Please note, this event has been cancelled.
A welcome return to Birmingham and the library for Hannah in duo format with Gustav Sjodin. Hannah has also toured extensively with Lachlan Bryan in the USA & Australia, so if we're lucky there should some collaborations on the night (hopefully on 'Burning Down Birmingham').
Hannah is steeped in the music of both Nashville and Muscle Shoals, the two cities she was raised in by her father Walt, a Muscle Shoals legend as a songwriter, musician and producer. Her music is a sonic treat, with elements of country, pop, blues, Americana and a rock ‘n’ roll swagger.
In 2013 she released her debut album 'Razor Wire', packed with biographical and auto biographical songs and Jason Isbell’s band the 400 Unit played on a large part of it. The follow up album ‘Gold Rush’ was released to universal critical acclaim in 2017, followed by 'Live in Black and White' in 2019.
'Southern Rock,' is how the daughter of Muscle Shoals' royalty describes the ghostly, unflinching, sometimes gritty tales that separate her song collection from the mainstream.
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LACHLAN BRYAN AND THE WILDES
Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes have built their reputation on storytelling. Over the past eight years they have released four records, toured Europe and the USA multiple times, shared stages with Americana and country heavyweights and picked up a string of awards, including the Golden Guitar for ‘alt country album of the year’ with their landmark release Black Coffee.
But they’ve never told stories like the ones on new record ‘Some Girls (Quite) Like Country Music’. By far the band’s most ‘adult’ work, ‘Some Girls’ is a country record, but draws as heavily upon the influence of Leonard Cohen and Billy Bragg as it does Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt.
Lachlan, at the piano for much of the album, noticed the shift in his own approach as well as that of his collaborators. “We’re all feeling the weight of being grown-ups now”, he explains, “and it feels natural to write about grown-up things. The subject matter changed, and it happened without us even noticing it at first”.
Opener I hope that I’m Wrong sets the tone for the record, a pre-apocalyptic folk-song reflecting on mankind’s selfishness and irresponsibility, set against a sparse accompaniment of thumbed acoustic-guitar , bass and a distant, atmospheric telecaster.
Track two, A Portrait of the Artist as a Middle Aged Man, is a scathing attack on an older guy chasing a younger girl which Lachlan describes as “inspired by a few people, none of whom set out to do anything wrong, but all of whom spiralled”. Sadly it’s an all-too-common story.
“I tried to write that song without judgement”, Lachlan explains, “but it was hard. This guy, this character, he’s floundering. He’s stepped off the edge of civilisation – he’s running round with someone half his age and he’s starting to realise that everything about it is wrong. But by this point he’s gone too far, he can’t dig himself out now”.
Track five, Sweet Bird of Youth, takes a gentler tack and seems far more autobiographical. It also sounds like it belongs in a late night piano bar. “I started that song when we were making our first record, and I’ve rewritten it four times over the last eight years. I think it makes more sense now than it did when I was in my twenties – so I’m glad I took my time”.
Peace in the Valley, track 9, is perhaps the heaviest of all in terms of content, telling the story of a teenage girl gone missing, from the perspective of her absent father. Lachlan and band have always been good at sounding older than they are, and the slow country waltz of this song helps us to really get inside the head of a flawed family man.
First single The Basics of Love represents a lighter moment on the record – a sweet duet with ARIA Winner Shanley Del. It follows the story of a man and a woman who’ve been around the block a few times, in the tradition of Tom Waits’ I Never Talk to Strangers.
Other lighter moments include Stolen Again, a cheeky, dobro-driven tale of a much-loved promiscuous girl and the fiddle led, rockabilly-infused It Tears Me Up (Every Time You Turn Me Down). Careless Hearts, track three, is an uplifting celebration of the kind of ragged love and friendship that the band seems to specialise in, and is one of four songs to feature the stellar backing vocal contributions of young singer-songwriter Imogen Clark (including ‘In New York’, co-written by Clark’s partner and Wildes founding member/bass player Shaun Ryan).
Imogen is one of few outside the band to get a look in on ‘Some Girls’, which was produced with the lightest of touch by newest Wilde Damian Cafarella at EoR Studios in Melbourne. John Beddgood of The Wilson Pickers also shows up, playing fiddle on a handful of tracks, whilst James Gillard also contributes a little upright bass and a backing vocal on The Basics of Love.
“We really enjoyed leaving the dirt on” says Lachlan, “we didn’t want to round off the edges too much and we always chose the most meaningful take, which is almost never the most musically perfect”.
But it seems Lachlan and The Wildes have achieved a different sort of musical perfection – the kind that puts the listener in an emotional space from the first to the last bar. ‘Some Girls (Quite) Like Country Music’ is a ragged, poetic, alt-country gem.
Opening the night will be guitarist for The Wyles, Riley Catherall.
2018 has brought the first release from Melbourne Musician Riley Catherall - a brutally self reflective shuffling song 'Watered Down Man', which achieved national and international attention. It is the first release under the newfound trajectory into the world of Americana and Country music for the 23 year old originally from Canberra, and it is just the beginning as he gears up to release an entire EP by the end of the year. The 6 track record, co-produced with Australian Country Music legend Bill Chambers, features storytelling well beyond his years coupled with traditional and modern country embellishments.
Whilst 'Watered Down Man' presents itself as a contemplative piece of intriguing lyrical work, Riley's upcoming release 'Robin' is an ode to a lover in the form of a red-breasted bird, partnered with flourishes of early 70's Folk and Country music.
These debut projects from Riley Catherall outlines a patient, yet ambitious storyteller in the genesis of his songwriting career.
Limited Earlybird tickets available at only £12.00 (£8.00 concessions).
General Advance tickets & on the door entry will be £14.00 (£10.00 concessions).
Doors open at 7.00pm & music will commence at 7.15pm.
Note that this will be a mainly seated show.
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