Mir – Secret (2013)


This has come as something of a bolt out of the blue as this debut album introduces a voice and set of songs so steeped in old school Alt-Country and Americana values I wished I’d been wearing a Stetson while listening.

A good opening track; Secret sets the scene for what follows and the simple yet passionate song; backed by an acoustic guitar and organ comes straight from the heart and is aimed directly at the soul.

There’s a meaty acoustic guitar intro to the song called Souland a glorious twangy guitar accompaniment on Miriam’s reminder that even when you lose everything else; especially money – “at least ya got Soul!” which is something we should all do with remembering in these dreadful financial times.

In fact Soulful is possibly the best way to describe Miriam’s voice as she consistently sounds like she actually loves singing; which sadly isn’t true of every singer that crosses my path!

Campbell wrote all but three songs here and there’s not a bad one among them; with the Rockabilly sounding Made Me and the Hammond Organ driven Love on the Wind showing what an interesting turn of phrase and imagery the young songwriter can come up with.

The Honky Tonk lament Old No7 is an odd selection of song; when you consider Campbell lives right in the heart of Scottish Whisky producing country; but Pete Bernhard’s ode to the delights of Tennessee’s finest export; certainly comes over more romantic than singing about Grants or Bells and I can’t think of a rhyme for Glenfiddich either.

Although Mir is how Miriam Campbell is known to her friends it’s also a cool coverall name for the collective consisting of Martin Stephenson and assorted friends that have put this delightful record together; with Stephenson producing and supplying the wonderful love song Bad 4 U that sounds like it came straight out of Boone County rather than County Durham.

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