Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective DO WHAT YOU LOVE

Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
New Outlaw

Purveyors Of Fine British Alt. Country With a Dash of Southern Rock and Essex Chutzpah!

I have the greatest admiration for musicians who follow their own path, and steadfastly refuse to get drawn into the murky world of ‘covers bands’; which as we all know is generally more lucrative; but essentially Soul Destroying!
With musical CV’s the envy of their peers in London Town, Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective are still ploughing their very own musical furrow, regardless of financial gain or literate praise; and the world is a better place for people like them.
Their 7th release opens with the twangtastic, Time Keeps Slipping Away; evoking many happy memories of the heyday of Country Rock, with Williams raspy, wheezy and ‘lived in’ voice alongside a combination of silvery and fizzy guitar licks taking us on a road trip around their beautiful country roads.
This leads directly into I’m a Stone, which may be a metaphor for why a love affair has failed; but with a superb Bluesy riff from Robbie McIntosh and Nick Garner’s harmonica is straight from the Brian Jones guide-book; who’s to say theirs not a lot more to this song than at first heard?
Because I know his history; I know that Williams is English and sounds it; but if you just stumbled on this record in a shop or received it as a gift; that voice suddenly becomes International and perhaps even American of the Southern State persuasion; and the players behind him sound as if they only come out of the swamp after dark.
The songs criss-cross Americana and Roots with ease; Lazy Day and Held in Your Glow are so ‘Southern,’ you fear they may be banned North of the Mason-Dixon line; and Straight Down The Middle somehow mixes Jug-Band Music with Country Rock and sounds just perfect to these ears.
At other times you feel these songs are a soundtrack to a road-trip around the Southern States, with the band picking up and appropriating something useful and fun from each stop, with Life on The Road being their map.
Red Hot and Raunchy could easily be a lost Little Feet track and Dreams Come True could easily have been found on any of Tom Petty’s early albums too.
That said, The Roots Collective combine all of these varied influences to create their very own and distinctive ‘style’ and ‘sound’ which really comes through on If I Met My Hero, which features some stunning cello and guitar interplay; and I defy everyone to find a definitive set of links for the creation of album closer Dreams Can Come True.
Then of course there is the RMHQ Favourite Song, Losing Streak something of a ‘Song for our Times’. An Acoustic Alt. Country soft-rocker that brings everything together and adds the sublime pedal-steel of BJ Cole esq. to give a sad, sad song more pathos than a sane man can possibly cope with …… and I didn’t; having to wipe away a salty tear more than once.
Bands in the UK were always ‘early adopters’ for what is now known universally as Alt. Country; most notably in the halcyon Pup Rock years; but there are still plenty of bands hauling the act around the motorways and back-roads, regaling and winning fans in bars, clubs and most especially festivals; and with that in mind Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective just may be some of the finest purveyors of this glorious genre; miss them at your peril.

Released May 22nd 2020
https://www.jwroots.co.uk/
https://jwrc.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/IsolationMusicFestival/

The Jayhawks THIS FORGOTTEN TOWN (Single)

The Jayhawks
This Forgotten Town
Sham/Thirty Tigers

The Jayhawks have shared “This Forgotten Town”, the opening song on the band’s new album, XOXO, which releases July 10 2020
Written jointly by Marc Perlman and Gary Louris, “This Forgotten Town” finds Louris trading off lead vocals with Tim O’Reagan as Karen Grotberg joins in on harmonies, setting the stage for the band’s most collaborative album to date.
For the first time, the album includes lead vocal and songwriting contributions from all four members – Louris, Perlman, Grotberg and O’Reagan – bringing a new energy and confidence to The Jayhawks’ signature harmonies and infectious melodies. The group’s camaraderie is at the heart and soul of this release, showcasing an unrelenting ability to evolve while staying true to their authentic sound. XOXO is the product of a group more inspired and more itself than ever before, and reminds us why The Jayhawks have remained such an influential and respected band for over 30 years.

