It’s a new song from Scarborough’s Phil Hooley, which means you’re guaranteed a gorgeously characterful vocal performance. As ever, his weary and warm tones are captivating and draw your attention to his reflective words. ‘Some Say’ is a deeply personal piece of work from Hooley as it was written as a tribute to a good friend that he performed with many times over the years. This talented companion made music fun and, without his influence, it’s unlikely that Hooley would still be writing and playing today. Sadly, Hooley’s friend lost his battle with alcohol addiction but the fond memories of their time together remain and are the inspiration behind this song.
Hooley explains: “There was, and still seems to be, a tendency for people to make judgements about others suffering with addictions, without really knowing the facts, rather than recognising addiction as an illness. It was a very sad time for his friends and family. With the video I tried to create the impression, using stills, of someone looking back fondly, through a photograph album, at better times.” Indeed, the muted colours and simple selection of photographs result in an intimate video that feels authentic, all about the act of remembering a friend. Hooley sings of, “That sweet old guitar playing,” and that’s exactly what’s delivered here. The instrumentation is rich, melodious and timeless. He is ably supported by Dave Sims on bass, Scott Poley’s lovely guitar-playing and Justin Johnson’s backing vocals filling out the sound.
‘Some Say’ is the first single to be taken from Hooley’s forthcoming new album ‘Provenance’, which is due for release on 14th April 2023. This is Hooley’s first album since the well-received ‘Songs From the Back Room’, a brilliant blend of American country and North Yorkshire folk that received an 8/10 review on AUK – check it out here. The new record is once again produced by Justin Johnson, who is from Nashville, and it was mastered by Jim Demain at Nashville’s Yes Master Studios. If you’re looking for quality songcraft, world-weary vocals and a timeless-feeling blend of folk and country, then this is for you.
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