Luke Combs’ Midas touch has propelled him to the top of the charts. What You See Is What You Get will shortly take its place on top of the pile. This domination is down to his voice. It draws you in and wraps its arms around you: it’s a weapon of mass seduction.
It’s lucky he has this voice, as the rest of his persona is hardly formulaic for the charts. He’s burly with a scruffy beard. When you ply your trade in the pretty boy world of Nashville Country then this might be seen as a handicap. Maybe having the perfect face for radio matters more?
This is a consistent listen and easy on the ear. However, due to the similarity throughout there are few standout tracks. It seemed to be a very comforting ‘white noise’ of what I think Country Pop at its best should sound like. The backing throughout is of a rock band with those overloud/over produced ‘slappy’ drum sounds. I think a Country album should have more fiddle, lap steel guitar and banjo: any appearance here is fleeting. His latest chart single “Even Though I’m Leaving” does have mandolin; it stands out as a different more complex and interesting composition.
I’m not sure who books the artists to play Selby Town Hall but they deserve a Knighthood. I live near a small, busy and slightly neglected former mining town in the North of England. Miraculously, a procession of exotic Americana heroes whose music you’ve loved for some time, keep turning up to play a small but beautiful 19th Century theatre (that’s always sold out). Amazing.
The latest treat is California’s roots purveyors The Dustbowl Revival. On night 28 of a 29 gig tour of Germany, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Spain and the UK they alighted at Selby. This seven piece hit the stage promising some “California sunshine”. We needed it: 20 miles south over 3 inches of rain had fallen in the previous 24 hours; flooding was happening.
To forget our ‘biblical’ rain the band played a selection of songs from their 2017 eponymous album, classic covers and a couple of tracks off the upcoming January 2020 album. Vocal duties were shared between the main man and acoustic guitar player Z. Lupetin and Liz Beebe. Both led the band well and were superbly backed by trumpet and trombone. Both gave the music a selection of feels from Tex-Mex, Dixieland to Muscle Shoals and always good time and energetic. The rhythm section of drums or bass laid down a funky groove and Connor Vance could extracted great sounds on electric guitar or violin even when strummed!
“Honey I Love You” a soulful pop tune kicked off the show. Beebe and Lupetin shared the vocal over the horns. As the song came toward an end Matt Rubin cut loose with a jazz solo. More blue-eyed soul followed with “Debtors Prison”. This was a laid back song. As enjoyable as this was the band suddenly changed gear and a raucous cover of The Band followed with “Don’t Do It”. This was more like it! The brilliant chorus with the troupe animated indicated that they had warmed up and we were off…
Through the remaining 10 songs the trombone growled, the trumpet soared, the violin switched between bluegrass to Flamenco and they really started to cook. Sadly the audience didn’t! I’ve been at the venue before whilst other acts have been dismantled by the lack of audience engagement but Lupetin wasn’t daunted: he had Plan B. He couldn’t get them dancing in the aisles but “Good Egg” with a rousing ‘woo hoo’ chorus with arms punching in the air, whilst sat, was accepted by the audience as a compromise. “Sonic Boom” from the future album was a highlight and Supertramp’s “Breakfast In America” was one of those ‘wtf’ moments. This funk soul and acoustic version enabled the band to take solos before coming back to the tune. A surprising delight.
Sadly it was quickly over and they launched into the third cover of the night – The Band’s “The Weight”. An encore saw the band return and do a sedentary gentle acoustic song with the audience joining them on the chorus. I think they’ll be glad to be heading home but they’ve made a lot of friends in Europe and I’ll be in the queue for the new album.
I haven’t written anything about Moores for a while and I suppose I’m looking for new stories but as always there’s a lot of interaction with many of the people I worked with and I have jotted a few notes for your information
The former directors got together in a Thorp Arch pub for some lunch in late October. Richard Bown, Peter Thorndyke and David Cook made up the party. I’m glad to report all are in good health. PET seems to spend a lot of time abroad holidaying. However a recent trip to Japan coincided with the typhoon that took so many lives. Peter and his wife were fine but left the country early. Richard is busy sorting out years of accumulated possessions in his house and taking photos. He took over 3,000 images at the recent UCI World Cycling Championships. I think it helps to have a house on the route for a couple of the events. David is still playing off an impressive golf handicap. Along the lines of the country we were split on Brexit but we didn’t subsequently resort to social media to vent our respective frustration. I shan’t forget the lunch quickly – I got a speeding ticket at 36 mph in Thorp Arch when I left!
On a cycle ride I was ambling through Selby and recognised a personalised number plate of Janet Lumb’s Citroën. After some frantic waving she came to a halt and we chatted for 20 minutes. She’s well and still holidaying with Rose (Wages). Who can blame anyone for grabbing some winter sun off the coast of Africa. She’s developed a penchant for line dancing: a great way to keep fit!
Joe Cannon (Sales Administration & Installation) looked well and had no ill affects after cycling the LEJOG in the summer with one of his three sons. The acronym stands for Lands End, Cornwall to John O’Groats, Scotland. It’s an epic ride of over 1,000 miles. I envied his ride but British weather can be awful and it is a lottery whether such a long ride is pleasant. He’s now working for Home Decor, a kitchen company out of Sheffield. This appears to be a respite for several ex Moores employees such as Richard Garstang, Neil Martin and Lloyd Jackson. (The photo below is about 13 feet’s worth of Cannons)
This award-winning Canadian 3 piece have released 10 absorbing, self-penned songs of electric roots music. The album has Country sensibilities coupled with intense and mesmerising Celtic folk. The musicianship is to the fore with fiddle, banjo and guitars featured over drums, keys and bass. The contemporary feel is achieved by less traditional instruments such as synthesisers or a drum machine. These beats and rhythm elevate the album from ordinary to memorable.
Tim Chaisson handles the vocals and when backed by Koady Chaisson’s banjo it reminds you of early Keith Urban recordings. It’s a pleasing and emotional tenor voice that can hold a tune and when the three part harmonies arrive at the chorus they’re a wonderful complement to the melody.
Whilst my first wife was watching Strictly Come Dancing on the TV she glanced up at the living room ceiling, as you do. She saw a large wet patch. Consequently I was despatched to the room above it, a bathroom. There was no sign of any leak. A couple of days later a plumber appeared to ferret about in obvious areas to find this fissure. A lack of success gave rise to stroking of his chin and a considerable intake of air as it whistled between his front teeth: the floor had to come up or we had to access the pipes by going up through the ceiling below.