Friday, 4 March 2016

Locust Honey String Band - Accolades & Applause

Locust Honey String Band
Chloe Edmonstone & Meredith Watson
Photograph by Margret Seema Takyar
Since writing in January about the (then) forthcoming tour by Locust Honey String Band, they have now arrived on this side of The Pond and are receiving a great deal of attention for both their concerts and their new release 'Never Let Me Cross Your Mind'.

Chloe Edmonstone & Meredith Watson with John Miller (of The Foxhunt & The Hackensaw Boys) on bass duties started the UK & Ireland tour at the end of February and it is clear why The Locust Honey String Band are making such a huge impression; their tour is relentless - I think that the only people with a tougher schedule are the Tour de France riders!

Check the tour dates below but note that there are additional dates to those published in the EBMA Blog in January.

Reviews of the live dates are exceptional and, since arriving in the UK, they have been in great demand appearing on BBC Radio and the much-respected House of Mercy radio station and have received great reviews from the likes of who said of Locust Honey and 'Never Let Me Cross Your Mind'

 'Each member of Locust Honey is steeped in the old-time music of the Appalachian Mountains. They bring a huge passion for American roots and a knowledge of how the different genres of music that criss-cross Appalachia have historically intersected and influenced each other and the music on Never Let Me Cross Your Mind is a jubilee of Southern musical traditions, from old-time string band fiddle-banjo tunes to vintage country duets, old Carter Family songs, dancehall honky-tonk numbers, and mountain blues. It’s all tied together with remarkable finesse by artists who know the roots of the music inside and out, but aren’t afraid to push back at the tradition to get at new truths.'

The Daily Telegraph (UK 'broadsheet' newspaper) published an article listing their Culture Editor's view of the best Country music albums of 2016. The list included Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Miller, Sofia Talvik, Jane Kramer, Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands and Locust Honey String Band's 'Never Let Me Cross Your Mind'.

The writer - Martin Chilton - said of 'Never Let Me Cross Your Mind':
'This is vintage bluegrass from the North Carolina band. The harmonies work well, especially on the short and sweet covers of songs such as The Carter Family classic The Lonesome Song (which is just two minutes) and which showcases the real verve that  Chloe Edmonstone brings to her fiddle playing. Her own composition When The Whiskey’s Gone (a really sad name for a song)  stand up to such company. Edmonstone blends well with Meredith Watson (guitar and vocals) and Hilary Hawke (banjo), Ariel Dixon (banjo and vocals) and Andy Deaver Edmonstone (bass) all bring something to the party. There is also an interesting cover of the George Jones gem Just One More.'

I would add there there are two Carter Family songs on the album and a great version of Kitty Wells' 'Whose Shoulder Will You Cry On' and if, like me, you enjoy digging into vintage recordings, 'McMichen's Breakdown' was written by Clayton McMichen who played with Gid Tanner & The Skillet Lickers in the 20's and who wrote Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia (recorded by Jimmie Rodgers).

But here is one of Chloe Edmonstone's compositions on the album - 'Horse Drawn Buggy'

After the UK dates, Locust Honey String Band will then travel to Ireland for eight dates culminating at a date at the Sixmilebridge Folk Club which has recently celebrated the Shannonside Winter Music Festival and is already planning the 2017 event for next January!

We will be going to see Locust Honey on Monday 7th March at The Cock Inn in Sarratt which is a short drive off the M25 and north of Rickmansworth. As a side note, take a look at the website of the promoter Owlsword - there are some great concerts on the schedule such as Woody Pines, The Railsplitters and Hillfolk Noir. Radio commitments prevent us visiting The Three Horseshoes in Towersey on the following Wednesday. This show is being put on by Musically Monstrous, another local promoter that puts on some great Bluegrass and Old-Time concerts - I recommend a visit to their website too.

So... DO NOT miss the opportunity to see, hear and dance to the Locust Honey String Band...and treat yourself to a copy of 'Never Let Me Cross Your Mind' as well.
  • Sat 5th March - Chinley Community Centre - Chinley, Derbyshire
  • Sun 6th March - Millennium Community Centre - Moreton, Staffs.
  • Mon 7th March - The Cock Inn - Sarratt, Herts.
  • Tue 8th March - The Musician - Leicester
  • Wed 9th March - The Three Horseshoes - Towersey, Oxfordshire
  • Thu 10th March - West End Club - Barry, South Wales
  • Fri 11th March - Studio at Live Theatre - Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Sat 12th March - Woodend Gallery - Scarborough
  • Sun 13th March - The Rose & Crown - Beverley, East Yorkshire
  • Mon 14th March - String Theory - Hawick, Roxburghshire
  • Tues 15th March - Woodend Bowling and Tennis Club - Glasgow
  • Wed 16th March - Douglas Concerts - Edinburgh
  • Thurs 17th March - The Deeside Inn - Ballater, Aberdeenshire
  • Sat 19th March - Kilbarchan Performing Arts Centre - Kilbarchan, Johnstone
  • Sun 20th March -  The Grapes - Stranraer
  • Mon 21st March - McCann's Bar - Omagh, Co. Tyrone
  • Tue 22nd March -  The Red Room - Cookstown, Co. Tyrone
  • Wed 23rd March - Roisin Dubh - Galway
  • Thurs 24th March - St. Johns Theatre - Listowel, Co. Kerry
  • Sat 26th March - The SĂ©amus Ennis Arts Centre - Naul, Co. Dublin
  • Sun 27th March - JJ Harlowe’s - Roscommon
  • Mon 28th March - The Greyhound - Kilkee, Co Clare
  • Tue 29th March - Sixmilebridge Folk Club - Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare