a sad piece of a relationship where no matter what, it’s the same mistakes that control the relationship.
A very sad song and beautifully delivered.
If you like strident guitars and a different type of vocal, ‘Ghost Killer’ is the one for you – certainly a song that would not be out of place on a Ward Thomas or First Aid Kit set.
If I was a ghost killer I would set you free’.
Even on the must softer and more laid back tracks like ‘Spell’ I feel Sarah Klang’s delivery and her quirky voice (in a nice way) are spot on to retain the standards set from the first few bars.
As we approach the final tracks there is again a more measured sound on ‘Love So Cruel’ and ‘Love Blues;’ where the gentler guitars and the production of Kevin Anderson dovetail on a gentle and haunting backing.
The aptly named ‘The End’ brings a smashing album to a delightful finale – another nod to the 80’s to complete an album to be proud of.
If there is any justice this album should bring Sarah to the notice of music lovers that may have previously been out in the cold.
An excellent album and a pleasure to have had the opportunity to bring it to the attention of others.
There are literally loads of high quality female artists and albums out at present – but add I recommend that you add Sarah Klang to that list – it will certainly get me through a good few more walks.

Reviewed by Bill ‘Two Jabs’ Redhead

https://www.sarahklang.com/

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Annie Keating BRISTOL COUNTY TIDES

Annie Keating
Bristol County Tides
Self-Release

A Pandora’s Box of Americana Introspective and Imagination.

I forget when I first encountered Annie Keating; perhaps at a gig or most likely via the album FOR KEEPS that I reviewed for Maverick Magazine; but it’s fair to say she has accompanied me on many of my darker moments over the last few years …… and she didn’t even know it.
Music touches people in a million different ways of course; and while you’d not think of Ms Keating as a purveyor of ‘sad songs’ (she isn’t) but she can not just tell but sell a ‘sad song’ and make it sound ever so personal to the person on the other end of radio tubes.
Here; the opening track Third Street took me by surprise the first time I heard it as it’s a lot ‘heavier’ than I’d expected …… in a damn good way too; as the Bass pushes down on your chest as the swirling electric piano sounds like the wheels are coming off and then, on top of that, Annie spits out her weary tale with a squint in her eyes …… I can only dream that one day you will idly be driving along in your car and this comes on the radio!
Like most every singer-songwriter these days; Annie used the claustrophobic time enforced on her and her family during the recent Pandemic to write …… and write she has; as this album has 15 tracks on it; and not a single note or word should be edited out.
While tucked away in the family home Annie has been forced to delve deep into her imagination; and once that Pandora’s Box was opened the likes of High Tide, Marigold, Shades of Blue and the enigmatically titled Bittersweet sound like they must have poured out in the middle of the night and into the daybreak with only coffee as a friend.
There’s a clever mix of light and shade across these songs; with many coming from Annie and her Band; but then of course she decides to dip back into solo singer-songwriter mode for the brittle and bewitching Song For a Friend and Half Mast too.
While Annie has always been a sharp and canny songwriter; there’s a feeling of maturity and even sageness that comes with ageing across this album; and which makes choosing a singular Favourite Song excruciatingly difficult …… but that also meant I had to play it an extra couple of times to help decide; which was no hardship whatsoever.
Eventually I’ve narrowed it down to three very different tracks; Track #2 Kindred Spirit sounds like the type of song Lucinda has been trying to write this last 15 years or so; and the cracked world of the love lorn is a lot better place for Annie actually doing so; here’s the opening verse …….:
There’s a Grace in the way you walk/a lazy kind of way you talk
I like the way my name rolls off your tongue
There’s a sadness about where you’ve been/I feel it coming off your skin
A look behind your eyes like you’ve been stung.


Good? Huh?
The metaphoric Lucky 13 on the other hand, opens with a beautiful guitar solo; and eventually Annie slurring the chorus will make you clench your teeth and hope for a happy/happier ending;
Slot machines, Kings and Queens / I’m betting on Lucky 13
Just what you like/a little thrill ride/ losing inhibitions by midnight
.”
will she have the happy ending she craves?
Only keen eared listeners will ever know.
Tucked away in the middle is the charming Doris; a gorgeous introspective tale of a strong woman who arrived in America circa 1959, drinks Johnnie Walker red – straight, smoked a Dunhill pipe, and is now 83 and getting younger every day. Doris just happens to be Annie’s Mother btw. Americana/Folk Music at its very best methinks.
Then’ of course there is the slow and seedy Hank’s Saloon …….. imagine, if you will Bruce and Lucinda being locked in a Motel room with no air con and not being allowed out until they had written a bonafide Hit Country Song for George Jones …… then it might sound a bit like this.
Not an easy choice; but Hell ……. Hank’s Saloon has to be my Favourite …… it’s cooler than a penguins bum!
After 7 previous albums it’s probably unfair of my to still compare Annie Keating to anyone else; but I feel that’s the best way I can to explain the high quality of not just the songwriting here; but the consummate light and shade in the way Annie has constructed and helped produce these songs ………. there’s a lot to appreciate here; but most of all BRISTOL COUNTY TIDES is an album from an artist at the top of her game and something you can allow yourself to settle back and just wallow in.

