Against all the usual odds – lovers leaving, dogs dying, bars closing, cheaters cheating – this has actually been a very good week to be a fan of country music, especially if you buy records, go to shows and live in the UK.
Last Monday, saw the release of The Return of The Rockingbirds, a brand new record by one of the greatest country rock groups of all time. If you know this group at all you know how special their 1992 debut album is and I’m going to say that the songs on this one are just as good as the songs on that one. That took some saying and if I’m not being entirely truthful then I’m coming pretty damn close. They go on tour later this month and you should be able to find the dates and buy the record by clicking here.
Also last Monday saw the release of Caitlin Rose’s new record, her second, The Stand-In. We have confessed and professed our love for Caitlin before – her songs, her gorgeous, gorgeous voice, her storytelling, her smoking and the boys in the band – and this new record is good. A bit ‘bigger’sounding than her first (Own Side Now), occasionally more ‘powerpop’ even (the riff and vocal harmonies of ‘No One To Call’, and ‘Only A Clown’, a song co-written with Gary Louris of The Jayhawks and putting me in mind of that band’s best – and brilliant – record Sound of Lies). I went and saw Caitlin and the band at Dingwalls in London on Wednesday night and it was great. A highlight for me was this cover of the Felice Brothers song Dallas. They go home on Monday, after a show in Brixton tomorrow, but if you promise to keep a secret I’ll tell you to come see them on the Estuary stage at Festival No 6 on 14 September.
As well as the pleasure of seeing Caitlin Rose on Wednesday I had the unexpected treat of seeing and listening to a young man from Texas (I think) by the name of Andrew Combs. That’s him singing his song at the top of this post. He opened the show with a set of his own, of which annoyingly I only caught the last two numbers, and then he played guitar in Caitlin’s band. He’s good, really good and a cool motherfucker to boot. He looked a bit like Townes and a lot like a player in a Robert Altman movie. he’ll be opening for Caitlin at the Windmill in Brixton tomorrow night and he has a record up on Spotify called Worried Man. Worth a listen.
Oh, and one more thing to note if you live in the UK, rejoice, Lucinda’s coming.