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Balsamo DeightonBalsamo Deighton
Album: Unfolding
Label: earMUSIC
Tracks: 12

Glossy, high-grade, commercial Americana from songwriters Steve Balsamo and Rosalie Deighton who have spent the best part of a decade skirting around when the time and the place would be right for them to work together. He's the one-time leader of The Storys and a former West End musical theatre star who has written for Meat Loaf and Slash among others; she's sung with Paddy Casey, Kate Rusby and Kathryn Roberts and is a some-time guest of nu-folkie supergroup Danny and the Champions of the World.

Together they make well-crafted, radio-friendly country-pop songs about what it feels like to be grown up and still a bit at odds with the world. The title track, which closes the album, was inspired by a fan killed in Afghanistan and stands in fitting tribute to his sacrifice without tripping over the enormity of it all. It sits well with the upbeat Dream Song, which grew out of conversations between Balsamo and Jon Lord's widow (Balsamo had been working with Lord when the former Deep Purple man died in 2012) in which both revealed they had met him in their dreams.

More familiar country paths are trodden in rotten-luck love songs like Run Back To Your Life and The Ghost of Me and You, while 50 Foot Jesus adds some West Coast ennui and a cover of Jackson Brown's Sky Blue and Black, provides a point of wider reference.

Nick Churchill