Released May 7th 2021
https://www.anniekeating.com/

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https://www.anniekeating.com/pre-order-the-new-album

RELEASED UK May 7th 2021
RELEASED US June 4th 2021

RMHQ Music Hour Ep 19

RMHQ Music Hour
Episode 19th
7th May 2021

Jack Mack and the Heart Attack Horns#19 PodcastServes Me Right
Kinky Freidman#19 PodcastCircus of Life
Jason Ringenberg#19 PodcastEddie Rode the Orphan Train
Holy Moly and the Crackerslocal#19 PodcastCold Comfort Lane
The Persecuted#19 PodcastI’m Sorry for Everything I’ve Ever Done
Hitman Blues BandGateway#19 PodcastThe Time’s They are a Changin’
Louis Speginer#19 PodcastLouis’ Guitar Boogie
Maia Sharp#19 PodcastJunkyard Dog
Steve Grozier#19 PodcastWhen The Darkness Comes
Sarah Jaroszr#19 PodcastRun Away
Karl Brodie#19 PodcastMoonshine Dancing
Steve Goodman#19 PodcastCity of New Orleans
Ashleigh Flynn and the Rivetters#19 PodcastTiger by The Tail
Kris Kristofferson#19 PodcastFrom Here to Forever

Jody and The Jerms SENSATION E.P

Jody and The Jerms
SENSATION EP
Self Release/Bandcamp

Infectious Post-Pandemic Indie-Americana Hybrid


At my age I shouldn’t really be surprised at the vagaries of the music scene, but I have to admit that being asked to review this EP has expanded my music knowledge.
While trying to find out more about the band I discovered that they had a link to The Anydays; who apparently toured way back in the nineties with the likes of Radiohead and Supergrass so I may/must well have seen them as support at a Supergrass gig.
To still be active over 25 plus years later would indicate they either really enjoy their music or they are daft – I am running with the former!
Based in Oxford and with a lead singer, Jody, who prior to 2019 hadn’t ever sung live, their single, ‘Get Me Out’ (like the rest of us mere mortals) they fell foul of the pandemic, so only managed a single gig before the normal world came crashing down. It was to their credit that they already had an album ‘Deeper;’ out last September which certainly got some them some positive attention.
But, can they carry on where they left off, is the $64,000 question?
Jody is a lead singer who just throws herself into things whole heartedly, and the first few bars of ‘Sensation’’ had me driven crazy trying to recall the track it had immediately reminded me of.
Eventually I realised it was Meilyr Jones and ‘How to Recognise a Work of Art’.
This is jangly guitar at its best and its a very infectious opener that would go down well as a gig opener.
‘Nemesis’ is a slower and softer offering and Jody hits just the right mark on this much gentler but quite pleasant track, before we move on to ‘Sunshine Rays.’ A totally different song both in terms of delivery and musical phrasing, with drums featuring far more prominently; backing a slinky slide guitar solo.
The final track, ‘Never Going Home’ is a very good finale in the manner of someone like the Go Betweens and, for me, a nod to some early Slow Club stuff too.
Classic Indie Pop (assuming this is still an acceptable phrase in 2021).
There is no doubt that ‘Sensation’ is the highlight track, but overall this is a set that would certainly attract me to a live gig (they are apparently on the way back) to see if they can back up their pleasing sound in a small club setting like Newcastle’s Cluny.
I suspect they wouldn’t let me down.
Good luck to them – it’s a hard time for small bands to be pushing their music; so any assistance from local and community radio will definitely be beneficial.

Review by Billy ‘Two Jabs’ Redhead.
https://jodyandthejerms.com/

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Steve Grozier ALL THAT’S BEEN LOST

Steve Grozier
All That’s Been Lost
Self-Release

Real Deal Americana Song Writing and Singing From the Beating Heart of Auld Scotia.

Back in 2017 I said of Steve Grozier, that he erred on “The Dark and Edgy Side of Alt-British Country” and in the interim his songwriting, storytelling and vocal delivery has certainly matured quite admirably; and that epithet now sounds quite prophetic.
Opening track Twenty Third Street features some sublime pedal-steel from Tim Davidson that takes an already beautiful tale into an existential direction, that really sets the groundwork for all that is to follow.
I’m not sure readers across the Atlantic actually know that such a thing as British Alt-Country actually exists; but trust me it does; and just like the Canadian version throws up singers and songwriters that seem to understand the medium better than many of their American peers; as Steve Grozier shows with the complex way he tells stories like those on Blue and Gold, When The Darkness Comes and the mysteriously haunting I Miss My Friend; which will tear at the heartstring of many who hear it.
While his American cousins probably discovered Country Music via the radio; the likes of Scotsman Steve Grozier had to invest time, patience and not a little bit of money buying and studying the works of everyone from Cash, Van Zandt, Clark, Earle and perhaps Wily Vlautin and Nanci Griffith too; as well as crossover bands like the Eagles to get to a point when they can create their own distinctive version in that mould ……. from the heart.
Which is the best way I can find to describe Memories and Sam, I Know You Tried; where Grozier dredges up his lowliest feelings and senses to create music that is Americana in absentia; as it’s channelled via a grey Glaswegian landscape, which certainly comes across in the tight and almost claustrophobic production.
In many ways this album is the antithesis of Easy Listening; but that sums up Alt. Country any way; doesn’t it. I’ve played this album quite a few times now; and always at least ‘quite’ enjoyed it; but yesterday was a cold dreich May Day and for a variety of reasons I was at a low point; and listening to Charlies Old Mustang/Graveyard and the prophetic Power in the Light while not cheering me up; made me believe that I wasn’t alone ………. Steve Grozier knew how I was feeling and therefore the world was a better place for a few minutes.
Which is why Power in the Light is ‘what it says on the tin’ and therefore my Favourite Track here; and a song you really must seek out if you even vaguely suffer from ‘Black Clouds’ ….. you aren’t alone.
I’m not sure what else there is to say; apart from Steve Grozier is the type of musician I get into arguments over with either people who tell me that “there’s no good music around these days” and/or fans of beige singer-songwriters like Ben Howard and Ed Sheeran……… Steve Grozier (and many others) is the Real Deal, writing and singing about real things and real people; the opposite of their music by numbers and algorithms.

Released May 7th 2021
https://www.facebook.com/SteveGrozier/


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https://stevegrozier.bandcamp.com/