REVIEW – Joey Clarkson + Two Ways Home – One More For The Road

Joey Clarkson & Two Ways Home - One More For The Road

Joey Clarkson and folk/rock duo Two Ways Home have announced the launch of their new single One More For The Road.  In Clarkson’s second major collaboration of the year, she joins forces not only with her husband but with Anglo-Austrian duo Two Ways Home to produce a pandemic-inspired anthem. With a focus on good times ahead, this lockdown-penned track stands apart from its class with its optimism.

 

One More For The Road has so much to shout about.  Two Ways Home’s signature luscious harmonies sit front and centre and draw you in. The harmonies are underpinned by a rich, 90s rock-infused guitar that drives this melody – and drives it hard.  All the while, Clarkson’s angelic vocal lifts the melody and raises it from bop to anthem, and I for one cannot wait to roll down the windows and blast this as loud as the stereo will go.

 

ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD will be available to download and stream from 9th October 2020. You can pre-save it here. Follow Joey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube. Follow Two Ways Home on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube.

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REVIEW – Bob Fitzgerald & Charlotte Young – Taking My Heart Away

Bob Fitzgerald and Charlotte Young are two of the most exciting new artists of 2020 – and they’ve teamed up to bring us an upbeat, country-rock duet.  Taking My Heart Away is their way of saying THANK YOU to their fans for their support during what has been a whirlwind of a debut year.

 

Penned by Fitzgerald and produced in his infamous shed, Taking My Heart Away is a guitar-driven, feel-good anthem. It tells the story of a couple separated but hell-bent on returning to one another.  The desire and desperation of the story translates to the frenetic pace of the music.  Both Fitzgerald and Young have distinctive, powerhouse vocals but neither is overpowered here – in fact, their voices complement one another beautifully.

 

 

Charlotte and Bob – both of whom had debut releases during the lockdown period earlier this year – are offering Taking My Heart Away free of charge to thank fans for their support.  As such, it won’t be purchasable but will be available on all major streaming platforms from 2nd October 2020 and can be pre-saved here.

 

Follow Charlotte on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Follow Bob on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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REVIEW – Patrick Jordan – Holding Out For Yesterday

Patrick Jordan - Holding Out For Yesterday

UK-based artist Patrick Jordan is proving himself to be a jack of all trades. Following a successful career as a producer for a number of artists (including Chloe Chadwick), he has turned his hand to a solo career of his own. He’s seen even more success here, having released his music to critical acclaim and gained support from BBC radio and Spotify Editorial playlists.  Holding On For Yesterday is the lead single from his forthcoming second album and is due for release on 16th October.

 

Jordan has a phenomenal voice. It’s rich, raw and gravelly – it’s the kind of voice that makes you drop everything and listen. Holding Out For Yesterday has a great, 70s rock n roll inspired vibe with heavily guitar-driven melodies. The Bob Dylan-esque harmonica is a nice touch and adds a little vulnerability to the song. This is upbeat country-rock at its finest.

 

 

HOLDING OUT FOR YESTERDAY is out on 16th October and is available for pre-save here. Follow Patrick on Facebook and Instagram. Follow on Spotify to be the first to hear new music.

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REVIEW – Halle Kearns – I Drink Whiskey

Halle Kearns - I Drink Whiskey

 

I Drink Whiskey is the surprise follow-up to Halle Kearns’ hugely anticipated debut Pick Me Up released earlier this summer. It’s another slickly-produced country-pop bop showcasing Halle’s smart lyrics and mature vocal delivery. It’s full of layered guitars with a classic country-pop sound. This is a different side to Halle. In Pick Me Up, she was ready and waiting for – you guessed it – a pick me up. This time, though, she’s singing you know I love you but you drive me crazy.  It’s softer, a little deeper, a little more earnest and emotional.  As an independent artist, this sophomore single cements Halle’s position as one of the best. She’s got it all.

