Low-fi country from high-flying Rockingbird
Oh what fun we had all those years ago listening to and watching The Rockingbirds. The reincarnation of country music through the skewed eyes of Jonathan Richman-loving Camdenites. Tyler was the young and charismatic frontman who’s since become a somewhat sensible and bearded solo performer and club night boss.
Here Tyler debuts a new trio, himself on guitar along with touches of fiddle, banjo and mandolin. While one still can’t see that it is ever going to eclipse The Rockingbirds (who are back later this year), it is an engaging set. The self-penned songs bring acoustic country to the streets of London, an almost mystical, medieval look at the capital. Dark River and The Fields Beneath look at an older, simpler city while Down On Deptford Creek and Essex Girl transfer country themes to local settings.
Alongside are gentle versions, brought to life by Tyler’s deep, rich vocals, of favourite songs – Gram ParsonsReturn Of The Grievous Angel, Townes Van Zandt’s Tecumseh Valley, a delightful look at Buddy Holly’s True Love Ways and more.
All very nice, but, all together now: We want the Rockingbirds! Nick Dalton