Interview: Monroeville

It’s a bit disconcerting for someone from this side of The Pond, to drive through The Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina, and all of the natural beauty that entails, to arrive in ‘downtown Gatlinburg’, which makes Skegness (insert UK seaside resort name here) seem restrained. That was where we found ourselves in mid-May. The shock to the system was tempered somewhat by a chance encounter with the band, Monroeville who were playing a free gig outside a local Moonshine emporium. As you do. I have to say that I thought they were fantastic, and afterwards had the briefest of chats with Matt Munsey from the Band. Continue reading “Interview: Monroeville”

Jeffrey Halford and The Healers “West Towards South” (Floating Records, 2019)

This is the ninth album from Jeffrey Halford and the Healers. Halford was originally from Texas, but moved at an early age to California. He has been described as a soulful, blues-influenced storyteller, and does this album have stories. You’ll have to make up your own mind as to whether it is a series of stories – ten to be precise – in one album, or one story, in ten parts taking in archetypal ‘wild west’ scenarios such as gambling in  ‘A Town called Slow’, and the Goldrush on ‘The Ballad of Ambrose and Cyrus’. Continue reading “Jeffrey Halford and The Healers “West Towards South” (Floating Records, 2019)”

Only Child “Emotional Geography” (Independent, 2019)

You don’t need to be Sherlock to deduce that Only Child are a Liverpool band, as the opening track is ‘Scouse’ on their latest offering ‘Emotional Geography.’  This track gives a potted history of, and a personal look at, the hometown of writer Alan O’Hare. In fact, if you could hallmark an album as you would silver and gold then ‘Emotional Geography’ would have the Liver Bird stamped on the front, and running through it like a stick of rock, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphors. Continue reading “Only Child “Emotional Geography” (Independent, 2019)”

The Strange “Echo Chamber” (Glitterhouse, 2019)

This album is described as “the long-awaited follow up to The Strange’s first album ‘Nights of Forgotten Films’ from 2004. Yes 2004. The band appears intent on outdoing ‘The Blue Nile’ and can only applaud the latter’s prodigious output of four albums since 1983, although nothing since 2004’s “High”. Obviously. However that said, this latest offering is a fantastic album. Continue reading “The Strange “Echo Chamber” (Glitterhouse, 2019)”

Amber Cross “Savage on the Downhill” (Independent, 2019)

Certain albums, need to be heard at a particular time of day. You wouldn’t listen to ‘Never mind the Bollocks’ at breakfast, nor ‘No Sleep Till Hammersmith’ with tea and toast. Likewise, this album needs to be heard, and sounds best, late in the evening reflecting on the day, with a glass of something to contemplate. It is a relaxed sound. The vocals are strong and have a style of their own. Not First Aid Kit’s harmonies and not Iris Dement but a blend of the two (or three). Continue reading “Amber Cross “Savage on the Downhill” (Independent, 2019)”