Album released July 10th 2020
Pre-Order Album https://stores.portmerch.com/jayhawksofficial/pre-order-xoxo.html?ffm=FFM_c94eebb51fe5d5e05f237975c8de4155


American Aquarium LAMENTATIONS

American Aquarium
Lamentations
New West Records

Raw, Lonely and Shiveringly Honest Country Music.

Oh Man! All of this Alt. Country and Americana ‘thing’ was still fresh and shiny when Maverick magazine sent me a copy of BURN.FLICKER.DIE in 2012 to review; and obviously at that time I’d never heard of American Aquarium.
But, an hour later my mind was completely BLOWN AWAY!
To this day they are still my bench-mark for similar (if such a thing exists) band related music.
So; even though RMHQ is now staffed with some really eloquent writers; this baby has remained hidden in my drawer for me …… and me alone.
The first thing you will notice; or should that be ‘feel’ is that while this is obviously American Aquarium with singer and songwriter BJ Barham at the forefront, this is a whole new direction for the ‘team’ …… this album is very Special indeed.
The epic Me + Mine (Lamentations) opens things i the most personal and beautiful way imaginable; with BJ tapping into the heartbreak that infests small town, Middle America (and beyond) in all its ragged glory. It’s fair to say that all of those White Supremacists I see waving the Stars and Stripes on TV News are gonna hate ‘Good Ole Boy’ Barham for writing this song, but hundreds of thousands more will hear it think he’s singing for and about them.
Even if the rest of the album was shite, this song alone would give it 4 out of the 5 stars it deserves.
Now; nothing else quite reaches these dizzy heights; but every single song not just has its merits; but needs to be heard by the world at large.
Six Years Come September sounds as claustrophobic and intense as a Love Song will ever get; and in its own way turns Alt. Country inside out …… and I have feeling Barham is actually singing about his own relationship and sobriety …….. describing this song as a heartbreaker only scrapes the surface of how you will feel when it fades away following Barham whispering
I’ve got a picture of you holding a picture of her/taped to the dash of my car.”
Already I hope you’re getting the drift that this ain’t Gung-Ho …… it’s as far removed from the CMA’s as Country Music gets ….. and that’s a damn good thing.
Any one who knows American Aquarium will already know that the band ain’t just about BJ Barham, this is very much a Band album with The Luckier You Get and Before The Dogwood Blooms both being very good songs made ‘great’ by a band sympathetic to the writers words and intimations in a way only years on the road can create.
In theory an album this personal and dark shouldn’t be a gateway for new fans to discover a band after 15+ years on the road; but if you accidentally hear Starts With You or the majestic The Long Haul I defy you not to need to dip into the band’s back catalogue and come out the other end financially poorer but emotionally richer.
It’s so difficult to look beyond Me _ Mine (Lamentations) as my Favourite Song here; but I’m not sure how often my tear ducts can take me playing it; which leaves the door open for How Wicked I Was which touched several raw nerves when I played it 3 x on the bounce last week; and The Day I Learned to Lie To You sounds like it could be The Band covering a Guy Clark song; which is quite the accolade coming from me.
The other song that gets an Honourable Mention, is another for the flag wavers to get their knickers in a twist over ……. A Better South! Trust me, Neil Young will be proud of American Aquarium when he hears it; and it will find its way to him sooner or later.
Which only leaves The Day I Learned to Lie To You. Phew, there’s enough power hidden in this relatively simple song to power a small town. Pathos – in buckets, introspective – of course; and most of all raw honesty; with Barham again writing a song that will have scores of people hearing it gulping and looking shifty as they look at their partners (literally or retrospectively I fear).
Even today, a good month after receiving LAMENTATIONS and playing it 6 or 7 times in between; I still feel an emotional wreck today listening intently for review purposes …….. leaving me feeling that this might be a Game Changer, for not just BJ Barham but American Aquarium themselves; finally giving them the accolades and applause they have always deserved.