 

I DRINK WHISKEY is available now. Follow Halle on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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REVIEW – Diamonds and Whiskey – Wasted On Your Love (Live)

Diamonds and Whiskey - Wasted On Your Love (Live)

Following an award-winning year in 2019, Diamonds and Whiskey are back with Wasted On Your Love recorded live at The Playroom in Charlotte, North Carolina. The song is the second track on their debut album released last November.

 

This live rendition is absolutely beautiful.  Featuring an emotive vocal performance, subtle harmonies, a simple electric guitar and some light percussion, this is one of the most heart-wrenching singles of the year.  This release treats us to a whole new facet of this hell-raising band, who usually tear up the stage with their bluesy country-rock. It’s a tale of heartache and leaving love behind, and it really does tug on the heartstrings.  Hell-raiser? This time, it’s heart-breaker.

 

 

WASTED ON YOUR LOVE is available now to stream and download. Follow Diamonds and Whiskey on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or visit their website.

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REVIEW – Stevie Daniels – Down By The River

 

Stevie Daniels - Down By The River

UK-based Stevie Daniels is set to release his highly-anticipated debut single on Friday 25th September 2020. Down By The River is a song born from thoughts of rivers, flooding and the destruction of riverbanks, which soon became a metaphor for alcohol abuse.

 

Although this is his debut, Daniels is certainly no stranger to the scene. Earlier this year he was a finalist for best original song at the SW20 Country Music Festival.  He recently organised the ‘Saloony Tune’ Festival alongside Jamie Mongardi.

 

This song has great pace – it’s absolutely perfect for a driving playlist. It boasts a lovely traditional country vibe in terms of the musicianship, but the lack of clarity in the vocal production suffers lets the song down. Still, there’s tremendous potential here for Stevie, who is wildly talented – I’d love to see more boundaries pushed in the next record.

 

 

 

DOWN BY THE RIVER is available for pre-save here and is set for release on 25th September 2020. Follow Stevie on Facebook & Twitter.

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REVIEW – Donna Marie Songs – This World

Donna Marie - This World

 

Following her previous single Get Wild, Donna Marie brings This World to the table. This World is different from the typical country music subject matter, says Donna. The lyrics highlight many of the problems created by humanity. The song was recorded during lockdown and showcases Donna not only as a fantastic singer-songwriter but as a talented multi-instrumentalist and producer.

 

This World is heavily guitar-driven, and Donna’s mature, earnest vocal delivery tugs at the heartstrings. It’s not as simple as a criticism of the way we’ve treated our planet. It’s a desperate plea to do better and to make amends. It could be an allegory for a fractured relationship or broken friendship – that’s the power and relatability of Donna’s writing. This song could be easily interpreted to suit almost anything you want it to.

As a member of THE SONGS AND STORIES COLLECTIVE alongside Tennessee Twin and Sarah Yeo, Donna released a cover of Humble and Kind during lockdown.  Get Wild was chosen as record of the week by Country Radio UK and Nashville Sessions on Jorvik Radio.  It also featured on our Girls’ Night playlist.

THIS WORLD is set for release on 25th September 2020. Pre-save it here. You can stream Donna’s music, visit her website or follow her on FacebookInstagram & Twitter.

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REVIEW – Raymond Hayden ft Jessica Lynne Witty – Surrender

Raymond Hayden ft Jessica Lynne Witty - Surrender

 

Not long after It Made Me Me, Jessica Lynne Witty is back – this time as a featured vocalist on Surrender by Raymond Hayden. Written during and about the current pandemic experience, Surrender is a message to simply give in to the madness and understand that it will not last forever.

 

Surrender opens with swelling strings and a beautiful, delicate piano track. Both the strings and the keys carry through the song, joined by 80s-inspired electric guitars and percussion. It has all the makings of a classic power ballad, but it’s more upbeat and hopeful in its message. Witty’s vocals are as powerful and perfect as ever – I remain convinced there is nothing this woman couldn’t sing. And this is a perfect feel-good sing-along song.

