Tag Archives: Americana

CASE HARDIN — Live in Staines

You didn’t see it. You weren’t there. You can only imagine — You shoulda been there, man…

For those people who still support live music in Staines, last night’s show at the RIVERSIDE CLUB was a treat.

The terrific CASE HARDIN were in town — they are signed to Clubhouse Records, named after a character in Boston Teran’s thriller “God Is A Bullet” and onto their fourth album “Colours Simple.”

This was the standout gig of the year.

We had already seen this band [whose main songwriter Pete Gow has been described by Q magazine as “a songwriter like no other”] at the “Down By The Riverside” blue-grass night. Then we were totally immersed in the Vermilion River muddiness, and the sweetly drooled guitar. We thought their songs “convinced and anointed us...”

We have been looking forwards to the return of these Americana & country rock paragons.

Case Hardin - lyrics were filled with potential heartache. Every note shook us with emotion upset... Photo Credit: @neilmach 2016 ©
Case Hardin – lyrics were filled with potential heartache. Every note shook us with emotion upset… Photo Credit: @neilmach 2016 ©

After a rousing start, the band brought us into a private world of feverish imagination — “Fiction Writer” — one of a selection of numbers from the new songbook.

This brushed across the room, soft yet edgy. The lyrics were filled with potential heartache. Every note shook us with emotional upset.

We also enjoyed “First to Know”  — the ever-building song from the “Every Dirty Mirror” album that includes the scrabble word “stanchions.”     The choppy texture of guitar on this number reminded us of Denny Laine.

After discussing the merits of Scottish gin [Isle of Harris is apparently taken with a slice of pineapple on the Outer Hebrides ] we savoured the hoppy upbeat number “The Streets are Where the Cars Are (The Bars are Where the Girls Will Be.)

This has super-efficient keyboard work from Roland and schmaltzy lines of guitar from the talented Jim Maving. This band’s sounds are distinctively dry with a peppery aftertaste and gooseberry hints. Maybe HARDIN CASE are the musical equivalent of a sip of gin on the bitter Western Isles

“Warren Zevon is a great inspiration and influence for us.”
“Warren Zevon is a great inspiration and influence for us.”
After the break the band returned to treat us to a selection of acoustic covers. They ventured “into the crowd” — up-close and personal. It was a moving experience. The first song they played was “Carmelita”.

Warren Zevon is a great inspiration and influence for us.” Said vocalist and frontman Pete Gow. “And if you don’t know who he is — then maybe the last hour has been a complete mystery to you…

This number was brilliantly performed and properly ardent.In fact, it was the most exciting song of the night. Tim Emery played upright bass [“Cor that’s a big one...” shouted one wisecracker) while Roland Kemp, the band keyboardist played timbrel and provided sweet backing vocals.

If you can imagine something like the poetry of Bob Dylan peformed with the heart of Tom Petty and, perhaps, the merest hint of super-dry Johnny Cash with the fruitful finish of Leonard Cohen, then you might get somewhere near to the angled beauty and detailed instrumentation of CASE HARDIN.

But, in reality, these guys are like nothing else …

It’s a shame — you were not there!

Words & Images: Neil Mach 2016 ©
Link:
https://www.facebook.com/casehardinband

 

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THE LAVENS — LIve Down By the Riverside in STAINES

This week, Down By The Riverside in Staines, we were wowed by THE LAVENS family. They had journeyed all the way from San Antonio, Texas to entertain us at one of our regular BlueGrass Sessions.

Rachel Laven + Niko Laven - THE LAVENS Down By The Riverside in Staines. Picture: @neilmach 2016 ©
Rachel Laven + Niko Laven – THE LAVENS Down By The Riverside in Staines. Picture: Neil Mach 2016 ©

Brother Niko Laven, the tall singer/songwriter, accomplished guitarist and smooth vocalist possesses that calm bass-baritone voice you would probably associate with Johnny Cash.

[Check their orginal song ‘Shame On You‘ if you don’t believe us.]

Niko also provides a lot of vocal weight and drama to the LAVENS songs. There is a robust quality there that reminds us of Dan Tyminski.

