Opening this fine evening of folk and Americana music in this converted church venue was Lauren Housley, showcasing her soulful voice and song writing as featured on her album ‘Girl From The North’. With just acoustic guitar backing her performance had instant appeal for the near sell-out audience.
For this tour The Wandering Hearts have stripped back to the core trio and with two excellent albums already and many new songs due for release soon their set was rich in highlights. Blending their three harmonies for an introductory cover of ‘White Christmas’ and then into the subtle delights of early single ‘Burning Bridges’, the acoustics of this ancient building showed off the gorgeous sounds.
The three performers create a very full sound, with only guitar backing for many of the tracks, sometimes augmented by mandolin and piano. To contrast the gentleness of ‘Dolores’ and ‘Lullaby’ there were plenty of anthemic choruses like ‘Build a Fire’ and main set closer ‘Devil’. With a seasonal finale of Auld Lang Syne blended with the outstanding ‘Wish I Could’ it was a superb show, echoing long in the memory.
A new EP from UK country/Americana singer Lucy Grubb; her first since ‘Dear Walter’ in 2018.
1.Waste My Time. A lovely opening track, it is a mellow slice of hill country with an irrepressible momentum pushed along by intricate drumming, interleaving guitar and sustained and rich keyboard notes. Lucy’s vocal is lighter than air; effortlessly portraying the theme of dissatisfaction in the song ‘…I don’t possess the knowledge to read between your lines….don’t hold my hand….I won’t look back….’, before the instruments are giving a showcase at the end.
2.Other Side. A melodic ballad, full of longing especially in the catchy but thoughtful chorus ‘….what’s the weather like on your side?…’. With the Americana atmosphere and haunting middle-eight it is probably my favourite of the collection.
3.You Don’t Do Anything. The pace picks up again for this energetic romp, Lucy smoothly delivers her well-crafted lyric, always returning to the title line dismissal. Sounds like it would be a great crowd-pleaser in a live show.
4.When It Rains. A wistful finale, with a calm footstep tempo and plenty of wide open space in the musical arrangement. Lucy’s vocal leads strongly, supported by emotive harmonies and extra strings. Like the whole EP, it stays in the mind long after the gentle ending…