Megan & The Common Threads – “Stories To Tell” (Independent, 2016)

This six track EP shows that Britain can do contemporary country just as well if not better than America.  From Nashville, but now living in London, Megan O’Neill and her five piece band (who co-write the songs with her) have a polished country sound that, while it has poppy overtones has just enough grit to keep it interesting and stop it sliding into that formulaic Nashville sound.  Yes there are big choruses, yes there are hooks galore, yes there are big ballads and yes there’s a rocky number or two but the band make them their own.  They play with style and panache, with Mairead Furlong’s fiddle being particularly notable, and O’Neill’s crystal and emotive vocals carry everything along perfectly.

Opener London City Ghosts whips along at a fine pace, Blessing Or A Curse, with its layered vocals and big chorus, has all the makings of a radio hit and anthemic closer Awake Into The Light could also easily trouble the charts.  There’s nothing earthshattering here but as contemporary country goes you could do a whole lot worse.  A welcome addition to the UK country/Americana ranks.

Author: Jeremy Searle

Deputy Editor & Videos Editor at Americana UK, promoter at Greenbird Promotions, writer for R2 and Maverick magazines, possessor of more CDs than is entirely decent and inveterate hoarder.

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