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'Country Darkness Vol.1 (EP)'   

-  Label: 'Fretsore Records'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '11th October 2019'

Our Rating:
This EP features four classy covers of Elvis Costello country songs worked into highly effectively, emotionally charged duets by this husband and wife duo.

Their versions are given a firm seal of approval through being made in collaboration with keyboard player Steve Nieve who has worked with Costello since 1977 as a key member of The Attractions and, subsequently, The Imposters.

Country Darkness is itself a Costello song (from 'The Delivery Man') but that track is not one of the four on this record. The songs covered are:
- Heart Shaped Bruise
- Stranger in the House
- That Day is Done - written by Elvis Costello & Paul McCartney
- I Felt the Chill Before the Winter Came written by Elvis Costello & Loretta Lynn

Husband and wife Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish treat the originals with due respect and the pitch perfect renditions are delivered without any unnecessary playing to the gallery. The no frills production is courtesy of King and Colin Elliot.

Elvis Costello can take some credit for rescuing classic Country Music from the perception that it is just a soundtrack for the Republican Party. The genre is often associated with cheap sentimentality and political incorrectness but in the right hands even the corniest of tunes can tell a truth while tugging effectively at the heartstrings.

Explaining how this record came about, 'My Darling Clementine's Michael Weston King writes “Making these recordings took me back to my 19-year-old-self, out buying a copy of 'Almost Blue' during my lunch hour. It was Elvis and Steve’s making of that album which set me, and I think many others of my generation, off along a country path to discover more about this form of music previously only viewed with suspicion."

The good news is that the EP is just the beginning of the Country Darkness project with further re-workings of Costello songs in the pipeline.

My Darling Clementine's website

  author: Martin Raybould

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MY DARLING CLEMENTINE - Country Darkness Vol.1 (EP)