Released May 1st 2020
https://americanaquarium.bandcamp.com/album/lamentations
http://www.americanaquarium.com/



Jeff Crosby NORTH STAR

Jeff Crosby
North Star
Blue Rose Records

Americana Songs So Sad, You Will Wallow In Them For Years To Come.

Ahhhhhh ….. a new album from Jeff Crosby, the native of a tiny town in Idaho (pop. 97!) who ran away from home at 17 to ‘live the dream’ as a Rock Star; and we couldn’t be any happier.
YAY! While opening track If I’m Lucky follows the same LA laid back Alt. Country groove we loved on his two previous albums; there’s a new world weary wisdom in the story that will not just tug on your heartstrings; but wonder why your reading this review on RMHQ and not in the New York Times or Rolling Stone ……. this cat can not just write a great song, but his delivery is World Class too.
I don’t really want to use words like ‘maudlin’ or ‘droll’ to describe a few of the songs here, or you will get the wrong idea, but there’s a definite ‘sadness’ to the title track North Star, Laramie too and the song that could be my theme tune; Born To Be Lonely ….. but these are the type of sad songs that true believers will wallow in for years to come; and just like me think “that could be me he’s singing about.”
Which is quite the skill set; isn’t it?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; there’s something really special when a songwriter can create songs that defy ‘genrification’ ….. take the time to listen to Hold This Town or Liability and tell me if they are Country, Country Rock, Alt. Country or Americana? You can’t …… there’s a beautiful cross-pollination that makes them more special than a simple label can provide.
The sun has been shining lately; but because the world is under threat from a 21st Century plague this album has been a great soundtrack and while RedWhiteBlackAndBlue is something of a break-up song; it’s also really fitted the mood I’ve been in; perhaps it’s the haunting steel guitar or the intricate acoustic guitar; but most likely it’s just a touchingly fabulous song.
And it was hardly even a contender for the title Favourite Song!
The song sequencing here is superb; with the tension building and building until you come to the last three songs, which are not just as good as anything I’ve heard from Jeff Crosby; but just about anyone else in the myriad of Americana genres I mentioned earlier.
RedWhiteBlackAndBlue closes the album; but the two songs that precede it have had me close to tears several times; hence my dilemma at picking a winner.
Heart on My Sleeve is a deceptively simple and beautiful love song; a duet with Nashville singer-songwriter Lauren Farrah; which will squeeze your heart until you genuinely forget to breath; and you won’t care; as if this was the last song you ever heard ……. you would die contentedly. Perhaps I’ve over stated my feelings; but it is quite wonderful, especially the whispered lines from one to the other and back again;
Love is like a prison cell
But it’s not as far as I can tell
Put all my faith in you …….
Just three chords and half the truth ……
Just three chords and half the truth
.”
There won’t be a dry eye in the house!
Then there is the jauntily plaintive My Mother’s God. Phew ……. is this a song of our times? Maybe or maybe not. But it has been for me in some ways, as similar to the narrator my Mother was a Catholic WHO who just ‘believed’ …… which both amazed and amused me for many years; but the older I get ………. the cynic in me is starting to wear down and, well …… my Mother was right about most other things; and (again) like Crosby sings
I should thank my Mothers God
For giving her some Faith in me
You don’t have to see it to believe it

It just cut through me like a knife!

We rather like Jeff Crosby here at RMHQ and occasionally despair that his name isn’t mentioned in the same sphere as lesser musicians on bigger labels or who have ‘friends in the industry’ who can get them the TV slots or mentions in the broadsheet newspapers.
Such is life; and as Jeff keeps making music I will just keep on keeping on nudging the world, one review at a time until he finally headlines the Main Stage at Glastonbury …….. or even SummerTyne in Gateshead!

Released April 24th 2020
https://www.jeffcrosbymusic.com/music

Lucinda Williams GOOD SOULS BETTER ANGELS

Lucinda Williams
Good Souls Better Angels
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers

Angry and Melancholic Songs To Paint Vivid Pictures and Scar Your Soul Too.

