REVIEW: GRANT MALOY SMITH – ‘DUST BOWL: AMERICAN STORIES’ 83

Having been working on the album for more than 2 years, every moment of effort Grant Maloy Smith put into creating this new collectionDust Bowl: American Stories, comes through on every track, though some fare much better than others.

“Old Black Roller” kicks off the collection with a simple guitar rhythm – so simple in fact that when put with the few lyrics the song features it may be skipped over entirely – it doesn’t get things off to a great start. “Lily Of The Valley” fares better, helped by the use of more instrumentation and the vocal has more passion behind it, which is always a great way of drawing in an audience.

“So Far Away” is perhaps the stand-out track on the album. With a great drum beat and uplifting, toe-tapping percussion, the track blends musicianship, lyrics and a superb vocal performance almost effortlessly to create a number which, if there’s any justice, will be played time and time again by those who hear it. “Ride That Train” is also a strong inclusion on the collection, working hard to match the upbeat tempo if its predecessor, so it’s a little disappointing to find that “Isht a Lhampko (Have Strength) slows things down and ruins the momentum the album had just started to pick up.

There’s a real country twang to “Me Time” that those who aren’t die-hard country fans might not like, but I dare anyone who hears it to try and not grin or tap their toes once the rhythm kicks in. The emotion contained within “Pushing Back The Wind” makes the track ideal for anyone wanting something to reflect on a moment or event in their life to, and “Never Seen The Rain” is lyrically simplistic but the return of an uptempo rhythm more than makes up for it.

Maloy tends to swing from one extreme to the other and does so again on “All The Long Way”, cutting short the building energy of some tracks and replacing them with sombre, stripped back numbers- like this one – which risk being overlooked. Fortunately, he swings the slow-fast pendulum quite often and so while “ATLW” is sure to be skipped over by some, the same most likely won’t be said of “I Come From America” – give it a listen and you’ll see and hear why.

The most emotive number on the album, “Daddy If You Have To Go”, held particular resonance with me, and, for those who have lost a loved one, it will surely do the same. “And The Rain Comes Down” meanwhile doesn’t hit as hard, but there’s something about the lyrics such as “I’ve been known to sit and watch the starlight turn to dawn” that makes it one of the most reflective and thoughtful songs Smith’s ever written.

Quite why Grant Maloy Smith included a reprise of “Old Black Roller” to close out the collection I personally don’t know, and the reality it doesn’t work, but nevertheless, the 12 diverse tracks that preceded it cement his place as a country staple with a twist. His songs might not get the airplay that the likes of Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum do, but certain ones certainly pack a punch, reconnecting the listener with aspects of reality in a way few artists in today’s day and age can do.

 

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RAG N BONE MAN CONFIRMED FOR 2018 BRIT AWARDS 13

We are so pleased to announce the 2017 winner of the BRITs Critics’ Choice and British Breakthrough awards Rag’n’Bone Man will be performing live at this year’s award ceremony on 21 February. He will join an already exceptional line-up which so far includes Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Sam Smith and Stormzy.

In the last year, Rag’n’Bone Man has broken the record for fastest-selling UK male debut of the decade with his 3x Platinum No. 1 album  ‘Human’ which has sold 2.5 million copies worldwide.

Rag’n’Bone Man said: “Jheez! 2017 has flown by super quick. Its pretty mental to think that I bagged two awards at The BRITs last year and now I’m heading back to perform. I’m looking forward to being a part of the celebration with everyone. It’s going to be a good one for sure!”

BRITs Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Sony Music UK & Ireland Jason Iley said: “Rory epitomises how dreams can come true. He has had the most amazing 12 months and I’m so delighted to see him back where it all started.”

The 38th BRIT Awards will be hosted by Jack Whitehall at The O2, London and broadcast live on ITV. We can’t wait for Rag’n’Bone Man to bring his talent to the stage.

The nominations for the 2018 BRIT Awards will be revealed at ‘The BRITs Are Coming’ on Saturday 13 January. The show broadcast live on ITV will be hosted by Emma Willis and includes live performances from Clean Bandit, J Hus, Jorja Smith, Liam Payne and Paloma Faith.

FOO FIGHTERS CONFIRMED FOR BRIT AWARDS 2018 25

We are so delighted to announce that four-time BRIT winners and one of the world’s most successful bands Foo Fighters will perform on The BRITs stage for the first time on 21 February.

The international superstars will deliver one of their legendary live performances alongside performances from Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Stormzy and Dua Lipa.

Foo Fighters have sold more than 25 million records and sold out countless world tours. The band’s acclaimed ninth studio album ‘Concrete and Gold’ was their fourth to hit No.1 in the UK charts on release in September, topping the charts in more than a dozen countries.

BRITs Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Sony Music UK & Ireland Jason Iley said: “Anyone who was lucky enough to witness one of their shows on the recent sold out UK tour, or their set at Glastonbury – which was undoubtedly one of the best performances the festival has ever seen and a night that will be talked about forever – will know why Foo Fighters are the biggest and most exciting rock band in the world. Quite remarkably they have never performed at The BRITs, so I am over the moon to confirm a massive BRITs exclusive to have them grace our stage.”

With four BRIT Awards under their belt winning International Album in 2008 and International Group in 2008, 2012 and 2015 we can’t wait for Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee to bring the incredible Foo Fighters energy to The BRITs stage.

The nominations for the 2018 BRIT Awards will be revealed at ‘The BRITs Are Coming’ on Saturday 13 January. The show broadcast live on ITV will be hosted by Emma Willis and include live performances from Clean Bandit, J Hus, Jorja Smith, Liam Payne and Paloma Faith.