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Drew Morrison and the Darkwood - Tales of Love, Sadness and Rock 'n' Roll

  by John Clarkson

published: 21 / 2 / 2016

Drew Morrison and the Darkwood - Tales of Love, Sadness and Rock 'n' Roll
Label: Storm Cloud Agency Records
Format: CD


Beautifully crafted debut EP from Americana outfit, Drew Morrison and the Darkwood

Americana act Drew Morrison and the Darkwood have been a steady presence on the London live scene since forming in 2013, and now have released their first EP, ‘Tales of Love, Sadness and Rock ‘N’ Roll’, a forerunner to their debut album which will be out later this year. Morrison, who also plays guitar, has one of those great, soulful voices that is instantly capable of creating immense atmosphere. He is also a strong lyricist, one who in just a line or two can capture exactly what a song is about, and in the Darkwood he is backed with a sharp band which consists of Phil Carwardine (lead guitar), Mike Hughes (bass, backing vocals) and Nick Steyn (drums). The jangling opening track ‘Always’ is a tribute to one of the great stars of music. “Your song played on the radio/You were big when I was just a kid/I recall the things that you did/Man, how you lived,” Morrison reflects in the opening lines. Who that star is kept deliberately obtuse, but whether Morrison is singing about Johnny Cash or Johnny Rotten is not especially important. When he sings a little later in the song in his aching, wistful voice, “You laid foundations deep inside of me/I guess I will carry you/I guess I will carry you always,” he is speaking to the youth in all of us as we become hooked on something in music for the first time. Equally strong is the tingling melancholic second track ‘Ladytime’, in which Morrison with again razor tight accuracy describes a dying love affair. “Can you say 'I want you' without texting it?” asks Morrison about someone who has drifted away from him, as, over concerned about the way she presents herself to the world, she becomes lost in a meticulously structured but ultimately artificial reality. The last two tracks on this beautifully crafted EP bring matters full circle. 'Country Soul' is enhanced by lush vocal harmonies between Morrison and Mike Hughes and reflects once more on the redemptive quality of music (“It is time to give yourself up for something good”), while 'Nightbirds', which brings the EP to a stark, bittersweet close, tells of another romance in decline (“And what once was so good tastes like ashes to me”). ‘Tales of Love, Sadness and Rock ‘N’ Roll’ is a fine first offering of enormous potential from Drew Morrison and the Darkwood which promises much for the forthcoming album.

Track Listing:-
1 Always
2 Ladytime
3 Country Soul
4 Nightbirds

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