 

SURRENDER is available to stream and download now. Follow Jessica Lynne Witty on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or visit her website for more music and merch.

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REVIEW – Tommy Atkins – Kiss Me, Cowboy EP

Tommy Atkins - Kiss Me, Cowboy

 

Following three consecutive chart-toppers, British country music star Tommy Atkins is gearing up for the release of his first EP: Kiss Me, Cowboy.

 

2020 has been a breakout year. From award wins (Male Artist of the Year, CMS Listener’s Choice) and nominations (Positive Role Model Award – LGBT, National Diversity Awards 2020; Best Song, Silverball Country Awards) to making history at country radio with a hit that features openly gay lyrics, Atkins is now representing the U.K. and the LGBTQ+ community in country music on an international level.

 

“I am so proud of these songs and the world-class musicians that have brought them to life in the studio,” Atkins explained. “I hope everyone can find something of themselves in these stories of life and love and the loss of both.”

 

This is an absolutely beautiful collection of songs.  Atkins holds writing credits on three, and two of those are solo writes. Three are previously released singles, including the debut hit Wild In The Wind and a critically acclaimed cover of Wham!’s Freedom.

 

  • The title track opens the EP. It’s a hard hitter, navigating young love and homophobia against a backdrop of a steel guitar ballad.
  • An unexpected cover of Freedom comes next. I’ll admit, when I first heard that Atkins had recorded a country cover of a Wham! song, I was sceptical – but when you hear it, you’ll get it.  It was a highlight on our covers 2.0 playlist and it’s something I just can’t get enough of. Despite not writing it himself, Tommy Atkins has completely rewritten the song.
  • We get our dancing shoes on with Cinderella’s Had A Drink.  This is unabashed fun – it’s traditional country with masterful instrumentation and a delightfully British twist in the lyrics.
  • Wild In The Wind closes the EP.  It’s an emotional track; it mourns the loss of a friend whilst simultaneously celebrating their impact on your life.

 

This EP provides a cohesive soundscape with openly-gay themes, emotional stories and whole lot of heart.  The tracks were recorded in Nashville by producer Dr Ford and mastered by GRAMMY-nominated engineer, Pete Lyman, for Infrasonic Sound (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile). The EP features 2020 GRAMMY winner, Michael Cleveland, on fiddle; legendary steel and dobro player, Smith Curry (Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift), Chris Condon on guitars (Billy Ray Cyrus) and Anna Pearson on harmonies.

 

Kiss Me, Cowboy – The EP arrives Thursday 24th September on all major platforms. You can listen to Tommy’s musicvisit his website, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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REVIEW – Screaming Orphans – Every Woman Gardens

Screaming Orphans - Every Woman Gardens

Every Woman Gardens is the lead single from Sunshine and Moss, the latest album from Screaming Orphans.  The genre-breaking, chart-topping band is comprised of Irish sisters, and the album once again shows off their unique, multi-faceted sound, heavily inspired by traditional Irish folk music.

 

This is not at all what I expected. Every Woman Gardens opens with a gentle, uplifting acoustic guitar. It’s followed by soothing vocals, and then the harmonies kick in. It’s enough to make you swoon. The harmonies are rich and layered, perfectly placed and the plucked strings in the background of the track give the song a delicious air of whimsy. This is a celebration of women in the most unique, delicate way.

 

The sisters recorded Sunshine And Moss in their childhood home in Bundoran, County Donegal, Ireland, during lockdown.  It was engineered, mixed and mastered by PJ Cardinal at his home in New York. Sunshine represents the positive things that can come out of dark (Moss) times. The album is described as a ‘real home project’ and it includes songs they grew up listening to, such as My Grandfather’s Clock, Eileen Oge, and Mary From Dungloe.

 

SUNSHINE AND MOSS was released on 28th August 2020. You can stream it here. You can follow Screaming Orphans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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