Sunday, 9 June 2019

Weekly Blog Post 9th June 2016: From the Black Country to the Big Country

One gig and two album releases dominated the proceedings this week as music was digested from across a vast divide. The west coast of America had a stellar representation in Seattle based rockers Massy Ferguson and LA luminary Sam Morrow, while closer to home local musician Sunjay hit the recording tracks once again with the release of his brand new album. What better way to start the weekly round up than to stoke the local fire a little and introduce a talented musician branching out to all parts of the UK from his Black Country base.

DEVIL CAME CALLING is the title of Sunjay's latest album. This eleven track effort highlights what a versatile interpreter of music he is as the fingers wrap around a series of songs skirting around the deep rooted genre blur of folk 'n' blues. Those who have seen one of his live shows will probably be familiar with the track 'Faith Healer', which acts as co-stand out alongside opening number 'Ghost Train'. Sunjay has revisited his liaison with Stourbridge-based music activist Eddy Morton on production, and when perusing the names of guest players, two jumped out as familiar in banjo player Dan Walsh and Katriona Gilmore on fiddle. Whether covering some obscure blues tunes to hone in on his finger picking skills or choosing a more populist route to make ends meet, Sunjay attracts new fans, while handing out timely reminders to those he has impressed before. The album is available from all your usual points including this link

Massy Ferguson are set for a busy summer over here in the UK. Not only have the band just released their brand new album GREAT DIVIDES, there is also a decent bunch of dates to see them play including appearances at both Maverick and SummerTyne festivals. The record doesn't re-invent the Massy Ferguson wheel, just compounding the triumphant sound cultivated across their previous releases. More details on live dates.

Flying the flag on the gig front this week was another show at St.George's Hall in Bewdley with this month's Severn Sessions event hosting Sam Morrow all the way from Houston Texas via Los Angeles California. This out and out country rocker caught the ear last year with the release of the album CONCRETE AND MUD. The importance of following up an international release with dates cannot be under estimated and this year Sam has been fortunate to pack a decent schedule around a couple of prestigious festival slots in the UK. Bewdley is a hospitable place for touring musicians and the Friday night staging of the monthly Americana shows has led to many great evenings. Not one to miss an opportunity to build on early praise, the Sam Morrow Band (three Americans and the honorary borrowed Brit) rallied around a blistering guitar sound to blast an hour and half set of country rock style anthems laced with an increasing dose of rhythmic southern funk.

Nestled among a rack of original songs (many forming the impressive body of the latest record) a couple of covers were tossed in with 'Lonesome On'ry and Mean' shading 'Sharp Dressed Man' in the appreciation stakes. Both go a long way to pinpointing the musical influences of Sam Morrow. Momentum was a key component to the show's success with the band building to a fitting finale almost lifting the roof off St. George's Hall. Sam Morrow steers clear of music's complexities, but absolutely nails a sound he drives to emulate.

New albums on the way:
Old Man Luedecke - Easy Money UK release date June 14th
Thom Ashworth - Head Canon UK release date June 28th
Alice Howe - Visions UK release date July 15
Carly Dow - Comet  UK release date July 15

Whether listening preferences orginate from your backyard or thousands of miles away, good music knows no borders.

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