Live Review: Gretchen Peters & Kim Richey @ Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

Not long into her performance Gretchen Peters announced ‘If you don’t like sad songs then you’re in the wrong place,’ much to the amusement of the crowd, who all knew exactly what they were getting themselves into when they took their seats. Before the show people were even cheerily buying notebooks and t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan ‘sad songs make me happy’, which were for sale at the merchandise stand. Embracing the joy of melancholy is something Scottish people are famous for, after all.  Continue reading “Live Review: Gretchen Peters & Kim Richey @ Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh”

Album Review: Carter Sampson – Lucky

The whimsical portrait on the cover of this new album from Carter Sampson appears to show a woman comfortable with the world. Sure, she holds a horseshoe for luck but she’s not wishing for endless riches or anything outrageous like that. Her smile suggests she’s counting her blessings and appreciating the life she has right now. The music on ‘Lucky’ reflects this peaceful contentedness, with its warm and inviting country sound. Continue reading “Album Review: Carter Sampson – Lucky”

Album Review: Kim Richey – Edgeland

On Kim Richey’s first album for nearly five years she has worked with a variety of different musicians including Chuck Prophet, Mando Saenz and Jenny Queen. The title might suggest she’s trying something new but Edgeland seems to be more a reflection of where she is in life: traveling on the margins, a place where you can watch the world go by and contemplate life from a distance. The excellent songwriting on this album proves ‘Edgeland’ is a place to spend some quality time in. Continue reading “Album Review: Kim Richey – Edgeland”

Album Review: Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Years

So I was trying to write a punchy little introduction to this review that explained how Sarah Shook & The Disarmers’ new album Years is full of personality and brutal truths in the best outlaw country tradition, but then I realised that I had to start with one simple point: you need to buy this right away. Scroll to the end of this page and click the link. Go on now. Part with your cash and fund this band’s future because it’s a tough life out there for working class musicians and they need our support more than ever. If you’ve already got it then that’s awesome, well done. So with that sorted let me explain why this is one of my favourite albums of the year so far. Continue reading “Album Review: Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Years”

Album Review: Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain

In his famous commencement speech to Syracuse University writer George Saunders said, ‘As a goal in life you could do worse than: try to be kinder.’ Of course, he explained, kindness can be hard. We are inherently selfish beings. But if you fail to be kind to others your life will be filled with regret. Such truths form the central theme to the new record ‘May Your Kindness Remain’ by Courtney Marie Andrews. Drawing on gospel and soul influences these beautiful songs could lift the hate from even the coldest heart. Continue reading “Album Review: Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain”

E.P. Review: Savannah Conley – Twenty-Twenty

Americana super producer Dave Cobb agreed to work with 21 year old Savannah Conley after only hearing her play a third of a song. Cobb believed immediately in her talent and potential, saying, “She really reminds me of a southern Mazzy Star and I was blown away with her lyrics.” No pressure, then. This Cobb produced EP is only three songs long but has enough quality to suggest that Conley can live up to the high expectations. Continue reading “E.P. Review: Savannah Conley – Twenty-Twenty”

Album Review: Brandi Carlile – By The Way, I Forgive You

When I reviewed the project Cover Stories last year I was completely unfamiliar with Brandi Carlile’s music, so it was kind of strange that my first experience of her songs was hearing other people sing them. When her new album was announced I was immediately intrigued, especially as she was working with Dave Cobb, who has produced some of my favourite albums of the last few years and the legendary Shooter Jennings. While I admired the initial single The Joke I wasn’t immediately sold on her more orchestral based sound, so I held off listening to this album for a while. Well that was a stupid idea since By The Way I Forgive You is one of the best releases of the year so far. Continue reading “Album Review: Brandi Carlile – By The Way, I Forgive You”

Live Review: Country to Country Festival, Glasgow, Friday 9th March 2018

You could tell this was going to be a good day because it was unusually sunny in Glasgow, with thankfully no sign of the snowmaggedon conditions that had caused shows to be cancelled at the same venue last week. I was at the Hydro to attend Country 2 Country festival, which brings the best of Nashville to the UK for three days every March. The Friday evening show featured performances from Lukas Nelson, Ashley Campbell, Midland, Margo Price, Emmylou Harris and Little Big Town. Continue reading “Live Review: Country to Country Festival, Glasgow, Friday 9th March 2018”

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