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  • Writer's pictureFollow Your Arrow UK

Listening Room: Concrete Prairie

Hello everyone!

It's been a quick minute (or months) since I last did an album review. This year is flying by and as I'm working on my diploma combined with working full time and some things have slipped a bit with the blog. However, music is always at the forefront of my mind, it's my go to for every aspect of my life and I can't tell you how thrilled I am to introduce Concrete Prairie's self titled debut album released on Friday 2nd September.

Concrete Prairie have been on my radar for a few years now, they are from Bath, UK, and being a South West girl myself, I am so proud to promote a local group. This groups's music is truly unique, distinctive and unlike anything we have seen before in the UK. A real mix of country music, folk, Americana and blues music.

The band Concrete Prairie
Concrete Prairie debut album is out now

If you don't know the band, let's introduce you to this (sickeningly) talented bunch of singers, songwriters and musicians. Joe Faulkner is the lead singer, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player, second songwriter Adam Greeves is on vocals, guitar, mandolin and harmonica. Dan Burrows adds harmonies, and plays bass and banjo, Georgia Browne on fiddle and Tom Hartley is on drums.

They are called Concrete Prairie as;“it’s English but with the influence of Americana. The brutalism of a city combined with the image of a prairie...” - perfect and memorable I say!

When you play the album, and I always play in sequence, you'd easily think the opening of Picking Up Pieces came straight out of middle America. This song is beautifully written and it's about fatherhood. The songs on the album address a variety of subject matter, lead singer and writer Joe describes the band as;

“socially conscious, aware of the world around us, and not afraid to go down a Country-Folk avenue…or to rock out”.

My favourite song from the album is Bury My Blues, although a serious subject about mental health, the music is uplifting and fiddle-backed stomping celebration of life. Hard Times feels ominous about the tricky time we're all facing and it has a strong blues feel to it and makes me reflect. Day By Day on an initial listen feels fun and jaunty and very country but there's a deeper meaning in the song as it was influenced by the sudden death of a friend of Joe and Dan's. It's a beautiful song and reminds me how precious each day is and is put together with a fantastic tune.

Distinguished producer and musician, John Reynolds who has worked with Peter Gabriel has produced the album working with what the band's vision and promises to launch Concrete Prairie as a major band on the Anglo Americana scene. It has a sophisticated tone to the album and tracks like People Forget, and Wine On My Mind showcase this work and exudes each persons talent in the band. Written by Adam, Winter Town has great storytelling and you can clearly visualise an out-of-season English town when the mood is low and life can be hard.

The final song on the album is The Devil Dealt The Deck. It's ambitious at eight minutes long and is bold and adventurous by starting slowly, building up, fading away and then rousing again. It deals head on with a strong subject matter about the unfairness of some people's lives. It completely took me by surprise, strap in for it, it's well worth it with the strong music of the electric guitar and fiddle swapping the solos.

Concrete Prairie have landed and are coming in strong with this debut cracker of an album, I didn't even relay each song to you, those are for you to discover for yourself. Listen now and be proud to know them from the early days.

Check out the new album from Concrete Prairie, out now.

Take care, I'll be back soon with some personal news.

Sammi x

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