Country Music People March 2019 - Page 48

EPreviews by Duncan Warwick GONE WEST Tides EP GEORGE DEARBORNE I’m Gonna Walk EP  1/2  1/2 This, if you believe the PR hype, is the next ‘supergroup’. I’d say it’s more like something the great prophet Jackson (Alan that is) warned you about when he sang, “the pop scene just ain’t on the rally.” Former pop artist Colbie Caillat, singer/songwriter Jason Reeves, Justin Kawika Young and Nelly Joy have even given themselves a name that implies they have “gone country.” That’s because this country music thing is a cinch. All you need is three chords and something pertaining to be the truth and I suspect that Gone West are all set to make themselves a killing with this debut EP. It’s not as bad as it could be in a clichéd Little Big Town meets Lady A kind of way but the cynic inside me thinks this stinks of cashing in on a market that will welcome absolutely anybody whether they are country or not. Inoffensive but not really very good. There might be something here if The Netherlands are looking for a Eurovision entry but that’s about it. Straight out of the Texas dancehalls, George Dearborn is a singer who stepped away from making music for a number of years. On the strength of these six tracks I am mighty pleased he is back. The opening Bring Down The Wall couldn’t be more dancehall if it tried. It’s perfect as far as I’m concerned, and I suspect Johnny Bush might think so too. However, that’s not the only good song Dearborn got hold of. Better Off is a speedy two-stepper that could’ve come off a very early Strait album and is fabulous, while Everything You Want sounds like it should’ve been a Mark Chesnutt single form the early 1990s. Even the slower Tumbleweed and If You’re Gonna Ride made me feel as if I was listening to US country radio two decades or so ago. Now that George Dearborn is back to making music, I am really looking forward to more from him, especially if it’s as good as this. KING CALAWAY King Calaway EP ADAM POPE & AMY POPE Old Fashioned EP   1/2 You know what’s been missing from country music? A boy band. Yep, a boy band! That is indeed what King Calaway are and everything that goes along with that image is what they bring to country music. From intensive and lengthy sessions with stylists to the watered-down-so-as-not-to-upset-the-mums pretend country sound King Calaway tick all the necessary boxes. This, of course, makes them instantly hateable to anybody with any degree of taste but it’s not actually that bad. It’s not really country either, and you’d be hard-pushed to spot any sonic difference between King Calaway and Westlife but if there is a Nashville act capable of seriously crossing over in the UK I suspect they might be it and they might be about to do so with I Do, which is a darn good pop song. When they do it will be proclaimed a wonderful thing for country music and that is the biggest problem as far as I’m concerned. If you’ve ever wondered what an EP of Alison Krauss and Union Station performing Don Williams songs might be like then here’s the answer. Adam and Amy are a husband and wife team and this is one classy release. However, it is very difficult to get away from the Krauss-like sound. It might be going a bit far to suggest that Amy sounds exactly the same, but on a low volume through a closed door you’d think it was a Union Station record. The Don Williams songs work really well with this treatment and Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good is particularly fine. I had my reservations as to whether Tulsa Time or You’re My Best Friend would work as well but surprisingly they did. 48 cmp - MARCH 2019