Sister Rachel Laven is a whole other kettle of fish. Her vocals are cobweb thin and ephemeral at times. Yet, no less exciting and enchanting.

Her style sits part-way between the passionate fullness and delicate emotion of Stevie Nicks and the rootsy kookiness of Valerie June. But she is not a fragile little angel, no way. She has a cocky attitude that transfers itself into mischief with songs such as “Girls Do Too” — a.k.a the “Sh** Shower and Shave” song.

We’re not quite Partridge Family —” Niko admitted, after delivering a blatantly rude lyric (from his Mom’s song, would you believe?) It utilised the concept of travelling “a dirt track” during lovin’  (We’ll leave it at that… shall we?)

Joining this incrediblly talented duo on stage in Staines was Momma LAVEN — Jana. She provided backing vocals. “It makes your heart swell —” She told the Riverside crowd, “For a mother to listen to her own child playing a guitar solo like that … to one of her own songs.

Papa had to fly back to Texas, though. So we missed Andreas and his bass.

The Lavens and The Rosellys in Staines. here with Rachel Laven and Simon Roselly. Image: @neilmach 2016 ©
The Lavens and The Rosellys in Staines. here with Rachel Laven and Simon Roselly. Image: Neil Mach 2016 ©
However, even as a tight trio their songcraft was faultess, the delivery exemplary and the performance magical.

The wonderful English act, THE ROSELLYS presented us with a brilliant warm-up show, before they joined THE LAVENS on stage for a final rousing sing-song.

This band have been an essential part of the UK roots scene for years. With fiddle-play by Simon and intricately weaved vocal and guitar majesty from Rebecca.

This was a quality night of Americana Down By the Riverside.

With stand-out performances by two inspirational acts.

Thanks again to the wonderful STAINES RIVERSIDE CLUB for hosting an evening of such memorable entertainment.

Words & Images Neil Mach 2016 ©

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/BlueGrassStaines/
https://www.facebook.com/BritishAmericana
http://thelavens.com/

 

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ONE FOR THE ROAD — Live in Staines

ONE FOR THE ROAD are a well respected local Americana band (Country Rock and Blues ) who play their own highly original songs alongside fresh covers of songs by artists of the caliber of Tom Petty, Steve Earle, The Traveling Wilburys, Bob Dylan, Old Crow Medicine Show, JJ Cale etc.

We saw them play their live show at the super Staines Music Venue – the Riverside Club, last week.

Keith Beasley vocals - "the right kind of husky/smoky ..."
Keith Beasley vocals – “the right kind of husky/smoky …”

Things were dark and murky with the ace cover of Jace Everett’s Bad Things” ( the theme from the HBO series True Blood) which had plenty of strangely interwoven and eerily evocative violin-play and a lot of early twang. The song was filled with sweaty, humid atmosphere.

Handle with Care” — the Traveling Wilburys song from 1988 — demonstrated the band’s skilled and assured interaction with each other… all the band (for example) have to play the parts originally laid down by Harrison , Lynne, Orbison, Petty, and Dylan. It’s a bit of an ask. To be sure. Yet the lads accomplished it successfully. Keith’s voice was the right kind of husky/smoky on this number (more Dylan than Orbison, though) — but this suited the song well.

Keith told us that the band would be incorporating some Blackberry Smoke into their set. The Southern Rock melodies fitted well in the general atmosphere and the structure of the show. Other favorites included the classic Old Crow Medicine Show & Bob Dylan’s number “Wagon Wheel” (also a Darius Rucker hit in 2013.)

The other ONE FOR THE ROAD moon-shining staple “Copperhead Road” ( Steve Earle ) got folks up-and-dancing in the Riverside Club.

This was a glorious show … it was as if we had turned off of Route 66 and headed along a dusty old track to discover Old Doc’s Little Grill. Where we fortunately found a talented group of guys who love to play together … rocking a bit harder than a jug-band, but keeping
intact the tradition and the craftsmanship.

Superb!

Words & Pictures: @neilmach 2016 ©

ALL LOCAL & SURREY WIDE GIGS HERE: https://www.facebook.com/rockingsurrey