Country Music People December 2018 - Page 41

ROY SCHNEIDER AND KIM MAYFIELD Reckless Saints LITTLE KIM AND THE ALLEY APPLE 3 Sugarbird  1/2  Jump In / Walkin’ On A Wire / If I Die Tomorrow / Subjugated Love / Poison Arrow / Ring Around The Moon / Angels Along The Road / Buddha Baby / Runaway Train / After The Storm / Election Day Producers: Roy Schneider & Kim Mayfield Shiny Gnu Records 41:17 So Long Sandro! / Sugarbird / Sacramento Flood / Two-Timing Roscoe / Ooh La Blues / Crow Moon / Little Kim’s Blues / Big Bill / Singing Tyres / Snake Charm Producer: Tom De Poorter Self release 28:50 Roy Schneider and Kim Mayfield are a couple who make Americana music. The new release is their first together and was funded through Indiegogo. Here we get ten original songs and one cover version. We also get a sprinkling of guest stars including Charlie McCoy on harmonica, although I have to admit, I’m still not a fan of the harmonica. Roy and Kim open with Jump In, an entertaining blues-Americana romp taken at a fast pace and it’s a good start. Walkin’ On A Wire is more country, with a warm melody, and a strong lead vocal from Roy. Kim Mayfield takes over lead vocal on a number of songs. These include the ballad If I Die Tomorrow which sounds a bit like an old track from The Eagles or America (Horse With No Name). Kim is also featured on the delightful Ring Around The Moon which builds beautifully and is helped by a fiddle which creates atmosphere. Roy and Kim really cut loose on the galloping blues-leaning Subjugated Love which features a slightly manic burst of piano. Roy’s vocal also hits the mark. The most country song on the new album is Buddha Baby which has Kim on vocals and some nice steel guitar. This track, which has its roots in the 1970s really gets in the mind of listeners. It could be addictive. Roy and Kim end their CD with its only cover version. It’s Blaze Foley’s Election Day which gets a new arrangement and is less subdued than the original. Here we have an electric guitar that nearly turns the song into a rock track. Roy’s lead vocal is powerful and the lyrics still shine through. It is different but it does work and provides a strong ending to the album. Roy Schneider and Kim Mayfield have created a very entertaining album. They write quality songs and both have engaging voices. Some Americana albums get a bit boring but not this one. Roy and Kim mix Americana-Blues-Country to create a mature, engaging album. Fans of Americana music will probably love this album. More general country fans may also find something to admire here. Hopefully Roy and Kim are planning some more duo releases. Details of solo releases from Roy Schneider are available on the singer’s website - royschneider.com Paul Riley Little Kim and The Alley Apple 3 have been playing music in their native Belgium for ten years. The band now hit album number four. Other reviewers have compared them toPokey Lafarge, Kitty Daisy and Lewis and J.D.McPherson. They play many styles of music including Swing, Gospel, Americana and Country-Blues and Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel is apparently a big fan. All the songs on the new release are originals penned by band-member and producer Tom De Poorter. We start with So Long Sandro! This and the following song Sugarbird sound like old 1950s jazz with strong vocals from Little Kim. She has a fine voice for this kind of music. Songwriter Tom De Poorter seems to like old gospel songs. Little Kim’s Blues is a foot tapping mix of gospel-blues with handclaps and a unique atmosphere. Big Bill is even more lively and makes good use of the back-up singers. Plus we get a short-but-sweet guitar solo. Singing Tyres features more gospe, with a touch of country-blues and some call and response vocals. It’s another winner! Back with the blues songs, Ooh La Blues combines blues-jazz and is another 1950s leaning song. Little Kim sounds completely at home with material like this. The new album ends with the atmospheric Snake Charm. This slightly psychedelic off-beat blues gem needs to be heard on headphones. The song has interesting lyrics, rather odd backing vocals, and an unusual ending. Little Kim And The Alley Apple 3 are almost like a long-lost band who have somehow been transported to 2018 via 1950. Songwriter Tom De Poorter clearly has lots of talent and his songs spring to life with engaging backing tracks and Little Kim’s committed vocals. On this, the band’s 4th release, we get country-blues, gospel and some swing jazz. The album is pure quality from start to finish. Bands like Little Kim And The Alley Apple 3, Asleep At The Wheel, The Paper Moon Shiners, etc. are bringing old-style music to a new generation, we should support them. Anyone who likes this kind of exciting music should add Sugarbird to their collection. Paul Riley