Lucinda Williams managed to kick start Alt. Country and has set the bench mark TWICE*, yet after all these years; 41 and counting; she still divides opinion among the Americana cognoscenti; most of whom either haven’t listened to her last 5 albums (or first 3?) or if they have they only want her to repeat Car Wheels or West over and over again, ad infinitum.
Then there are others; who hang on her every release with baited breath; handling the review CD like a vinyl fetishist would something he’s just paid £25 for; then sitting back in a darkened room until totally immersed in the experience befitting a crafts-woman and her Art.
Or perhaps that’s just me!
WOAH THERE!
I wasn’t actually prepared for the Blues Blast that is album opener You Don’t Own Me. I probably should have been; as this is a-typical Lucinda; powerful, intense and every line snaps at you like hungry Alsatian dog on a tight leash. Long term fans will be pleased to know that ‘the band’ are still here; Butch Norton (drums), Stuart Mathis (guitar) and David Sutton (bass) and as usual; come together to compliment and make a great singer exceptional.
Now I’ve mentioned her voice; perhaps that’s what divides music fans? It’s certainly not opera or show tunes quality, is it? Nope…… it’s the sound of a woman who has lived life to the full; and then some …… and that comes across in her writing and co-writing too; which combine like leather and lace on the mellifluous Big Black Train and the tragically beautiful, When The Way Gets Dark.
With age comes wisdom; and Lucinda uses that wisdom to great effect on the evocative Shadows and Doubts which redefines ‘break up songs’; and on Bone of Contention she takes a tentative step into Leonard Cohen territory with her words, but the band sound like Nirvana on amphetamines!
Before I get around to telling you what my Favourite Song is; there are a couple of contenders that certainly deserve a ‘mention in despatches’ ……… Lucinda sounds like she’s winding herself up like a coiled spring on Down Past the Bottom; and for a song written many months ago just may be the Soundtrack to Coronavirus Lockdown!
The title track Good Souls is as soft and gentle as I think I’ve ever heard Lucinda before; and it is quite the perfect way to close this fabulous collection.
Good Souls was very, very nearly the Favourite Song here; and it just may be the one I actually go to the most; but Wakin’ Up; with that funky bass line from David Sutton is ‘special’ in many disparate ways and although that’s definitely Lucinda singing; it’s so unlike everything else here and what’s come before it over the decades; it’s almost Punk …. yep, it IS Punk; and I salute Lucinda Williams for daring to record something so daring and provocative at this stage of her career.
What else is there to say about this album and, indeed Lucinda Williams? She is who she is; and damn the rest …….. she no longer looks for commercial success which allows her the freedom to release music like this ……. music that is both beautiful and melancholic, painting vivid pictures in my head …….. and scarring my Soul too.

*Car Wheels on a Gravel Road AND West both changed our conceptions regarding the complicated Country genre of music. FACT.

Released April 24th 2020
https://www.lucindawilliams.com/home
https://stores.portmerch.com/lucindawilliams/?ffm=FFM_0207e637dd2d4c55410c6b407d3d4474

A.K and the Brotherhood OH SEDONA!

