‘Tennessee and The 48th’ is the second album from London- based Americana/Folk Rock singer songwriter Dave Giles. Crowd funded, this impressive record was recorded in Nashville early in 2018 on the back of shows throughout the UK, Europe and Australia, building up a solid fan base along the way. Although he is clearly inspired by Jason Isbell and Zac Brown, Giles does exhibit a clear identity of his own and, refreshingly, sings in his own South-East of-England accent.
The album kicks off with ‘Child Again,’ where the Isbell influence is apparent. A very strong vocal melody here – in fact this is common throughout this record. Some lilting fiddle and atmospheric organ provides a strong platform for Giles to reflect effortlessly – “cause when you see me…I am a child again.” Lively, soaring guitar solo here and great production reminiscent of ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’ era Lucinda Williams – charming track.
A contagious bass line kicks off ‘Shoebox,’ which tells us about a box full of memories with some tasteful reflections – “I wish that I could lose all the thoughts that lead to you.” ‘Whiskey and Daffodils‘ is an optimistic look at the future – “I wonder if one day the bank will be kind…give us a chance to buy a piece of your mind.” A cultured blend of English folk fused with Americana here not dissimilar to Passenger/Damien Rice. An uplifting song which, once again, finds fiddle and guitar elevating a strong song.
There is a more Celtic, Mumford & Sons feel in ‘Devil in a Green Dress,’ which is a great story of a temptress. “She was The Apple in my Eden now I’m in Heaven…. she never grilled me for money just my milk and honey.” Great fun and sparkling musicianship once again. A strong riff introduces ‘Just Another No-one’ with Giles expressing his complete determination – “Just another no one in Nashville, gotta put my heart on my sleeve.” Some clear homage is paid to his heroes here too – “Joni gave me a river and Boom…Billy gave me the desire to start fires.”
‘Who I Wanna Be’ is a one of the darker moments of this generally uplifting record, which pulls you in with a strong organ lead opening – “…I finally know who I am.” The dark mood is extended with “Taken Too Soon” which will resonate with many: “From the first ring I knew something weren’t right…. what scares me – I might forget your voice.” Tasteful and emotional.
An enjoyable and a distinctive Trans-Atlantic Sound: Dave Giles is maturing into a credible and exciting artist doing things on his own terms. Good luck to him. It’s well worth a listen.