Trodden Black Ent. [Release date 13.05.14]
‘Dark Americana’ is how Hannah Aldridge – daughter of esteemed Muscle Shoals/ Nashville songwriter and producer Walt Aldridge – describes her gritty, uncompromising debut.
Recorded in analogue (naturally) in Nashville (where else?) she’s backed in the studio by a core band of players in the form of Andrew Sovine (electric and acoustic guitars and lap steel), Lane Baker (bass), Brad Pemberton (drums) and Andrew Higley (keys) whose collective delivery makes Razor Wire a little unusual for the genre in that it mixes southern rock with a healthy infusion of country and blues.
And a few delicate acoustic numbers (naturally) – the ‘bonus’ title track reprise outshining the full band version by a country mile. Add Aldridge’s Southern home-smoked vocals and it’s a lustful and addictive brew.
Combined with Aldridge’s sassy lyrical alter ego (she’s a nice girl really), Razor Wire punches way above it’s weight in the Americana stakes, with one dusty booted foot placed firmly in the door to the rock side of the border. On the one cover on the album – fellow Shoals’ native Jason Isbell’s ‘Try’ – his band, The 400 Unit, guest and let loose with a power that would surely hold it’s own against the imminent Zep archive recordings.
But when it comes to ass kicking, would you argue with a 5-foot-eleven blonde who’s been to rehab, got sober, been married and divorced by the age of 26? If you’re [wo] man enough, Hannah Aldridge will be playing selected UK dates in June 2014. Do yourself a favour and take a walk on the dark side. ****
Review by Pete Whalley
Tour dates (UK, June 2014)
17 Jun Blues Cafe Bar. 9PM
4 Montpellier Parade, Harrogate, HG1 2TJ
18 Jun The Good Ship. 8PM
89 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6 7JR
19 Jun The Hop Pole. 9PM
78 Birmingham Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B61 0DF
20 Jun The Zanzibar Club. 8PM
43 Seel St, Liverpool, L1 4AZ
21 Jun The Guitar Bar. 8PM
Nottingham, Sherwood Rise
Clumber Ave, Nottingham, Sherwood Rise NG5 1AP
22 Jun The Talking Heads. 8PM
320 Portswood Road, Southampton, SO17 2TD
24 Jun The Musician. 8PM
42 Crafton St W, Leicester, LE1 2DE
25 Jun Albion Beatnik Bookstore. 8PM
34 Walton St, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX2 6AA
With Olly Wills (The Epstein) & Ags Connolly
27 Jun The White Horse Inn. 8PM
The Square, Clun, Shropshire SY7 8JA
28 Jun Grayshott Folk Club. 8PM
Headley Road, Hindhead, Surrey GU26 6TZ
w/ Maz O’Connor
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