A.K and the Brotherhood
OH SEDONA!
Paraply Records

Fabulously Authentic Americana/Scandicana Hybrid

I never cease to be amazed regarding where the Americana ship docks around the world; as in this instance a songwriter in a part of Sweden you couldn’t find on a map (if you could even find Sweden first!) has spawned a fabulous band an album of truly authentic Americana/Alt. Country.
Whoosh!
Opening track California Freebird instantly whisks the listener away to a winding coastal road in a red sports car with the roof down and the stereo turned up to 8.
This is followed by the more gentle For The Long Run, with Alo Karlsson himself at the piano; and pouring his heart out with a slight crackle in his worn and weary voice. Is it a love song? Is it a break-up song? It’s a bit of both; and bares repeated plays if you are ‘in that mood’.
There are days when I wonder where songwriters get their ideas from; and there’s a top song here that falls into that category; the twisted love song Like The Devil Reads The Bible; and you guessed it ……. it’s a Hellfire and Brimstone Honky Tonker that will have audiences shouting along and punching the air on each and every chorus.
Like me in the UK I guess Alo has always looked on America through rose coloured glasses; and the romantic imagery in his songs here appear to reflect that; with the fabulous duet with Sofia Loell, Big City Sidewalks sounding as authentic as if the couple lived in Nashville, New York or even Nantucket; and not rural Sweden.
The songs here are nearly all deeply personal; and certainly written from the bottom of his heart; with the Country Rockers Miles and Memories, Halfway To Anywhere and Man Up having the ability to make you want to dance with tears in your eyes.
I doubt AK and the Brotherhood are destined to fill Arenas around Europe; but I can only imagine how cool it will be seeing them in a full and sweaty club on a Friday or Saturday night cranking out Halfway to Anywhere and Where All The Dreams Go!
I’ve played Oh Sedona! really loud in the car and also at about 5 in the living room; and that’s thrown up two very diverse songs as my Favourite Tracks. (Living on) Tupelo Time is a charming laid back tale of finally making it to Elvis’s home town, in the mould of Poco or maybe even early Eagles; and it’s a belter.
The other is a gentle Country shuffle full of maudlin fiddle playing, tinkling piano, brushed drums and oh so sweet guitar, called Guiding Light that will make you smile in recognition of the way AK describes his life on the road; but constantly thinking of his Guiding Light back home.
In the current economic climate AK and the Brotherhood are very brave playing their own songs when they could probably make a better living being an Eagles or maybe even Tom Petty covers band; but more power to them; and if there’s an even braver American promoter reading this; you could do a lot worse than bring this band to the US of A!

Released March 2020
https://www.facebook.com/AKandthebrotherhood/

Margo Price STONE ME (Single)

Margo Price
Stone Me (Single)
Lorna Vista Recordings

Just like you, I guess …… I had no idea a new single or album was even in the offing, so this was a pretty damn exciting find earlier today in my ‘in box’.

Margo performed the song on Wednesday night on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, capping a special episode of the show with the bold proclamation:

Love me, hate me
Desecrate me
Call me a bitch
then call me baby
You don’t know me
You don’t own me
Yeah that’s no way
To stone me

Margo says, “After what feels like an eternity, I’m releasing a new song into the wild today. It’s been hard to keep everything I’ve been working on for the last year to myself and I’m so excited to share it.”

Rob Vincent IN THIS TOWN YOU’RE OWNED

Robert Vincent
In This Town You’re Owned
Thirty Tigers

An Atlantic Crossing Beckons For Our Favourite Liverpudlian.

The much-anticipated new album from Mr Vincent starts with the gentle-paced single “This Town”, easily bearing the ear for melody and sympathetic accompaniment that he’s displayed on earlier releases.
Following this, another single, “My Neighbour’s Ghost” lifts the tempo with echoes of Bo Diddley and Buffalo Springfield on display to create something of a toe-tapper from the Liverpudlian.
“The Kids Don’t Dig God Anymore” might alienate the Bible Belt, because its impassioned low-key gospel energetically spits plenty of fire and fury, as sparse instrumentation – mainly kick and snare with sympathetic fills push the vocal to the fore with a Memphis country soul feel.
Track 4 is “The Ending” – it’s not, but that’s its title – again, the tempo is chilled and there’s a Latin lilt to matters with accordion and shakers – the message is one of uncertainty, but it’s neither optimistic or pessimistic; hence …… “Nobody knows the ending”.
Second single “Conundrum” also tackles the issue of the effects of love and our lasting influence and strikes a note of hope about the world “leave it better off when you go”.
“Husk of a soul” again pares the backing away to move the vocal to the fore and push a narrative about individual strength and is followed by “I Was Hurt Today But I’m Alright Now” another song about emotional resilience and independence.
A further song about endings – “End of the war” brings in the motif of hope after bad times that permeates the album.
“If You Were You” is an ode to self-revelation and being honest to one’s self and a partner and explores the ache for honest emotional connection in a way very few of Vincent’s peers can dream of matching.
The album ends with “Cuckoo” – “forgiveness works in strange ways” – a postulation about the nature of repairing things that have gone wrong. Such almost – dare I say it – religious – themes are laced throughout this album; hope, loss, forgiveness and other matters spiritual, whether linked to a fixed deity or not.
Mature, intelligent writing and playing are on display throughout with a gentle southern country-soul feel that enhances the strong melodies and lyrics that are Robert Vincent’s trademarks. Such quality deserves an audience – the issue – as ever – is going to be putting this music in front of those who will appreciate it in both the UK and; if I’m not mistaken …… the USA too.
Success is almost guaranteed in the UK with this release; but if someone could get RV a USA support tour with the likes of Elvis Costello, John Prine or even Mark Knopfler, he could yet “Do a Yola” across the Atlantic too.


https://www.robertvincentmusic.com/news
https://www.musicglue.com/robertvincentmusic/
Released UK & USA 14th February
Guest Review by Nick Barber aka EFSB

New Riders of The Purple Sage THANKSGIVING IN NEW YORK CITY

New Riders of The Purple Sage
THANKSGIVING IN NEW YORK CITY
Omnivore Records

Back To The Future For Some Superbly Timeless Psychedelic Country Rock.

One of the great joys of this ‘reviewing malarkey’ is discovering new music every week; and that doesn’t just mean lonely singer-songwriters or bar bands releasing their self-financed debuts; but also finally discovering acts like this whose name would cropped up in ‘Import ads’ in the back of NME and Melody Maker every week of my teenage years.
Before last Sunday I’d genuinely never heard a note from New Riders of The Purple Sage in my entire life; so it was with barely bated excitement that I placed it in the cd player.
Recorded at the Academy of Music, NYC on Thanksgiving 1972 this live recording (3 x LP’S or 2 x CD’s) has lain dormant ever since (although I wouldn’t be surprised if bootlegs have been available).
I had absolutely no idea what to expect, so was delighted when opening track Leaving On Her Mind was a melodiously loose Country Rocker in the style of the Burritos; plenty of pedal-steel (which was still a mythical instrument in Co. Durham at that time) and actual harmonies ….. wow ……. I only came to this type of music in the 80’s so can’t imagine how exciting it must have been here at the birth of a musical genre.
As was their won’t way back when, bands were prone to having eclectic set lists, mixing their own songs with some from their peers and adding in a few oldies just for the Hell of it; and New Riders’ were no different; which gives us an odd but fun version of Hello Mary Lou which is a bit of a doozy actually; and later there’s a neat Americana drenched interpretation of Honky Tonk Women which has aged better than it may have deserved; and the night closes with an 11 minute plus jam based around Willie and the Hand Jive; which I remember being a staple of many local bands to me.
In between Kitty Wells’ She’s No Angel is played absolutely straight as a dye and Long Black Veil is as good a version as I think I’ve ever heard; with John Dawson’s voice being perfect for this desperately maudlin song, and I just love this version of the Humble Pie Classic I Don’t Need No Doctor too.
For me the biggest surprises of the pleasant variety, have come from their own songs; especially Henry and Last Lonely Eagle which are both songs that would have made various playlists and compilations I’ve made over the years; and All I Ever Wanted stands up there with the finest songs from this generation; IMHO.
Baring in mind the band’s ‘history’ another huge surprise for me is how they’ve managed to cram in 22 songs into a set that lasts just over an hour and a half. I own several Live double albums from this period that only have 7 or 8 self-indulgent tracks on them; but here every track is almost perfectly constructed to get as much out of the few minutes allotted to them …… these guys are professionals through and through.
With the benefit of hindsight ‘Groupie’ was ‘of it’s time’, but forgive me as it’s a crackling little Rock Song that I rather like.
There are a whole bunch of songs that I can choose from as my Favourite Song here; Truck Drivin’ Man is a belter that I know I’m going to revisit on some playlist or other next Summer; while Portland Woman and Louisiana Lady show what a sharp and insightful songwriter John Dawson is/was; and the melody’s both have a timeless element to them as well.
But one particular song has outshone the others for me; Contract (by bass player Dave Torbert) who also sings it; is the type of 70’s Country Rock that is now the template for what we now call Alt. Country and sounds as thrilling today as it must have been to those kids nearly half a century ago; therefore I decree that Contract is the RMHQ Favourite Song on this fabulous album.
With so much great music in this style, swilling around these days I don’t know if many young fans will be attracted here; but if like me you’ve not heard New Riders of The Purple Sage ……. this just may be the perfect starting point; if only to hear where all your current favourite bands got their influences from.

Released November 23rd 2019
http://omnivorerecordings.com/shop/thanksgiving-in-nyc/

Kim Richey in Concert Jumpin’ Hot Club, Newcastle.

Kim Richey
Jumpin’ Hot Club
Live Theatre
Newcastle
November 16th 2019

Despite what I often imply, Mrs. Magpie and I agree on a lot more music than we actually disagree on; and top of that list is Ms Kim Richey; so tonight was a highly anticipated gig in our household.
With hindsight, opening act Jimmi Mack was an odd choice, simply because he is a bonafide Olde Schoole Folke Singer. Nothing wrong with that in the right setting of course; but tonight his deeply intense and often personal songs jarred with what the audience had come to hear from the headline act.
On another night, and in another setting Mack’s delicate and fascinating guitar playing on the ‘Allen Ginsberg inspired’ instrumental and his songs Wander and Soon would have been spellbinding; instead of the polite applause afforded them by the Sold Out crowd.
After a 15 minute break Kim Richey was guided through the packed room with guitar in one hand and a Star Wars coffee mug in the other.
With no disrespect intended to Jimmi Mack, the evening took an immediate upwards turn right from the opening bars of Every River, which was greeted with a roar of approval and loud applause as the final guitar flourish left the speakers.
With a back catalogue dating back to 1995 Kim regaled us with a veritable Best Of for the next 90 minutes, and being a natural raconteur interspersed them with the most charming of stories.
We are ‘late to the party’ so songs like Chinese Boxes and Thorn in My Heart were not just new delights but very, very special songs indeed.
Early on the singer said she was happy to sing any requests we had; although ‘she couldn’t guarantee she could remember everything!’ The first was A Place Called Home, with its lovely rolling guitar parts and delicate phrasing; and now I’ve just ordered the album to hear it again.
With Edgeland from 2018 being her most recent release and nothing new to promote, tonight was a refreshing change with the songwriter just singing songs that ‘just took her fancy’ as the night progressed.
While apologising for constantly re-tuning her guitar Ms Richey reminded us that the beautiful, and in this setting ‘stark’ Pin a Rose was a co-write with Chuck Prophet! This was the first of three songs from that album; with her Goddaughter’s favourite Wild Horses sounding even more powerful without the ‘big backing’ of the recorded version and only her power-chords accompanying this outstanding song.
The night flew by and Kim Richey had already been on stage for 90 minutes when I looked at my watch for the first (and only) time!
The concert drew to a close with some more new songs to us; you could hear a pin drop during the heartbreaker The Absence of Your Company and the story behind the title of Angel’s Share added extra pathos to a song that was always destined to have us wiping tears from the eyes.
One of the many reasons I love ‘live music’ is that I’m going to see and hear something that no one else will ever see or hear apart from the others in that very room; and tonight during the finale I’m Alright Kim fumbled on the guitar parts! Goodness knows how many times she’s played this song over the years, but fumble she most certainly did. Laughing off the faux pas, Kim then went ‘off mic’ for the obligatory, “I can’t believe it’s not an encore, encore” and tonight the choice was exemplary; Sunday Morning, Coming Down.
I’ve heard many versions over the years; but in this intimate setting Kim Rung every ounce of emotion possible from Kristofferson’s modern day classic; and when the lights came up the audience; as one rose to their feet in noisy adulation and praise.

https://kimrichey.com/
http://www.jumpinhot.com/